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lordpeter (profile) wrote,
on 5-14-2008 at 8:47pm
I really wish this school year was over. I'm not feeling any inclination to "go out with a bang" or "finish strong;" actually, I feel like skimming across oceans of knowledge on a slimy film of apathy. My two AP courses are, for all purposes, completed for the year and as far as I can tell the only thing left to do in Drama is perform our monologues...but I really don't want to do that. Band will feel done after the collage concert, and the Monday following that will be the last Jazz Band class for several months. Ironically, it seems as though everything but Brit Lit is winding down - which is really funny because that class used to be the last Bastion of Goofing Off in the school, but Mrs. Olsen wants us all to finish A Tale of Two Cities by the end of next week. I am...56 pages into it. I just took a pleasant bath and read half of that and find Dickens to be an honestly fun author, a conclusion I think I only can reach when I escape the distractions of my classmates. Quiz on characters tomorrow. Yeah, I'm screwed.

Mr. Norkus is fulfilling the American History teacher's role of exposing us all to the theories as to the cause and means of the assassination of JFK. Right now we're watching a documentary that Peter Jenning's and ABC pieced together - good stuff, if a little biased against all conspiracy theories.

Kennedy is someone I have been dwelling on a lot lately. I've never been one to dwell in the past feeling that if I were to project myself anywhere it should be in an entirely limitless fictional domain, but almost once a day I find myself wishing that Kennedy hadn't been assassinated. I really wish my generation could find a sense of compassion and even love for their political leaders like the nation had for Kennedy. Its a depressing thing to listen to the totalitarian bigotry we as constituents preach against all politicians as a result of the secrecy about Watergate and the state of the Vietnam War.

Another thing. I don't like that word assassinate...its like political figures have to trade their humanity in exchange for the power to lead us. President Kennedy was murdered. Say that out loud. Then say President Kennedy was assassinated. There is a vast difference - at least to me there is. When I say he was murdered my mind thinks of the fatherless children, the husbandless wife, and the unfulfilled dreams of a man who was ripped away from an unfinished life. To say he was assassinated conjures the image of a leaderless nation, something that does less to evoke sadness within me.

There's a poem someone wrote...I don't know the author, but I've been working on putting it to music. Anyway, I like it a lot:

Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven
Five thousand plus arrive in Heaven,
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait

A bearded man with a stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Let's sit and chat"
They settle down in seats of clouds
A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green they say
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear--"
And a Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us, sir, we've passed that test."

"Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom in a grave."
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A Yankee twang from Hyannis shore.

A silence fell within the midst
And somehow a Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the four thousand that day.

"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports,
Worked our gardens, sang our songs,
Went to church, walked along.
We smiled and laughed, knew love and hate,
But unlike you, we were not great."

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that.
Look at your country, look and see--
You died for freedom, just like me."

Then before them appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke, and dust
And people working because they must.
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee-deep in hell, but not alone.

"Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman,
Side by side helping their fellow man!"
So said Martin, as he watched the scene.
Then: "Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."

And down below three firemen raised
The colors high in the ashen haze.
The soldiers above had seen it before--
On Iwo Jima in '44.

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow--but I don't see fear.

You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons, and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong.
But look very closely: You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one."

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said,
"Take my hand," and from there he led
Four thousand Newcomers on into heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven.
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