Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Which Leads Me To...

...I'm just finishing up Anne Lamott's latest book. I've enjoyed it reading it more than any other of her books because her last book, Plan B, I had on CD and listened to it several times over a year ago while I painted the whole interior of a townhouse. She reads her book herself and has this monotone voice which sounds like it wouldn't be appealing but it's a perfect match to her dry, rye humor. So as I'm reading this one I can hear her voice reading it to me, can hear her sarcasm, her deadpan honesty. My last post led me into this one as Anne is passionately against the war in Iraq and the president. As she talks about all the rallies and meetings and the heartwarming out-pouring of people coming to aide for others, caring both globally and locally, I was shocked by my feelings about these stories. As I pondered what she was saying, I was surprised to notice that I felt envious of her and also my sister who has a lot of the same experiences. I felt envious, I'm embarrassed to say, because I was thinking, "That's all they have to worry about-Iraq.". Please don't get me wrong, I know very well we all have similar daily worries and stress due to our fast-paced lives-I'm not talking about that part. And I'm not trivializing the war or all the wonderful, hard work that so many brave folks step up and do. I say it because of all the violence we are experiencing here in Baltimore and DC. I'm against the war in Iraq; I think we should get out a.s.a.p., should have never gone, never have lost a single person over whatever convoluted, inane reason we ever started it. IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. But what we experience here is not unlike a war zone, there are guns EVERYWHERE. Even my own 10 year old son was shot at while at our little park behind our home. It turned out to be "just" a BB gun but he didn't know that at the time. Of course, selfishly, I don't want this inner city violence to bleed out to the burbs but I don't want it to be anywhere. I'm a global thinker knowing very well that anything that happens anywhere affects everyone. No mayonnaise in Ireland. I know that there are many big cities in the U.S. that struggle with this problem (Balto and DC just happen to be in my face) but I also know there are a lot of places where they don't have to worry and agonize over this everyday. EVERYDAY there is another or others teen/s dead by guns, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, killers and victims. All the way to 12 and 13. EVERYDAY. There are rallies, meetings, town halls with the mayors, police, and citizens working as hard as possible to get some kind of lid on this. There's a legal curfew, more police, a new police chief, but still, open the paper everyday and there it is AGAIN. Some days I want to flee to Iowa, some days to Switzerland. My family begs us to move to Oregon. We love our life here in spite of all the warts. Most days I just vacillate between the war at home and the war in Iraq. In the meantime I'm working on getting a neighborhood watch up and running on our street. We are lucky to be pretty close-knit, we have great neighbors who care and look after each other, we all have the same basic desire, to keep our neighborhood safe for our children, ourselves, and each other. This is a quote my sis, Valori, sent to me a while back, so true... If mothers from the First World and from the Third World, black, white, yellow, Russian, American----if all would unite and tell the makers of wars that they will not tolerate any force that will undo what they have knit together so patiently in the womb for nine months, they could insure peace from generation to generation. ~Doris Donnelly

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