Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Regular, Collective Suspension of Civilization
Every year at this time I end up in tears. The sorrow inside me at the regular, collective suspension of civilization that we do, is a thread that weaves through all my passions.
I've been thinking of the solders in war now, and the stories of past wars. I have never been in war but I have a feeling that in past life I was there. WW l history brings that out in me particularly.
I used to believe that somehow we are hard-wired through DNA to remember the wars that our fore-bearers fought. It might be true, but more important I think now are the art we make, the novels we write and the stories our families tell.
Canadians Landing at Normandy, WW ll.
Photo taken from a special link filled CBC page - a reprint of the days media in 1944.
When I'm studying the theory of war or reading the stories written by those who need to heal, a tingling swirls around me, and water comes to my eye. For a moment I feel like I was there with the writers; amide unspeakable carnage with Tolkien, on the bloodied beaches with Wyndham, witnessing the horror at Dresden with Kurt Vonnegut, at Passchendaele with Michael Dunne.
J. R. R. Tolkien author of The Lord of the Rings, veteran of the Battle of the Somme, July 1916.
John Wyndham author of The Chrysalids worked in the signal corp. during Normandy Landings WW ll.
Kurt Vonnegut was a veteran of WW ll and a prisoner of war at Dresden when it was razed by Allied firebombing in 1945. He spent ten years writing Slaughterhouse Five after the war. (Google Books)
Michael Dunne, veteran of WW l at Ypres; while not a writer - the grandfather of writer, director, actor and film maker Paul Gross, producer of 'Passchendaele'.
Lower photos are taken from the sites linked.
The Somme July 1, 1916.
Dresden March 1945.
Ypres July 31, 1916.
Youtube has Paul Gross's Passchendaele up (for Rememberance Day?)
Watched it for the first time today. Best war film I have ever seen.
Poppy GIF image from Google. thx.