Life After Osama (Follow up to On Realizing I was Impacted by Terrorism)

Just some ramblings about week two after almost 10 years. 

Osama was killed.  He was a vile, evil man.  I cannot be as sad as my truly leftist friends would have me be.  This whole experience has reinforced what I know to be true about my political beliefs.  I am a progressive.  I want peace.  And yet,  inside myself, I am glad that the man who loved to kill and dreamed of death is dead.  Yes, I can understand that people have a right to be very upset by the actions of the U.S. in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South and Central America.  The U.S. is not the American people.  Rarely are governments good reflections of the people for whom they act or the principles for which they stand. 

I have to say that while I am not at all happy with how President Obama has snuggled up to the pharmaceutical, insurance, mortgage and banking industries, he has managed to reflect America more powerfully and more accurately than I remember anyone ever doing.  We are our ideals.  He manifests the ideals I was taught to strive toward as a school kid.   I detest war.  I do not condone violating international borders and national sovereignty, but I appreciate that he took responsibility for doing what he ordered.  It seems a lot more honorable than Iran Contra, shadow governments, CIA drug wars, and a host of other things that I have seen my government do and in which they refuse to admit culpability, responsibility, and in many cases instigation. The current administration is carrying on far too many of the repressive, reactionary, anti-democratic programs and practices initiated by the Bush Administration, and I doubt that I will ever be able to keep my mouth shut about those things.  I do not however have the energy to work with negative topics all the time.  I drew from the positive, jester-like boldness of the early organization that was CODEPINK.  We spoke in a way that was difficult to ignore and eventually we seeped into the consciousness of a nation.  I was there in D.C.  when the Illinois delegation of CODEPINKers met with Senator Barack Obama. 

My life as a peace activist of sorts and the death of the man who ultimately was responsible for my becoming a peace activist by creating the coordinated attacks on New York City and our nation's Capitol that created one domino leading to another where I moved across country, met like minded women, and worked to understand that peace has to be worked toward with more furious love than the furious hate that leads us to war.  I will hold that within me until the moment I die.  When I die I will have been no more than a wake on the water.  But I changed the reflection of the world for a moment.  And perhaps someone seeing a bit of a different world in that wake will make more changes.  That is all any of us can do.  I believe in the power of individual and collective action. 

I am tired.  I don't like thinking about war and politics all the time.  I have trouble finding the positive, head over heels, positive and life affirming, and powerful iconography of the early CODEPINK in the bitter rhetoric of the anti-war community today.  Anti- stances are so different from pro- positions.  There is an energetic difference, a qualitative difference, between the differing approaches.  I revel in and marvel at the power of creation, the power of the feminine, the power of affirmation. 

I can't keep myself from noticing the impact of these things;  that is just how I am.   BUT I can moderate the duration and intensity of my actions and reactions to them.   This is what I have come up with in the last many days of reflection since that Sunday night, not quite two weeks ago, and its special announcement from our president:  I need to continue the writing path that I was unfurling before me, some would say making it up as I went along, that I was working on at at my desk when the first plane hit.  Of course the path I'm now walking isn't the same path I would have walked had the towers stood. 

I was working on increasing awareness of a distinct cohort, the last half of Baby Boom Generation, the Late Boomers,  as well as a working on a collection of poetry and a biography of  Gene Stratton-Porter when everything changed.  I contributed regularly to a feminist comedy site focused on the glamour of old Hollywood.   I need to get back to my research and writing that lies beyond the 20th and 21st Century political realm.  A new research area has also developed in the last few years;  I'm working in  the area of Munchausen by Proxy Child Abuse, an ill-named area of factitious medical child abuse. 

And there is a new constellation of events that calls to me in the middle of the night these days.  My eldest daughter, my step-daughter, has given the world and a neighborhood far away from Tucson a beautiful set of twins, my grand-daughters.  My youngest daughter, my biological daughter, has decided she is in love and, come December and graduation from university, will move across the country far from the neighborhood in which she grew up and in which she still resides, to pursue a graduate education and live with her honey, hiking partner, and soul-mate.  From my roof deck in central Tucson at night in the moonlight  I can hear the Goddess speak, "Get your sh*t together girl, you still have work to do for me.   Now get going and write those books, finish the house remodeling, build the back yard labyrinth and grotto where you can rest in your old age while you compose poetry, watch flowers grow, and receive visitors.  Time's a wasting!"

My time and life are of my own conscious creation.   I will not allow my life to be choreographed by external forces.

N. F. Hill
Build Peace


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