Wednesday, May 31, 2006

first step . . .

The other day, as she generously tied a deep pink ribbon to my shopping bag, this delightful young woman casually asked whether I had a blog. She herself writes so engagingly that, in the short while I've been aware of it, I've come to relish her blog. Her encouragement notwithstanding, I wonder: Can this decades-old slow-hand artist find true happiness flirting with web blogs and brushes? Welcome to PJ's . . .

Today the sun shines gloriously here in the Capitol area where the President as Commander-in-Chief lays his Memorial wreath. I'm one of those military wives who lost a husband in Vietnam, married another who survived, remembers the days when my fellow Americans literally spat on our men in uniform, lived in Israel during the Yom Kippur War and saw the emotionally supportive reaction of Israelis to their soldiers, lived in Lebanon and saw the fedayeen encampments and the building hatred fanned by rampant ignorance and dislocation and rejection by other Arab countries, lived in Berlin and saw the young people forget and deny the staggering horrors their elders had struggled through. Yes, American soldiers have served our ideals in all of this history and more. In the 60's, I studied at Oxford on a Heinz family scholarship and debated along with Fulbright and Rhodes scholars like our former President and a recent Presidential contender, in the 70's I partied with American reporters in Beirut whose experience of the Middle East was not yet embedded like mine (while I was living in Tiberius), in the 80's my Berlin dinner table partners were German, British, French and others whose national concerns often vied with ours, in the 90's life in the parallel universe inside the Capitol beltway tested my composure. Yes, American soldiers have served our changing perspectives in a world that is knitting closer together through endless competition and contention. This modern world, as in any other era, is naturally racing to its future. Is our pace really that much faster? Or are we just getting lazier, more irresponsible, about connecting the golden lures of the future to the meaningful lessons of the past? Today is a good day to sit in the sun with our friends and family members who do remember . . .