I have always felt that I wore a different guise, a different gender across many generations. I cannot express exactly why. I feel pleasure at the music of the 40’s, sense the logic in the dynamics of flight, my soul spins at the sound of bagpipes, and I can recall – if dimly – the preternatural senses of both the hunter and the hunted. Too, tactics seem to me quite basic and generally easy to manage. And the smell of cordite and gun cleaning fluid? Mmmm…Many things come to me in a deep place as very familiar. It would be easy to give it a name. But I think it far more profound than just…lives lived.
So it is that there are some things that disturb me in that same deep place. There are films I cannot watch. I have yet to view Black Hawk Down – I sense that it would change me, that it would ache inside. Especially since it has a very deep and personal meaning for Trooper who was…familiar with the whole matter. How he has watched it I do not know…
We did watch We Were Soldiers, a movie mentioned here recently. Very moving…and, again, something a bit close to Trooper who has a penchant for meeting people associated with such events. (Frankly, he has that weird six degrees of separation thing for a rather large number of important and interesting people.)
And then there is the fascinating account from Michael Yon in his Gates of Fire piece. (Which, rumor has it, is ripe for movie-making, also.)
Ah, and let us not forget Gladiator…how I cried in those opening moments, his clean hands and spotless gauntlet giving away the ending.
Just today the National Guard – and some Troopers, yes – were headed east. At least the Guard was doing what it was intended for, bless them. But I do worry for what might be…
No, I cannot escape that strange echo of the past. So I try to lean in, to hear it more clearly. And to remember that nothing we have now is guaranteed to last. None of it. Not even sunrise. And so many have died trying to have it for themselves.
“So this is our story, for we were soldiers once, and young.”