In the afternoon at just the right time, on nice days, the sun comes through my back door at just the right angle to light the wall in patterns, which are beautiful.
It’s all about perspective.
If you’re sitting in just the right place and you can see those patterns in just the right way, they are perfect. But it takes an October sun to do it, and the inside door must be open, and the day has to be pleasant with not too much wind. And all this must be there at exactly 5 p.m.
This is a universal thing I think. Don’t we all see this kind of alignment at work in our lives and the world around us? It can be wonderful, happy, sad, tragic, even absolutely, outrageously nuts.
Like Obama winning the Nobel Prize for nothing at all.
You know, just the other day I ran into a guy in a downtown store. Never met him before, but we shook hands, patted each other on the back and told each other “welcome home, brother.” He had a hat on with one medal – the Bronze Star. I was wearing my vest with my patches, and few medals on board.
“Where were you at,” he asked. “Iraq?”
“Somalia,” I answered. He nodded at that and put his hand on his chest.
“Vietnam,” he said.
Bronze Star in Vietnam – do you know dear reader, what he must have seen? That medal wasn’t some kind of prize – it serves as a marker for those of us who know what it is. It is a testament that heroes walk amongst us. And do you know, dear reader, what he must have come home to?
Either nothing – or nothing but derision. That was what our troops returned to when they came back from Vietnam – a war our leadership sent them into, but when it was all said and done, simply wanted to go away. But it didn’t go away. It remained in our public consciousness and those who saw it and survived it, moved through life to the current day where one soldier from that place runs into me in a market – a walking, breathing hero -and on his hat, the red ribbon and the star – a marker and monument.
So that personal alignment got me to thinking about the star on that man’s hat and about the Nobel marker so recently awarded to our President. Which one means more? Which one is inadequate in comparison to the actions and sacrifices it represents? And yet, which one received the greater fanfare – the greater celebration? Which one is given the spotlight of greater importance?
Should Obama have accepted his award – however graciously and humbly?
Think about it.
And having received it, what should he now do about Iraq and Afghanistan? Should he do what the Nobel folks would want him to – what they meant for him to do by awarding their prize –just wish this responsibility away and treat it as another Vietnam? Pull the troops out and just try to forget it?
The sunlit patterns are gone from my wall.
It’s not so pretty now.