Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In these windy times

That now be sent to test us so,
Harder still lads mind the gap,
Twixt what ye think, and what ye know?

Beautiful poem, probably written by somebody. Likely the bard of Scotland Bernie Roberts. I'm pretty sure that was his name.

Today is Veteran's day. Used to be called Armistice Day, until our nation realized we have more veterans than one can shake a stick at.

OK, now I'm wondering how that phrase entered our lexicon. My opinion, our lexicon should really start checking ID's or something! "Shake a stick at"...hmmm.

How can one's ability to shake a stick possibly be related to the number of objects this alleged stick is shaken at? Sounds like a possible cause of Medieval carpel tunnel syndrome to me. And why would anybody want to go around shaking a stick at objects anyway? Wasn't it enough for them to be walking around with bags containing furry animals? What was up with those Medieval Europeans anyway? I'll have to remind myself to think about that later.

But about this Armistice Day? Such a weird word. Not Day, but Armistice I mean. So I researched it. Turns out "Armistice" is a very obscure word from the Chickasaw language. Translated literally it means something like, "sign treaty in war without decisive result. Ha ha ha, you white folks kill me! I meanum like literally? Stop it already? We already on endangered species list."

I quite admire any language that can pack so much meaning into one word.

Now of course it's called Veterans' Day. And you know what that means. The Post Office is closed and mattresses are on sale.

Well maybe Veterans' Day is even more than that. Perhaps it's an acknowledgement of a long line of frail, flawed humans who complained about the food, second guessed the commander's decisions to one another, but still got up and marched when told to, and shot straightest to their ability when they arrived at the scene of the ruckus.

Takes my wise brother Donald to say what is of Veteran's Day, besides no mail today.

The sound of flags whipping in a breeze on a pretty day? They also sound like cannon in the distance. And you are marching towards that noise. The machinery that might end your mortal existence, leave a hole in the heart of your mother and your sweet girl back home. No longer about causes or flags, you won't let your buddies down. You march towards the noise of death because you must. A chain that won't be pulled apart by the distant sound.

Perhaps there is no good war. There is only farm boys and factory hands having to settle in blood the failures of diplomats.

I'll have to be sure to think about that later. Right now I have to go find a stick and shake it at objects. This could be a whole new exciting hobby for me!

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