Saturday, February 25, 2006

Say Anything

Recognizing that it just isn’t nice to leave anyone who might be stumbling upon my blogospot with that eerie image of our current VP, and my unapologetic commentary on his latest evil deed, dangling like a dislodged earring, I've decided to say anything. (Oh, how about that sweet little shooting victim anyway, apologizing for all the pain and scrutiny that he caused the Cheney family. I find some things inexplicably ironic.)

So, I’ve resolved to write something, anything to introduce a kinder, gentler Paper Garden to my 2-3 potential viewers. And to leave you with an image that is nothing if not the anti-Cheney, my mother at age four. I have always loved this picture of my mother.I begin to think about history.

I look at this picture, a photo that in itself carries some irony, and wonder about image. This picture was taken, according to an ancient notation on the back (made no doubt by my grandmother who died in 1983), in December of 1943 in Berlin. It may have been a birthday picture. It surely was a time of critical stress in my grandmother’s life, as her husband would be killed less than a year from that date. My grandfather fought in German uniform. Everyone said he was a lovely man, a gentle soul whose wife and daughters were his world. He was forty-four, and sent to the front lines because he did not belong to the Nazi party. Many people don’t realize that not all Germans were Nazi’s. However, my grandfather, a former mounted policeman, was drafted and died for der Fuherer … the lunatic who, it is difficult to believe, actually impacted my own life via my mother.

I look at this photo of my mother and think about the children of war. Today I read about raids in Iraq. Every day we read about bombings and children trekking to find safety from the dangers our world presents, dangers manufactured by other people who have been, first and foremost, children.

I’m about to graduate with an undergraduate degree, and yet I have none of the answers I’d hoped I could learn to reason out of this kind of socio-political chaos. I am no closer to understanding it all. Sometimes, because my parents actually knew suffering, I stay up at night and wonder how I was to be so much luckier.

So when I read about the bombings, and the women and children who die in the middle east, or Africa, or South America, I think directly of my beautiful mother, my childish mother so subject to nervousness, so scattered and friendly, so energetic, but so increasingly afraid as she grows older. I think of what she has seen and what she has never told me.


At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Carolina Jim said...

Hi Pamela! Just wanted you to know that i'm still visiting from time to time to see what's on your mind. We are all shaped and formed to a large degree by our "raisings" as we say down south, but also by our life experiences. I never expect, or even attempt, to figure out or explain all of the terrible things that happen on this planet. But by the same token, I don't expect or attempt to explain some of the wonderful things that happen either. Sometimes I think the less you understand about some things, the better off you are. Something about "Looking a gift horse in the mouth" or something like that. BTW, I never quite understood that saying completely either.
Anyway, have you decided about coming to the Carolinas for your "schooling" yet? My offer still stands. Keep the faith!
Your friend,
Carolina Jim


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