Posts tagged: war

WAR AND PEACE

EXPLODING BALL OF FIRE

 

 

War

 

At night I lay me down to sleep

 The pillow soft beneath my cheek 

                                                         

I snuggle warm into my bed

             I try not to think

                                                            Try not to weep

                                          For all those who cannot sleep

 

air born drones

 Who fear the drones overhead

The terror across the

   World we spread

                     In the guise of peace.

 

   War on terror is

     What we claim

drone button

     Killing by another name

Disguising greed.

We’re all insane

To believe.

 

          It started in the

            Very beginning

          Cane and Able

Cane killing able

             Doing the killing.

          God overlooked

             This genetic flaw

          Looked at his creation

             With awe…

           Said that it was good.

 

 

Cannot he look atrose heart

Us and see

That peaceful and

Loving we will not be?

 

 

 

 

     The killing gene…

 

         Sticks and stones                       caveman with club

      Broke our bones

            Then came

      Bows and arrows.

odysseus

 

Out came the knives

The blood flows

hand knife

 

Insanity grows

tough-guy-pilgrim-gun-hat-graphic-27133219Gunpowder was

Invented.

 

           Then we flew like birds

            Peace just a word.

          On the black– winged crows                  Black-Hawk-Bombing-Run-(Dropping-Bombs)

                  The killing grows

               Bombs blowing us away.

 

 

The mushroom cloud

nuclear-bomb-explosion

Silenced the crowd

With threats of annihilation

Man thought a while

Then began to smile.

 

 

          The Gods–yours and mine

               Were at fault

          From the beginning.

God

           They gave us a gene

              That was obscene…

           All about winning.

 

 

 

Our children will continue

The fight

woman gunWomen joining

For might makes right…

Not a word about sinning.

 

 

 

 

 

          You wonder why

             I cannot sleep?

          You wonder why

               It is I weep?

 

Is God so  blind

He cannot see

What a mess

He’s made of me.

Freedom

 

          Or is it just evolution

               Our destroying,

         Our pollution?  It seems

               To me that  God is sleeping

         Doesn’t hear my cry, my weeping.

 

Cannot see that all

Mankind

is and alwaysfaith hope and love

Will be blind

To LOVE  being the answer.

 

 

 

    Fear is the cancer gene.

            Is life becoming obscene?

                    Yet we cling.

bird at sunset Jodi

And for just a moment

As the sun goes down

The din quiets

I look around.

          The birds settle into

             Their nests

                                                 He holds his child

To his breastman embracing child

 

 

 Sea and birds Jodi

 The waves murmur

            Against the shore

And I dream

It’s just an illusion

This thing called war.

 

 

peace birdPEACE

 

          All is quiet, the night clings

             I arise…quiet breathing

                    As he sleeps.

         The floor boards creak.

I click a switchAnimated-fire-1-lighting-stuff-on-fire-973753_650_520

The fireplace burns,

No wood to chop

Or carry in,

No lamp to light

                                                            Stop worrying.

 

           A fireman rescues

              A cat in a tree

Fireman cat tree 2

         I look for my glasses

             So I can seesunburst-dandelion_2568286

        The sun’s soft glow.

            Another day.

       The waves wrinkle

           Across the bay,

 

waves on Bay

 

Trees hushed  awaiting

The sun’s first ray.rising sun tree

The birds return,

            Feed along the shore,

birds on shore                                      The coffee perks

                                       The dog snores.

 

          The paper lies outside the door.

The headlines?

WAR!  WAR!

    EVERMORE.

LIFE, WHAT’S THE POINT?

 

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SL_Us5crR6k/Td_rWoly3SI/AAAAAAAAAMo/kVOVOUyBVLM/s1600/sunrise+%25282%2529.jpg

I LOVE MYSELF, I LOVE MY SOUL

I TOOK MYSELF TO THE PICTURE SHOW

I PUT MY ARMS AROUND MY WAIST,

I GOT SO FRESH I SLAPPED MY FACE.

 

WOW!  LIFE IN FOUR LINES:  SELF LOVE, IMMORTALITY, ESCAPE, SEX, VIOLENCE

LIFE: The above little ditty is one that we chanted as kids which made us giggle, little knowing the words described it all. With the passing years each of us experience the pathos, the joy, the pain, mental and physical.  If we are lucky, we enter the “Golden Years.”   Aging is a wonderful thing.  Think of the alternative.  So here I am in the final decade of my life (according to statistics) still asking the same questions that I started asking when I finally got old enough to realize that I was not the center of creation and some very unpleasant things were happening to me. I wanted to know WHY?    Why me?  Well, let me tell you, all through my life I’ve had this ugly turkey buzzard sitting on my shoulder that squawks at me things like,WHY NOT?”  Or if I start to criticize my friends or husband it pipes up with, AND YOU’RE SO PERFECT!”  No sympathy at all.  So my question has turned from, “Why me?” to “What’s the point?”  Life.

CREATION

Cane killing able

Obviously God must have hiccuped, for somehow a “war gene” has slipped into that mud in creation...why else would Cain kill Able?  Why else Genghis Kahn?  Hitler?  And then in our wonderful country, The United States of America,  Democracy” was born and the “common man” rose to power.  Things were going to change–no more corruption, no more wars, no more–ooops. Every man was going to have an equal chance,  one man, one vote–that is if you were white.  The blacks complained.  Oh all right let’s let them vote Women?  Good grief, what do they know?  Recently I complained to my husband about how politics had gone to hell in a hand basket,  Washington was broken,  our wonderful elected officials were on the “dole” from lobbyists working for  big corporations sanctified by “Citizens United” and now we have the best government  money can buy.  Along came Obama and I was proud of us…the distance we have traveled from the Civil War, the Klu Klux Clan…Low and behold, a black man at the helm…but…oh dear.  The Republicans (of which I am a registered member) decided to show that “upstart!  To Hell with the country…they just decided to say “NO!  Blocked him at every turn…breaking the law does not bother them even refusing Obama  his  constitutional right of selecting a #Supreme Court judge for consideration.  And now we are faced with The Donald!   Donald Trump about to win the Republican nomination  to run for President of this great nation which was founded on religious freedom…Donald seems to disagree…Muslim?  Uh Uh…back to your own country.  Mexican?  Immigrant?  Sorry…not enough jobs for you.  Hillary for the Democrats?  “Not a Clinton, not a Bush!”  is my husband’s mantra.  Could a woman do worse?  Baggage…e mails, Benghazi,  but…mostly being female.  We are still waiting to have equal rights…never passed.       

Perhaps my cynicism  comes with age, or is it knowledge?  You know what they say:  “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”  Well, I’m no Whiz Kid but after watching the movie, #The Conspiracy produced by Robert Redford.  I began to realize that our “Land of the Free Home of the Brave”  was not ever what I thought it was.    The ink wasn’t dry on that esteemed document (the Constitution) when #President Lincoln was assassinated.  President Johnson teamed up with Stanton, Secretary of War,  and #Mary Surratt was railroaded to become the first woman ever to be hanged by the U.S. Government.    According to Johnson,  “She feathered the nest that hatched the egg…”  Stanton?  He was convinced that Mary had to hang to “Save the Union.”  This was accomplished by  every conniving act that could be used to railroad Mary who owned the boarding house where John Booth and  her son with others plotted to avenge the South.  She was tried in a military court.  Illegal.  Her appointed lawyer, Aiken,  had no experience.  The last minute attempt to save Mary’s life by Aiken with a writ of #Habeascorpus obtained from Judge Wylie in the middle of the night and presented to President Johnson who overrode its authority and told the court to “proceed” with the execution.

My outrage left me sputtering.  “Ah, just a movie, don’t believe all you see,”  my husband scoffed.   Thus I started a bit of research.  Fact after fact from the movie proved true. The  critics of Conspiracy  found little to criticize regarding the facts presented in Redford’s movie, so  satisfied themselves by pointing to erroneous depiction of superficial details, of lighting, hair styles, beards, etc.

Mary Surratt’s son, the proven spy, was later acquitted (hung jury) when tried by a civilian court.   Today’s politics?  Business as usual which brings me back to my question, “What’s the point?”  Life.

gallows     See full details of Mary Surratt’s trial in the archives of this blog.

My solution?  Turn off the television, delete Twitter, Facebook, all the rest of the social media,  walk the beach and collect my shells.  Quitter?  If you say so, but I have only a few  years left according to the life-expectancy tables, and I would like to spend them with Baby Girl,  my adorable little Shih Tzu that we rescued from the local animal shelter,  and my “forgiving” husband of sixty years.  I’m putting the quest to “know” the unknowable to rest, and plan to stop giving advice to my two sons, their wives and my nine grandchildren!  They  should be so lucky.  I can see their eyes rolling in their heads as I type these words.

#MEDITATION

 

As things go my husband and I have been very healthy, but with age comes the creaking joints, insomnia, skin cancer, prostate problems (him, not me) and since Obama Care you begin to look into health care costs.  You take more vitamins, listen more closely to holistic gurus who tell you that doctors are killing you with all their drugs that come with a list of life-threatening side effects more lethal than the benefits you are seeking.  Their advice:  Send away for their pills, and…maybe,  #Meditate.    

Today even the professional medical people are beginning to agree that there is a connection between healing and meditating.  Of course Big Pharma says it’s all “balderdash”  that all we need to do to stay/get  well is to take a pill.  The surgeons swear by the scalpel,  the religious folk by #prayer.

I first tried meditation some forty years ago.  Paid my $75.  Memorized  my #MANTRA, came home, fixed up my “special place”  in the den near the fireplace, settled my tush into my over–sized pillow, closed my eyes, touched forefinger to thumb, breathed deeply, and began to chant.  I tried to ignore Fred’s (our white, undersized sheep dog) whining.  Continued my chanting.  The whining turned into a nose under my elbow pushing my arm upward.

“Enough, Fred!”  I escorted him from the den into the laundry room, slammed the door and went back to my cushion, resettled  myself and started over.  A few minutes passed before the barking and scratching began.  I tried to shut it out…chanted louder, the barking grew in intensity.  The knot in my gut hardly resembled the peace and tranquility meditation was supposed to create.  I let Fred out of he laundry room.   He came in and settled himself on the rug in front of the fire.

I picked up my cushion, went upstairs to me daughter’s bedroom, climbed up the ladder to the loft, settled in and began to chant, softly this time so not to disturb Fred.  I was really beginning to feel myself relax, going deeper and deeper and then the wine, and the scratching.  I ignored it.  Breathed deeper, chanted louder until I was almost shouting over the whining that had turned to barking.  I crawled over to the edge of the loft and looked down.  There was Fred almost two rungs up the ladder clinging with his front paws.

This is going to work.  I’m sitting in the car in the garage, the temperature outside is 20 degrees.  I’m dressed in my warmest ski jacket, woolen hat, ski gloves.  My breath makes little puffs settling on the windshield, fogging it.  I start my breathing, chanting.  My toes are numb, my nose is dripping and all I can see behind my closed lids is Fred lying on the rug in front of the fire.   My other attempts at meditating over the years  have proved as futile.

Fred "Got it"

Life’s question, “What’s the point?” still echoes.  I’ve taken to reading some of the many miracle cures boasted on the internet.  Self diagnosing.  You’d be surprised at the number of ailments I have discovered.  Like Madigan, our favorite women comedian who doesn’t worry about ghosts, Daracula, or the latest villain, she is horrified by the mole on her wrist that has changed color and increased in size.  Not that is frightening.   I read the various health newsletter with their claims guaranteeing to cure diabetes in two weeks, to end your tinnitus (ringing in the ear) with a simple…I’m really into it, I turn the page.  For $25.00  they will send you the full report.  ‘Miracle Cures ‘ one for every ailment.    My late father-in-law, a doctor,  once told me , “I have never cured anyone,”  I’ve held their hand until they cured themselves.”  Hmmm, I thought.  Could it actually be that simple?

Gary Zukav,  in his best-selling book, #THE SEAT OF THE SOUL, presents an interesting connection between the soul and the personality (ego?).  Refers to our  “Earth School,”  the purpose of our existence, the intangible connections between matter and energy, reincarnation, science and soul, cure and healing.   I, being very simple minded, recall the words to a tune: “..I  whistle a happy tune, and the happiness in that tune, convinces me that I’m not afraid.”    Does it?  

Mind over matter.  Of course, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  Sounds simple enough.  We scoff and go on with our daily trivia that makes up our lives getting  jealous, angry, laughing, crying.  And try as I may, I can’t help myself, the question I swore to give up lingers. “What’s the point?”

“Is this all there is?”  Peggy Lee sings a mournful tune.    The words echo.  Is it enough?  Does there need to be a purpose to life?

“May the Force be with you.”  George W. Lucas, Jr., Star Wars  (the following meditation is taken from the book,  LIFE MEDITATIONS,  by Edward J. Lavin, S.J.

THE SOUL HEALS   and science cures.  This new distinction between #healing and #curing is not so easy to understand, but it is easy enough to experience.  The intricate numbers and endless repetitions of science create giant scalpels and almost magical potions to destroy the dark diseases within us.  A friend of mine has one hundred and fifty stitches in his abdomen to remind him of the skill of the surgeon who removed the cancer there.  He receives a shot every month to prevent any recurrence.  Miraculous!  but there are other things that can only be healed by the warm, powerful energies of his soul. ” INTIMATION OF MORTALITY,”  examinations of life, powerful feelings of loss––all these were made well by the light generated in his soul.   But––and this is the new question––can the light and energy of the soul help in the cure, not just in the healing?  Many medical people think it can.  A loving hand and a balance of the soul can affect the cells of the body.  In many places meditation has become an acceptable and a recommended part of the cure.  

Dictionary:  

CURE: Verb.   To relieve person of the symptoms of a disease…to solve a problem.   Noun:  A solution to a problem,  a treatment that cures a disease.

HEAL: Verb.  to become sound or healthy again.  alleviate…time can heal the pain of grief.  Noun.  The process of making or becoming sound or                                   healthy again.     Such a subtle difference.

PRAYER

praying     When we were children, we prayed as children:  “Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.  They were words.  If we understood them as a child, we may have been so frightened about the chance of dieing in our sleep,  that we wouldn’t ever want to go to sleep.  As our favorite comedian explains about her parents.  “They’re always up.  No matter when, what time I call, one of them is up.  Having trouble sleeping, Mom?” I ask her, “Have you tried medication?”

“Well, now that’s the thing, Kathleen,  you always read of someone dying in their sleep, you never read that they died in their nap.  Your dad and I nap a lot. ”  They finally understood the words. Now, at the ripe old age of almost 80, I pray the same words as when I was a child, “If I should die before I wake…” with my fingers crossed hoping that maybe I’ll be so lucky.

Our family did not practice any one particular religion.  We raised our children simply:  DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.  It seems to me that pretty well covers it.  When our sons married, they each married into religious families; one a very fundamental believers in the Bible and its teachings, the other very devout Catholics.  Each son grew comfortable, even enthusiastic in the religions of their wives.  I smiled at my husband, “What a gift we gave them.”  He looked at me quizzically.  “Just think, no conflict.  They don’t have to ‘give up’ their beliefs.”  Each has learned to pray in the way of their adopted church.  How do we handle our diversity:  One Agnostic (me), one Realist, (Ron) the Catholic family and the Fundamentalist family. We  made a few changes.   When gathered for a meal, the Catholic family say their grace, and we all end with five “Amens” the last one most enthusiastic.  Why five?  For the five great religions.  This way we have all possibilities covered.

I do not make light of Prayer. Our sons, like many people swear by it.  When and how do they pray?  I’m sure I do not understand the intricacies of  the different religions.  I remember I used to envy my Catholic friends with their Rosary.  Seemed it was like a bank book…so many “Hail Mary’s” got you out of hell for lying, cheating, and…well we won’t go into that.  Do you have to belong to church to pray?  Are there certain words, rituals or can we all create our own simple words of thanksgiving, seek intervention, forgiveness, love?  Be Still and Know That I am God.   Are meditation and prayer the same?  An attitude of gratitude has been my mantra.  Is that prayer?  Another prayer familiar to most of us:  The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…wait! Here we go again.   Does that mean I don’t want him to be my shepherd?  Or does that mean because he’s my shepherd I will not ever be without the things I want?  When you learn these words, they are meaningless.  When do we start listening to them?  Analyzing them, agreeing or disagreeing with them?  Belief seems to be the key ingredient.  If you believe strongly enough, so the saying goes, “All things are possible.”  I envy people with that overwhelming faith, a faith that never wavers.  It is not that they are problem free, but they have the courage to deal with adversity, accept what comes their way growing stronger with each challenge relying on the wisdom of the great provider.

Deep9009PRAYER

There are days when I can’t find my card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Annual Physical

MY “WELLNESS” CHECKUPnurse4

I used to refer to this as my “Annual” checkup but since Obama Care…well things are a changing. My appointment is usually the first one: 7:30 AM.  After I have filled out the new form for change of insurance I am greeted by this very smiley nurse waving energetically, “Hi, Pat, how are you?”

“Not bad, Bonnie…”  I’ve been going to the same doctor for almost two decades.  He takes care of me and my husband, my oldest son and his family, and now my grandson and his new wife. I was a little nervous when I first started going to him.  He looked like my youngest son.   He still looks like him but we have all grown old together–my youngest son is now in his fifties.

Bonnie is my “vitals” taker: height, weight, blood pressure, etc.  I always wear my lightest outfit, take off my shoes before climbing on the scale.  OOOPS…three additional pounds which has just thrown me into the “obesity” column since the height measurement shows I’ve shrunk an inch.

doctor with stethoscopeMy doctor  sits on his stool in the corner with my ever–thickening file.  I can tell he hasn’t reviewed it since last year as he thumbs through the pages like a Rolodex file.  Over the years I’ve managed to elicit a few personal facts from him.  He’s married, has two sons, quite different from each other.  He’s trying to teach the oldest one how to drive,  shakes his head.  “Nothing like his younger brother who loves speed.  Not Jerry.  He may well be cited for going too slow–miles under the speed limit,  and I try not to flinch as he crowds the side of the road with the mail boxes.”

I’m surprised with this sharing, usually it’s a one liner:  “Sick of green beans.”  His wife is a gardener.

“Hole in one yet?”  I’ve picked up his style of speech.  He’s a golfer.

“No.  Bad back.”  And that’s it for this visit.

“Hmmm.”  It’s like a soft familiar tune.  “Any complaints?”  He doesn’t look up.

“I think I’m turning into a toad.”  He stops, looking up briefly  to see if I’m serious.

“Why’s that?”  He goes back to my file.

“Well, look at all these warts and brown spots.” I proffer a thick scaly elbow on an arm dotted with ‘liver‘ spots on skin that hangs loosely like stretched–out crepe. “And one nostril is smaller than the other from Mohs surgery.  It’s harder to breath if I have a cold.  Is it very noticeable?”

He pauses,  studies my face.  “Hardly.”  Back to the files.

“And…”

“And what?”  He’s actually looking at me again.

“Well, the early warning bell for my waste management program isn’t working.” His face is blank and then I see it, a tiny smirk, and he’s back into my file.

“Oh,”

And I continue, “my gas emission system is out of control.  Another thing, I think I have ADHD.”

He sighs, lowers the pen.  “Explain.”

“Well, let me give you an example.  I’m having company for dinner.  I’m peeling potatoes when I see the vacuum sitting in the middle of the floor.  I put down the half-peeled potato, and go over to finish vacuuming under the dining room table which is half set.  I stop vacuuming and go get the wine glasses out of the breakfront, then I remember the napkins are in the dryer and…”

The doctor holds up his hand to stop me.  “Do you get it all done?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Then you don’t have ADHD”

“Well, that’s a relief, but really it’s my memory that’s  worrying me.  What are the symptoms of Alzheimer?  I’m losing my vocabulary.  I get up every morning and read the Thesaurus hoping I’ll be able to remember a synonym or two so that I don’t have to play charades with my friends.  Doesn’t work on the phone.  Good grief, maybe I’m going to be like my sister who is five years older and can hardly carry on a conversation.”

He is resigned.  Puts down his pen and gives me his full attention. “Would you like to take some tests?”

“You think I’m that bad?”

He sighs, returns to my file,  ‘It’s up to you.”

“Well if you think I should.”  He seems to be getting a bit tense so I thought I’d change the subject.  “I’d like to talk about death.”

His head comes up with a jerk. “I’d rather not.”

Well, when you’re getting along in years like I am (79), anything can happen. “Will you be with me in the hospital when I pass over?”

He’s back inside the file and talks to it rather than me.  “Not unless I’m a patient.  We don’t do rounds anymore.  The insurance company finds it can cut down expenses if a doctor on duty handles that sort of thing.”

I can’t believe that ‘Death’ has come down to “that sort of thing?”  Wow. The nurse comes in and hands him a paper.

He  glances down then up at me.  “We don’t take your new insurance.”  And that was that.

 

Minny's Musings MINNY’S MUSINGS ON: HEALTH CARE, WAR, DEFICIT, INFLATION, CAMPAIGNS

So there you have it, Mr. President. You assured me that I could  keep my doctor, but you didn’t mention that he didn’t have to “keep” me.  No, I haven’t read Obama Care (how many pages? )  but you promised I could keep my doctor, and  you didn’t mention that my co-pay would increase.  And what is this “Wellness” Checkup?  I know its  free  but somebody is paying for this person (with credentials, of course) to get all my personal health information, do my vitals and…I thought this information was private, just between me and my doctor.   I don’t know this person from Joe Schmuck.   Who has access to this “free–checkup” information?   Pardon me if I’m getting a bit suspicious, but I’ve learned over this long life journey that there are no “free lunches.”

While I’m asking, not exactly a health-care issue, Sir, but what’s all this rumblings about expanding the military involvement in all these little countries that can’t get along with each other?  I thought we were broke.  Do they have “Weapons of Mass Destruction” too?    Now I know that you know that printing  up a bunch more money doesn’t solve the problem,  and I don’t think cutting food stamps, social security, laying off teachers, closing post offices…is going to cut the mustard.  Another thing, how can the cost of all these wars not be included in the budget?   No wonder we’re broke.  It would be like me not including my health-care expenses, my mortgage, my car–in my budget, only worse.  From what I hear war costs billions or is it trillions of dollars that we don’t have? Now that’s a lot of printing, Mr. President.  Just how many 0’s in a trillion?  Let’s see: 0,000,000,000,000   (and how many trillion are we in debt?)

While I’m writing, Mr. President, I may as well get a few other things off my chest.  Drones!  All those children who grew up playing war games on their I Pod, or was it I Pads?  Can’t keep them straight. Well now you’ve got them in the war rooms killing real people–they may not have nightmares or post-war syndrome, because it is still a game to them–its the boots on the ground that see children blown to bits, women and old people, vacant eyed looking for family in the debris–and how about Guantanamo?  You were going to close that.  Yes, I’m well aware that you have tried but that’s what we hired you to do…find a way.   Unemployment is down below 6% but the rest of the story, Mr. President, that you don’t mention is that their wages are minimum wage  and do you count them as three individuals working when they have to work at three jobs to make ends meet?  Of course, there is no inflation…my bread has gone from a pound to 3/4 and the price increased by $1.00.  Butter is up over $5 a pound, bacon over $7.  Do you go shopping with Michelle to see what $150 buys?  You have only two children, my son has five.

I don’t want to mention what a dumb campaign the democrats (oh by the way I’m a registered Republican) waged.  Dollars  couldn’t have been the issue since they raised more $’s than the other guys, or so I read.    You hardly inspired people to get out to vote–only 37% voted–lowest number of voters for decades.  Why didn’t you beat the drum as to how much you’ve accomplished in spite of the opposition’s, campaign to stop you at every turn.   You must be proud keeping us from going over the fiscal cliff,  health care coverage for my grandchildren on their parents’ policy until age 26,  ridding us of “preexisting” exclusions by the insurance companies, cutting the deficit.  Brag, Mr. President. “Executive Privilege?”  Why aren’t you mentioning (or am I not reading the right publications–) how many presidents have used it in the past and what party they belonged to?  That should be headlines, big print for us old folks to see. I can’t believe you say little to nothing when someone attacks you on the “popularity” issue.  Being President is not a popularity contest.  You hold the most powerful position in the land.  With it comes the detractors.  Although I may be critical, I honor you, respect you, applaud you. You are doing just fine, Mr. President, and I don’t want the job.  More than 40% of the populace count up to be a lot of supporters–a much higher approval rating than Congress which is Republican in case folks have forgotten. By the way, I find sleeping pills help.

Signed:   Minny…

My Favorite Movie Gone With the Wind


 

 GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939

Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia DeHavilland, Leslie Howard

 

                                                                                             Rhett Butler

Scarlett O”Hara…Just the name brings images to mind. I see her silhouetted against the stormy sky holding a garden root in her hand swearing, “As God is My witness, I will never be hungry again!”Gone

But then I get ahead of myself.  Why do I watch a movie made in the 30’s every chance I get?  What is it about the characters that draws my fascination?

“But Ashly, you can’t marry Melany.  You love me…I know you love me!”

“Ah, my sweet Scarlett.  Of course I love you.  I love your energy, your life…your…”  Ah, that mealy mouthed “southern gentleman” is not worth Scarlett’s adoration.  What does she possibly see in him?”Leslie Howard

And then I see Rhett sticking his head up over the couch mimicking… “Oh Ashley…you do love me…”  and the vase flying through the air, Rhett ducking just in time.

“And you, Mr. Butler, are certainly no gentleman, not showing yourself, letting a lady…”

“I may be no gentleman, but you,  Scarlett O”Hara, are certainly no lady!”

 

 

Just what was a “lady” in Scarlett’s world.  Melany?  Soft spoken, forgiving, encouraging, not a jealous imagesbone in her body.  Now that character is not real, not then and not today!  I think Margaret Mitchell went a bit overboard in creating a contrasting character to play off Scarlett.

 

 

 

Can you imagine Melany holding the horse in the river while the Yankees crossed the bridge over her head?

 

Olivia_de_Havilland_as_Melanie_Hamilton_in_Gone_With_the_Wind_trailer

Would Ashley do everything…killing, stealing, lying to save his plantation?

When Rhett saves her from the Yankees, through fire and attack and then leaves her at the bridge with horse,  a sick Melany and baby…Yankees overhead, you will see her strength and never wonder about just how far Scarlett will go to save Tara.  Her father has told her it is the “land”.  Tara, Tara, Tara  echoes.

green dress

I love Scarlett’s  grit, her fancy green velvet dress made from the draperies from her once palatial home ravished by the war.  Her goal: to impress Rhett, (who’s in jail)  to give her the tax money to save Tara. When that failed, believe the glint in her eyes when she’s sees the lumber mill Sue Ellen’s beau has developed.  How could she???  Nice?  Never! Calculating, crafty, gorgeous.

 

Scarlett spends no time worrying about her soul.  When her world threatens to collapse around her,  how does she handle it?    “Oh Fiddly dee I’ll think about that tomorrow!”    Will she get Rhett back?  As his figure fades into the fog, through

her tear stained face she sighs, Scarlett  Tears     “Well, tomorrow is another day.”   Is there any doubt? Perhaps.

 

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Black and white. Life is much more complicated.  It was suggested to me by a loved one that Melany was the stronger character.  My first impulse was to deny her conclusion–too good, too perfect.  Scarlett?  Too selfish, calculating, manipulative, so who was the most realistic character?  Rhett.  A handsome,  reprobate realistic to life’s sins and satisfactions.  Without ethics?  Perhaps, but a rogue with a heart.

 

MARGARET MITCHELL 

Margaret Mitchell 2Was Margaret Mitchell Scarlett?  A beautiful rebel born in 1900.   She was a “writer” her entire life, worked as a journalist when  women of class just didn’t work.  Her stories were published under “Peggy” Mitchell.  When she injured her ankle and became more sedentary she began to write her  novel.  She always had trouble with “beginnings” so started her stories with the ending and worked backward.

Margaret Mitchell wrote for nine years on her book.  The manuscript was scattered throughout the house, hand written pages, some typed, some scribbled on scrap paper.  When a representative from MacMillan came in search of stories from local people, a friend casually mentioned that “Peggy” was a writer.  That comment resulted in the agent leaving town with a suitcase of Margaret’s manuscript totaling over 1000 pages.  Several days later she called and said she had changed her mind about publishing her book.  The agent refused to send it back.

Gone With the Wind, one of the first movies to be made in technicolor, was born.  The book, then the movie took over Margaret’s life.  The instant success (she’d hoped to sell 5,000 copies that first year and sold over 50,000 in one day) changed her life.   Success was a demanding task master.  Exasperated, Margaret Mitchell vowed never to write another word.   Her life was no longer her own.  She made well over $1,000,000 from the book/movie. David O. Selznick paid her $50,000 for the movie rights, highest amount he’d ever paid to an unknown author.  After the phenomenal success of the movie, Mr. Selznick felt he had underpaid her and sent her a check for another $50,000.

Margaret MitchellMs. Mitchell refused to have anything to do with the making of the movie.  Once in exasperation of the continual questioning, she retorted that she thought Groucho Marks would make a great Rhett Butler.   Margaret was philanthropic with her wealth aiding black scholars with their studies and contributing to the construction of the first black hospital in Atlanta.  Because of the political atmosphere, her donations remained anonymous.

After almost seventy-five years, Gone With the Wind remains  a technical masterpiece in music, technicolor, editing,  and, with the help of current technology, it rivals today’s newest creations. The vagaries of life.  On August 11, 1949, while crossing the street with her husband on the way to a movie,  Margaret Mitchell was hit by a car driven by a drunk taxi cab driver.  She never regained consciousness.  Five days later she died at the age of 49.

Was Margarete’s  world the real world?  Ladies and Gentlemen were not the builders of empires.  It was the Rhetts and Scarletts who picked up the pieces and rebuilt their lives.  It is the  survivors who change the world.  According to the author of perhaps the most famous, successful novel ever written, her characters had “gumption.”  Gone With the Wind is said to be the second most published book next to the Bible.

Margaret Mitchell 3     Gumption:  Initiative, get-up-and-go, moxie,  shrewdness, imagination, courage, horse sense, determination, spirit, pluck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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