Musings and noodlings noted while relaxing over a cup of tea and waiting . . . .
Got a surprise today, one that shouldn’t have been a surprise, I guess, if I was as much a student of history as I like to think myself sometimes. Today, by some counts, is the 39th anniversary of the “End” of the Vietnam War. That is, April 30, 1975 was the Fall of Saigon, which I guess was different from the pull out of American troops and the end of U.S. involvement, or something. I guess facts like that remind me how history class always seemed to dribble out sometime after the end of World War II . . . and there was this guy JFK who was shot, and then so was his brother, and then the other brother we can’t tell you about because you’re kids, and then in the 1970s there was an energy crisis and the Vietnam War ended then the Japanese started selling these tiny little cars and people bought them. OK.
Which is all part of that imaginary “Before World” that I really don’t understand and I’m not sure I want to. The World of segregated everything and it was OK, the World where the Bachelors program my mother wanted accepted 90 percent men and 10 percent women and that was OK because women got married (uh, and who are they marrying?).
Change is hard, that is true. Deliberative change is harder? The illusion, at least, of option? I guess if 1964 was option, 1967 was, no, not really. Hmmmm . . . . Of course, now I bring up “the thing that shall never be discussed” which was always interesting in DC, living 30, 40 years on from the riots in the shadows of the burned out shells that were once neighborhoods, and finally are again.
I guess change just keeps coming, what is progress, what is regress, what is zero sum? Hard to tell. History is a story told with a Cracked Rear View, so hard to say—that which is viewed dispassionately by generations too young to have known or remember, engenders a fresh searing pain on the soul of those who lived it. Generations too young learn to keep silent, we know nothing of what “came before” what was lost and what was gained. True dat. What we see is that while Time and a Nation inevitably move on, some People live in that Moment, or perhaps the moment just before, forgetting by pretending it hasn’t arrived yet, hoping they can forstall everything that comes after. (And here’s me what I always am, saying the thing no one wants to hear, even if maybe it is good for us all.)
Our age, our time, Rodney King “why can’t we all just get along?” Why can’t we all just get along? Ah, well, our own Camelot, perhaps imagination of its own, perhaps a memory of that which is lost to the mists of smoke curling and swirling around the remains and the shadow of Two Towers that disappeared before most of us realized what happened.
To That Which Came Before and All the Good Things Yet to Come.