Memorializing Memorial Day

As I sit here this Memorial Day enjoying a random cold attack from leaving the AC on with an impending storm, I think about my freedom. I do this on not memorial days too. Maybe it is living right by the base. Maybe it is this house’s history seeping in to my pores. Though I lived in other places and thought this too. I know despite all the crap and bad stuff in my life I was lucky to be born in the US. There are some real advantages.

I think of the soldiers I have met, the ones who came home a bit different, the ones I met after they had already been through the wringer with and without PTSD, the children who want to go and be in service when they are old enough. I think of my baby brother who is enlisted and I have no idea where he is.

I try to thank the soldier’s I see any time I see them. Just a nod that they made a choice to protect people. if their orders are otherwise that is not entirely on them and I am glad I live in this country. I am glad I live in a house that is affordable enough that I am not going to be homeless, even if the politicians sure make that difficult. This house would not exist without soldiers. It was built in World War Two for extra housing for Officers. It was used for them to allow planning of a fight for freedom for billions of people against horrible forces and to stop the Holocaust.

It still is beautiful. I live where the top brass of our local Base stayed. My own home has a nice yard, and a tree planted back then. It was one of the “nicer” square identical cubes. I would have no home literally without military.

I cannot say Happy Memorial Day, because i think it should be a somewhat pensive and introverted one. I think we should see our connections to each other. War is crap, but I know it is not going away in my life time. Having a chance at survival in the myriad of ways listed and not however, is one of the many reasons I am glad that my country has enough soldiers to keep me safe.

There are so many political things I am not saying here, because they are not what this day is about. TOmorrow I will go back to fighting against those politics. Right now? I am going to think about all of the people I know who did amazing things. THis is not just the default male archetype, but the women I know who worked in Factories and even as nurses in various wars. Who defended the home while the men went off to fight.

So it is Memorial Day. The world as we know it, imperfect as it is, is shaped in vast and innumerable ways by the willingness of people to fight to protect their territory, their loved ones, and even strangers of all walks of life.

The Art of Happiness and Reflection and Mother

Sometimes I am not sure what makes our brains do what they do, though given that science is not either I suppose getting it at all puts me a step ahead. I am adjusting to this happiness thing. Its an omnipresent pleasant sensation that has no real sensory equal. I like it a great deal, and am often just sitting in the moment and feeling that purr deep in the space between mind and body. I am also reflecting a lot on my past. It is not painful, and if it feels so I stop. It is different than when my brain screams to understand something but is more a cataloging of how I achieved my joy.

When I can I do this by looking at pictures. I am not posting them here because mostly I do not want to look at them again. I look back and see a twisted body, heart, and mind. I see in the pictures my pain, and remember just how I got into that tight spot. Then I put them away and look at the reality. My body is not better off but it is stable again. My competent doctor, I will always revel in having a competent doctor, has helped in such astounding ways. The simple gesture of trying medicines in a different family that I am not allergic to unlocked a door for me. Its such a simple concept and it does mean malpractice on all fronts. It was never a lack of medication options but a lack of damns given.

I find my mind is not quieter despite being happy. It babbles on and on, noticing everything and pushing on to seek and discover about itself, about the world. I am so different every day than who i was before, and I cannot help but embrace that. A year ago I would have never admitted to anyone that I do not read DC comics anymore. I am still the biggest bat fan… except that I am also not unaware of the serious issues with in he DC Universe. Batman, my childhood hero, beats on people like me. The different of mind. Batman uses his money, whiteness, and power to get away with what could be literal murder in many cases.

I suppose I lost my hero in my reflections, but it is also a case of not needing him to be a hero. I still drown myself in Bat things for the pleasure of it, without the hidden hook of needing a hero. I no longer want a real Batman to swoop into my personal gotham and wreak havoc for the villains. I did that for myself. I no longer need rescuing and my world is no longer so dark that the slighest thing will bump me over into no return. It is not a world without sun, except that I still never open my curtains. It just isn’t the same.

Mother’s Day is coming, and this year it is not an agony for me either. It was not last year but that was the first time. Cutting my mother out of my life made this weekend less painful. There are some slight twinges in that I am not there for my siblings but I do not think they need me to be so much so. They are adults now and able to choose to be free of Mother’s clutches. I am taking quiet time, not to reflect but simply because I do not want to hear all the cacaphony of both joyous and obligatory Mother Stuff. I feel left out that I do not get to celebrate with my mother this way.

I am a motherless child. I am a fatherless child. I am a child of the world. Raised by the village. Given strength by the village. I know in that aspect I am not left out but a conglomeration of the best of every woman I know became mother, same with every man I know becoming father in some aspects. It all is simple and direct yet I still am reflecting. Instead of taking part in the shouting from the rooftops or hiding from the idea of what Mother used to be I am going to just reflect.

I am going to reflect on the women who I know who are amazing mothers. Some are also amazing fathers. I am going to reflect on how they changed me for the better. The idea of a good parent is still one I sometimes struggle with. The concept of loving arms gently wrapped around me is no longer a terrifying nightmare because it is unheard of to my mind, it is just an option I am less familiar with. I think of all those mothers and I will reflect on the gifts of seeing them for what they are. The best mothers are guides, and I know many people who are guides.

In achieving my own omnipresent joy I can see the strands of time and people in my life and I can see that while my own parents never parented, I was saved from being so like them by countless good mothers. The strangers who could not ignore the abuse and said something. The people who clothed us, fed us, and sometimes just offered a space where the sensory depravity of the world did not drown us. My opportunities were rare, but each one was a glimmer in the night sky. Not a signal like the Bat signal I hoped for but something much more durable. Stars, twinkling into the darkness I thought an oblivion. House lights in windows showing me there was civilization beyond what I thought was the entire world.

The world is so much larger than I knew. There is so much joy to explore. There is so much joy I was given and so much I want to share.

I know that not every person who reads this will understand why someone who knew both biological parents could be orphaned at birth in the mental sense. The idea that all parents are good is their default. TO that person I say, you are more than lucky and perhaps you will be someone’s star.

So I will reflect now, in my sea and perhaps the world will only be brighter for a reflection of a light brightens it. I am the sea of stars, each one illuminating a choice, a chance, a path that lead me to being not just who I am today but a person who could survive without hate. I understand the village now, and it is in my freedoms to know that I am there, and maybe I will be someone else’s star.

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