by Elizabeth Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
October 26, 2006
A WINTER OF DISCONTENT
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Comes now the first frosty breath of winter, the hint of something different on its way, the silent going of the honeybees, the hummingbirds, the last buzz of a lone fly looking for warmer quarters.
I put the potted yellow rose bush to bed, wash all the spring starter-pots, lean the green wheelbarrow, bottom side up, in its proper place next to the good shovel and the essential leaf rake that, with me, have seen the last of the fine fall finale.
I go inside to move among the stacks of books and files that hold my life work, and I rest a moment in the grace of one more spring, summer, and fall down ... and one more winter to write. One more season of dancing in cocoon stillness, gathering gem-words from the air to fashion a bridge from my mind to yours.
I rejoice and then I remember this time, this page in people history.
Is this to be the last winter of the human race? Can we survive our own destructive creations? Is our last bit of history to reflect only who had the greater bomb, the grander "shock and awe" crescendo, the tiniest, deadly bug to fling into silos of grain, meat-packing plants? Are we never to know who held matches that lit the fires that consumed our forests and our fields?
A scrap of song echoes through the attic of my mind: "Ain't gonna study war no more." War on terrorism. War on starvation. War on oppression. Wars to stop wars.
Would that I could turn it off, my concern for our world. Would that I could stop feeling guilty over a great hot meal as I throw out enough scraps to feed a Darfur child for a day. Would that I could believe this is the winter of my content ... but I cannot, and it is not.
In the sweet silence of my writer's studio, I acknowledge, again, that I am a very concerned American ashamed of my president. I am not only ashamed, I am now afraid ... of his blundering, warrior residency, his ineptitude as a previously self-conscious, squirming president who could barely function without a script in his hand and, lastly, into the change of what the years have produced: A simple little man who now has enough blustering confidence to drop a bomb on God.
He is a nervous, swaggering, stammering, puffed-up simpleton who does not have enough gumption to realize that if you set fire to the world forest there won’t be anyone left to plant new trees.
His now-countenance bears witness to his having been a sleeping little blushing boy who woke up to find himself the most powerful man in the world. Pseudo confidence. Mission defined. A war messenger sent to save the world from its ignorance and mold it into his image of what the world ought to be.
Heady stuff for somebody who started out with low self-esteem, a speckled religious faith, a one-time drinking problem, and no evident sense of inner peace or power.
His voice, since his re-election, has taken on a new tone of self-righteousness, his mouth still twitches but with shyness replaced by lofty hostility. Damn the disbelievers. Full speed ahead into nuclear annihilation. I've been appointed by a higher power to clean up the Earth.
I repeat: All fanatics are dangerous and fanatics with power are twice as dangerous. Throw a spoonful of radical right religion into the soup cauldron of a fanatic who has one finger on a nuclear bomb and another one shaking under the noses of all who won't march to his drum and you have in Washington, D.C., one of the potentially most dangerous men in history: the current president of the once-great nation called America.
Egged on by the I-hate-types (fairies and abortionists and free women and my fellow Americans who don't accept my god as their personal savior) who, not unlike Islamists, think their Christian truth should be a daily diet for everybody on Earth, Bush appears to believe his one true mission in life is to save the world - whether it wants to be saved or not.
It cannot be done. Lasting, constructive change rarely comes by force. Centuries of Islam in general, and the defiant nature of the individual human spirit in particular, ensures the failure of Bush's grand self-serving scheme of change-by-force. You can drag a bum out of the Dumpster but you can't make him take a bath ... or want a different lifestyle.
And so I sigh in the beginning of this winter of wait and see. I would like to be able to say "God is in heaven and all is well with the world," but I cannot. I cannot because the history of the free-willed, wanna-be-a-god war warriors brought us to the silence of this soft winter broken by the frequent crack of one more bomb, one more distorted assumption by sick men that all problems can be eradicated from the Earth with enough weapons of people destruction.
All is not well and I must try to get through the long winter, make some sense of it all while praying spring will come again and wake my yellow rose bush from her long sleep in the grand white urn.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is a newspaper columnist now living in Cartersville, Ga., where she writes poetry. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.