Geranium Farm Home         Who's Who on the Farm         The Almost Daily eMo         Subscriptions         Coming Events
Hodgepodge         More or Less Church         Ways of the World         A Few Good Writers
Gifts For Life         Pennies From Heaven         Light a Prayer Candle         Links

SO IT GOES
April 12, 2007
 
We all read Kurt Vonnegut in school in the sixties, eagerly scooping up each new one as soon as it came out. We all thought Slaughterhouse Five had been written for us, that wackily elegaic novel that spoke our opposition to the war, written by someone who had been tried as we all knew we had not been tried and never would be. Vonnegut had earned the right to speak, as we had not. We knew that about ourselves, even then.

He reminded us of the Dresden firestorm, at a time when public rhetoric
about warfare consistently cast us in the attractive role of reluctant
but dutiful warriors. He introduced the ultimate altruism of the
volunteer firefighter as a Christ figure. He cautioned us about
trusting too much in rules of engagement in war to civilize an
enterprise that is fundamentally savage.

And he was funny. Dark, mordant, doomed. We were funny, too, in our way, but we were enfants terribles. He was a grownup, a member of our parents' generation, a man who had paid the same dues they had paid, dues we had not paid, but who had reached different conclusions than those in charge of things had reached. And we loved him.

I last saw him a couple of years ago, at Bishop Paul Moore's funeral. All of the clergy processed, long lines of us, two by two, stretching the entire length of the longest cathedral in the world as we made our stately way up the center aisle.

Vonnegut had an aisle seat, and I caught his eye as I approached. I was a little shocked to see him there, but there was no reason, really, for
my surprise. They were two of a kind, the two old men, the two veterans, the two anti-war warhorses, and they were friends. I put my hand over my heart and bowed a bit as I passed him, and he nodded and smiled a little. A moment of memory and admiration that he must have received thousands of times from people my age. You helped raise me, I told him silently as I looked into his beautiful fierce sad eyes, thanks and thanks.

They said on the radio that he had fallen and hit his head a short while ago. I hadn't heard. And now he has come unstuck in time, as we all actually are. Only we don't know it. So it goes.
+
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  


Copyright © 2003-2018 Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.

2003-2004 Golden Web Awards Winner     2003-2004 Level 2 Diamond Web Award Winner     WorldWebWebAwards.net Humanitarian Award Winner     2004 WebAward Winner for Standard of Excellence