Sunday, December 5, 2010
Nature abhors a vacuum
Holocaust: 1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, esp. by fire. 2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering
I love the WWII memorial on the National Mall. Should say: I don't love the design; strangely someone decided to make it look like fascist architecture (what was THAT about?) But I do love the energy of that place. I love the pool and fountain, the arch of moving water at the center of the pool, and the way the memorial is placed between the Lincoln and the Washington monuments. On the mall itself, the WWII memorial is the only location where moving water can be found. It's a lovely, refreshing place to stop in the summer.
The WWII vets are great, too. They're old - they are SO old these days, but they're always cheerful, well groomed and have a peacefulness about them that I find interesting. WWII is the war it was OK to engage in. The lines of darkness and light were very clearly drawn, such a different energy than every war since then, and certainly different than the wars that preceeded it. I mean, WWI? Please explain. I've read a lot about it, but I still don't understand what happened. All I know is, it was a terrible war, terrible.
Certainly the way we welcomed the vets back from WWII, as heroes who slew the evil dragon of fascism, compared to the way we snubbed the vets returning from Vietnam, says a lot. Oh yeah.
WWII vets at the memorial. I took this last summer.
WWII was a holocaust. We fought against, but were also involved in the destructive side of that dark storm. We placed Japanese Americans in concentration camps. At the end of the war, we upped the fiery destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by burning millions all at once with those terrible bombs. How about the bombing of Dresden? (Thanks, Kurt, for Slaughterhouse Five.) I could go on, but you get the picture.
There were a whole lot of burnt offerings in WWII. It was an awful war, even if a just war.
Right now I'm entertaining the notion that the baby boom was, energetically, a response to all the souls who who were killed in the war: in the camps, on the battlefields, in European cities, on the sea, and in Japan, too. Is it really any wonder that after the war, here in America, all we wanted to do was hole up in our suburban homes, make babies and cookies and align ourselves with a status quo of peace, safety and balance?
If we baby boomers hold, in any way you want to look at it, the energy of those killed in WWII, well ... wow. Our lifespans have included so much (at least here in the U.S.) We've known luxury and pampering, revolution, our consciousnesses have been raised again and again. I often say how grateful I am to have lived at this moment in history, raised in the post WWII American lap of luxury, coming of age in the late 1960's, still healthy and vital now at the launch of the 21st century.
I have a lot more to say about this, but this is more than enough for now. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Help me out, smart people. What do you think?