As Memorial Day comes to a close, may we all bring to mind and send blessings to all the folks who returned from war with their souls wringing from the horrors of what they had seen, and what they had to do, living with that trauma and those nightmares, and too often dying from them. I think this suffering is actually an expression of a healthy mind-soul, healthy enough to know recognize horror as horror. It doesn't mean a person is "sick" or "crazy" or "broken", I think it means they're healthy and in extraordinary pain. You can read one such horrifying reflection at https://gawker.com/i-am-sorry-that-it-has-come-to-this-a-so… Wh3ile a little over 5,000 American soldiers have died in combat since 9/11, over 130,000 (you read that right, over one hundred and thirty thousand) have died as a consequence of trying to live with what they had seen and done, and not enough support to help them make it through. We call it suicide, but I don't think that term is sufficient. Suicide is just a symptom, and their attempt to cope with a much bigger dysfunction in our world.
I'll close with the poem/prayer I offered at Pine Hill Cemetery earlier today, by the Jewish artist, poet, writer Judy Chicago, speaking of a vision for a better world:
"And then all that has divided us will merge And then compassion will be wedded to power And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle And then both women and men will be strong And then no person will be subject to another's will
And then all will be rich and free and varied And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
And then all will share equally in the Earth's abundance
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old
And then all will nourish the young And then all will cherish life's creatures
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again"
- Judy Chicago, 1979. www.judychicago.com