Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Jennie-o of Procrastinating Donkey participates in Poetry Monday. She and her poetry pals choose a topic each week. This week's topic is writing. I hope you'll visit Jenny-o to read her poem and enjoy the funnies she posts.
I have shared a poem on Poetry Monday once or twice. I am too tired to try to come up with a poem (Did you notice to try to? To try and is incorrect.). Jenny-o took writing and managed to come up with a poem about handwriting. I want to take the topic in another direction, so my not-a-poem is writing, as in writing words that we read. For some reason, after copying and pasting ANOTHER SPACE, ANOTHER PLACE, I could not find it again (I'm holding my eyes open with toothpicks); therefore, I can't tell you when I wrote it. Probably during 2010.
If you're very kind, perhaps you will think that my writing is lyrical enough to be a type of poetry. Here's ANOTHER SPACE, ANOTHER PLACE:
Recently I was standing on line in a coffee shop behind a lovely young man in the uniform of the United States Army. He turned and asked me how I was, and I replied that all was well, so I in turn asked how he was.
He said, "It's always a good day when I'm not in Afghanistan or Iraq."
We chatted for awhile about the military and my own family history with members of the armed forces. Then I told him about my parents' trip to Hawaii and their visit to the USS Arizona Memorial.
My mother told me that soon after they arrived at the memorial, my father became extremely upset over the Japanese tourists smiling and laughing and taking pictures and they had to leave.
The young man told me that when you visit that memorial, it's an awe inspiring experience, that you're surrounded by a special feeling.
I brought up the Vietnam Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. He said, Yes, it's like that.
Every time I've been to The Wall, at least one veteran in uniform has been leaning against it, sobbing. When you visit The Wall, you're in Another Space, Another Place. It's a holy feeling. It surrounds you the moment you come close to The Wall.
I recommend reading "My Losing Season" by Pat Conroy. The entire book is excellent, but I am especially moved by his description of his visits to The Wall.
Quite a few years ago, my husband and middle-school aged child and I went to Washington, D.C. for an art exhibit. We couldn't get in. We got within six people of the door and that was it - everybody who was getting in for the day was in. I'm glad we did not make the cut because when we returned a few weeks later and were among the first six admitted, I learned that the last people to get inside had to stand on line for hours before actually getting into the exhibit.
So there we were in lovely D.C., and what to do for the day. Said Child wanted to visit the Holocaust Museum. I did not want to go. I have seen enough images of the Holocaust and they frighten me.
Said Child really wanted to go, and I gave in. It's important for us to teach our children about the Holocaust, about Cambodia and Pol Pot, about genocide everywhere.
We went in the museum and I found it to be awe-inspiring. It is beautiful in a way that defies my feeble words.
The most amazing moment of the visit for me came when we entered an area with some actual wooden bunks from Auschwitz. Once upon a time, real people, barely surviving human beings, were packed into those bunks to sleep.
A Woman was leaning against one of the bunks, crying and patting the wood. A tour guide? security person? told her, Ma'am, You can't touch those.
She said in her heavily accented English, You don't understand. I used to sleep in these.
We were in Another Space, Another Place.
For a fleeting second, I was with her in Auschwitz.
My husband left me many, many times, but he always came back. And every time he left, a little more of me died.
Finally, he left me for another woman. I went into shock. I was in Another Space, Another Place, and it wasn't good. It wasn't solemn and holy. It was terrifying and sickening.
He came back, but nothing could ever be right again. I was a fool to take him back, but he was sick and I was in it For Better or For Worse. I'm glad he finally left for good.
Now I'm in a safe space, a safe place. Away from him.
Infinities of love,