Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Haunted by History: A Floral Cure

Yesterday before spin class, we were talking about Russia and the commercial airliner shot down over Ukraine.  I said to the spin instructor, "You should have brought that 80's CD; it could have been the Return to the Cold War ride."

We're all older, so we laughed.  But I've been thinking about the similarities.  I remember in 1983 when the USSR shot down a Korean plane.  I remember the escalation of tensions; it felt like we all held our breath to see what would happen.

It seemed we all held our breath a lot during much of the 1980's.

I think of the flare-up of tensions between Israel and Palestinians; it's happening now, and it was happening then.  I think of Syria melting down into an unrecognizable state--lots of Cold War parallels there.

Lots of people wring their hands and insist that times are worse now.  That's both true and not true.  As a reader of history, I do know how quickly these flare-ups can turn into conflagrations that consume a whole generation (see World War I, World War II).  I feel edgy for that reason.

Maybe I should adopt Rachel's solution of being careful about exposure to news and social media; before she decided to take a break from the Internet, she wrote this wonderful post.

I like Beth's approach to this tension in this blog post.  I like the posting of picture of a bouquet of flowers, the acknowledgement that we will always be mourning the lost.  She gives us a quote from an ancient text:

And some there be, which have no memorial;
who are perished as though they had never been...
Ecclesiasticus 44:9

I like that she gives us beauty with the sorrow. 

And so, I, too shall post some pictures.

I don't have any bouquets, but I have seen beautiful flowers lately. 

These flowers are from our time in Maryland, at a marina in Deale.

I'm amazed that the marina takes the time to plant such lovely gardens at a facility whose sole purpose is to exist so that boats can leave.

Of course those boats do come back.  The flowers make it feel like a home, or the home I like to think I would have, if I had time to tend extensive gardens on a huge plot of land.

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