There’s a school of thought that says you throw your desires into the universe — when you do, the universe gifts you. How? That I’m not too sure about, yet why not try….
As many of you know, I’m working on a book about the 75th reunion at Gettysburg. I have file cabinets full of information, and yet I would love to have more eyewitness accounts. Listening, universe? It does work — I promise, over the past 6 months, I’ve had several incredible interviews and some astonishing data fall into my hands.
My latest “out of the blue” stroke of history bliss came earlier this week. There was a thick, bulky letter in Thursday’s mail. Inside was a letter from a gentleman who had attended the 1938 reunion as a child. He had heard Chris speak some months ago and my research had come up. This very kind man sent me an account of his experiences in the town — and copies of himself as a 9-year old attending the dedication of the Eternal Light of Peace Memorial. There was one shot looking at the monument just as it was unveiled….
Normally, here is where I would break into a chorus of “hey nonny nonny,” and do the verbal (OK, and sometimes actual) happy history dance that I can’t seem to break the habit of doing — but I have to throw in a gigantic caveat and WTF at the universe. At probably the same moment, I was reveling in this addition to my research — NPS employees were discovering that someone had vandalized the Eternal Peace Light.
Why someone would feel the need to spray paint obscenities on a marker to peace? The park service hopes to be able to clean it, although the temperatures may make it a little more dicey. I cried — does that seem ridiculous? For the past 3 years, I have spent hours reading about it, taking pictures of it and just going there to write.
I know that not everyone loves Soviet Constructionist architecture, but it rocked the ’30s. So, it could be some radical neo-classicist? Some anti-peace protester? Do they make those? Someone with a grudge against history? OK, I know lots of people in that category….
The last paragraph is a little flip, I know. But, my sorrow/distress/anger won’t fix the monument. And while I would love to know why anyone would do such an appalling thing — I am rather a militant pacifist, so I’m trying to cool the red blaze I experienced in those first hours after I heard.
So I guess the universe rolls — gifts and bricks, each offering their own lessons…….
life songs: Dream (Alice Smith); Step out of the Shade (Amy Speace); Tonight (the Afters); Luck of the Draw (Bonnie Raitt); Strawberry Wine (Deana Carter); I Take My Chances (Mary Chapin Carpenter — I had some friends back in NC who swore this was about me — there’s a chorus about CNN, in her live version she throws away the cigarettes, good call); That Lucky Old Sun (I love the WWII versions, but Kenny Chesney’s duet with Willie Nelson is awesome); It Happens (Sugarland); Four Leaf Clover (Abra Moore); Come Rain or Come Shine (Alison Eastwood, Clint’s daughter); Circle of Life (Colin Raye has a version of this Disney classic in which he blends it with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”– so cool); The Lucky One (Alison Krauss); Pony (Erin McCarley); The Winner Takes it All (ABBA); Lucky Lips (Ruth Brown); Black Coffee in Bed (Marti Jones); Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight (Amos Lee); Someday, Somehow (the Subdudes); These are Days (10,000 Maniacs); Hole in My Life (the Police — love the new concert album!!); Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan); and Walk of Life (Dire Straits)
Everything is hitched to everything else. –> John Muir