War took my father away from me.
I have no intrinsic concept of what it is like to have a father. That essential "core". An image of myself to "look up to", "look across to", or even "look down on" if need be. No "teachings" that are built into the psyche from year 1-5 that one can either build on or reject. No-one to "test myself against". No image of an "older me" twenty or thirty years on to work toward or away from. I have no training in "happy families". I was married, once, a long time ago - and have a son. Was a bit of a failure at that, also.
Intellectually, I can "choose" a model to follow, but find that that model fades, and I choose another one. I have to make up each day as I go along. I am intrigued by those who operate, rightly or wrongly, from "rock solid faith". Some people turn to "religion", will write a post about that, later. Emotionally, I seem to be stuck as a rather bewildered 5 year old, though my father died when I was 6 months old. My mother remarried when I was 5, but my stepfather, while essentially good hearted, was a simple, uneducated, mostly inarticulate farmer. I have no clear image of him, either.
From 5 to 14 I lived on a farm, No brothers, no sisters, no constant social interaction. I often wonder whether I would have had siblings if my father had returned, and what it would be like. When not at school, spent most of my time wandering the scrub with a gun and a dog.
(An aside. I KNOW what guns can do. One day, about age twelve, was walking home with a slug gun under arm. A sparrow landed on a nearby chickenwire fence, belly toward me. I shot it. It fell, feathers fluffed. I went and picked it up, still alive, black beady eyes accusing. I took it home, gently extracted the pellet, sewed it up and kept it in a shoebox near the stove. Three days later, it died. I have never shot and killed anything since.).
At 14 I was sent to boarding school in the city. There I learnt what I would call "social veneer". Have always felt - while not exactly "alienated" - more or less "disassociated" from other human beings.
Technically, am an alcoholic. Not one of those who wake each morning with the shivers, shakes and fighting pink elephants - can potter along for 8-12 weeks without even thinking about it .. buuut .. one drink.. and it's all over red rover.. for a day or two anyway, then have to drag myself out of a very black hole toward some semblance of sanity, try to find the "self destruct" button and turn it off. And why do I "pick up" again? War. Despair. I often feel as if my life ended in 1945. Reminders of the hole in my soul.
Happens mostly around Anzac days, or recently, "celebrations" over the end of the "War to end all wars" (that was a bit of a misnomer, these days). I see the old diggers marching along the street and, well.. I haven't got one. I cannot celebrate, only mourn. My "old digger" marches only as a ghost. 60 years on, my only image of him is a two dimensional black and white photograph. And I weep, and wonder about a human race that continues to use military means to solve problems.
While I can take some comfort in the fact that MY father died in 1945 while fending off a VERY REAL, very CLEAR, and very PRESENT DANGER, backed and supported by an entire continent - it really IS beyond my comprehension to see a nation like America, theoretically with everything going for it, attack, and invade another Nation with so little provocation. KNOWING that it would involve many deaths, much destruction. In the name of "freedom"? Democracy? Anyone with any literacy that can read a modicum of Middle Eastern history would know that "democracy" is an alien notion.
I don't really know what it is like to live in America, but from a distance, from my perspective, The Nation of AMERICA IS A LONG, LONG WAY FROM BEING A "PARAGON OF VIRTUE".
Look inwards, Mr. president, solve Americas problems first.
I too, would like to ask "Why, Mr. president, Why?"
(actually, I can read, and do know "why", and it sickens me. For a perspective leading into Australian politics, read