Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, April 11, 2005

ObWi Has Another Good Run

I just visited Obsidian Wings for the first time in perhaps a week (I've been a negligent reader of blogs, of late, for reasons some of you know), and found, among other things, a long wrenching thought piece by Edward_ regarding his visceral response to a picture of a young woman with one arm missing from this weekend's Times.

There are obviously ancient Greek notions of being whole complicating my response to all this, but I can't for the life of me fathom why. I reject so much else from Greek philosophy, and consider myself overall ambivalent about this "whole body" idea in particular, but there it is. I'm outraged because this or that soldier is returning to us less whole than we sent them off.

Perhaps it's something much bigger than myself. Perhaps there, in human form, is the evidence of our collective failure. Those who die in battle, we bury. They stay put. Only to remind us of what failures we are when we visit a cemetery or place a wreathe on holidays.

The walking wounded, however, remain among us, constant reminders of the thousands of years of knowing full well that wars invariably lead to this sort of personal tragedy and we're still no closer to ending them. A distant observer would have to conclude that we simply don't care. We invest untold billions in new way to dismember each other, while often saving only our vilest ridicule for international efforts to promote peace.

The whole thing is worth your time. Also, I recommend poetry readers among you skim around a bit. In honor of National Poetry Month (and how embarrassed am I that I didn't know this was that), various posters and commenters have been flinging fantastic poems around with reckless abandon and blithe erudition. It's really fun to graze.


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