Thursday, February 26, 2009

My friend Nick is now home. He has been for a while actually, and is settling in again. He and I spoke often for the short period we were here together (although far enough apart that we never saw one another) about our plans and lives and thoughts. I wrote him recently and one of the things he said stuck. He said he missed the simplicity here.

I was thinking the same thing this morning, that I am, in some ways, blessed that for a year, I get the chance to lead a life most people will not. Unencumbered by fashion, traffic, bills, fast-food, MTV, radios, muzak etc. etc. etc. All those things that make you feel like you're living but which dominate your life to the point you want to escape them but didn't even know that's what you wanted until're in Iraq...and it's quiet at night. And you wake up to the sound of...nothing. And you don't know what time it is or what day it is, but it's OK because it doesn't matter.

I've read a lot here; books Tim sent me, or stacks of magazines from Patrick and Valeria, and letters and postcards from home. I had an English teacher who told me once that "good writing was good thinking" and, while I believed him then, I am now hoping that good writing can inspire good thinking, because I've had the chance to experience, through reading, some of the most beautiful things over here that I otherwise would not have.

I still worry, even removed by half a world from family, one cannot stop worrying about them, or (lest I lie through omission) about myself. I don't know how bad this financial crisis will get or what I'll do when I get out of the Army. I read some things from Peggy Noonan (who I encourage everyone to read) talking about life and moving forward and maintaining optimism. She wrote that some people moved in with their families and that doesn't seem to bad to me at all. Maybe the day is coming again when families didn't split apart, when I can see my sisters daily and have meals with them more regularly than I do meals wrapped in waxed-paper sitting in my car.

I realize I'm rambling now and I apologize. I don't get online as often as I'd like, at least, not with the time or inclination to write.

Lastly, thanks to whomever left that last comment. It was an interesting article. Hopefully once this is all over, I'll have more time to reflect upon what being a Lieutenant in Iraq "means". I'm not sure if it's just a foible of my personality that I tend to downplay whatever it is I do, but when I read of other Lieutenants, I can't help but feel I should be doing more. But, again...I still have nine months to do amazing things, so we'll see...


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