Tipping Point, On War and Story


It sits, leaden, heavy within me

Haven’t we read in our bloody history

Laden minutes like these, the push at the ledge

The point of pitch

The birth of irretrievable acceleration?

Headlong into war.

A new year, so freshly given and already

We’ve forgotten to live a different story

Egos flex and soldiers bleed, children die

Scars are carved into the earth, into our souls

And mothers, and fathers swallow grief, they eat tears.

-written January 7, 2020, after hearing the news that Iran had retaliated


This is my small record.  This moment of time on January 7, 2020, just after hearing that Iran has fired missiles at Iraqi bases where coalition forces are stationed, including American troops.

Tears tipped from my eyes and ran hot and free down my face.  War always tastes like this.  I look at my sons, curled up together on the couch.  I remember 9/11; I had cried in the shower.  I had thought of my brother, a soldier.  I did not want the story that seemed to rush downhill upon us.  He was deployed and for a year it felt like a suspended life; sitting but not sitting, sleeping without sleeping, eating without taste.  One feels as though life is held tenuously, so lightly, that a strong wind might carry it away.

How much blood has to spill before we find a different ink, a different story?




13 thoughts on “Tipping Point, On War and Story

  1. Thank you for paying attention to what is happening in the world. This is going to effect us all and generations to come if any exist?. It could be the end of our world or not? Need to get our houses in order…a loaf of bread may cost a bag of gold? Read the prophets…

  2. I think I feel more resignation than anything. I pray daily that God will strengthen me and my family for the turbulent years ahead, and try to to worry about what is to come. I could easily become consumed with despair and worry if I didn’t.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been struggling to process the turn of events; at this point, I’d say that I’m smack in the middle of denial and minimizing. I appreciate your vulnerability.

  4. Your reflections are beautiful. Thank you for this thoughtful writing. My husband is a Navy veteran (22 years) so I definitely have a sense of what you are talking about. Thanks again.

  5. One of the first things I learned as a soldier’s wife is that what we see on the news is the tiniest outer layer of the onion. This is both bad and good. Most of what is happening every hour of every day is unknown to most civilians, even to most in the military. Things could be much worse than we’re aware, or they could be much better, or (what I believe is almost always the case) they could simply be more complex. Our government is layered, and so are the governments of other nations. One person, even one very important visible person, is never the whole story, and only in rare instances is one event the whole story. I don’t know how this situation will turn out, but I have learned to withhold judgment, panic, even an opinion, until I know more. Especially because in most cases, there is very little I can do to change things.
    P.S. Clearly, you are a POET!

    1. So very true and wise. My friendship with refugees very much influences how I see war, and especially how I separate now governments and their citizenry from being held in my heart as of one piece.

      1. War is bad. It hurts everyone it touches. There are so many little casualties, things that it breaks day to day even if it doesn’t kill you. It’s one of the oddities of the world that people working as an institution seem to lose some of what they had as individuals. I’m glad your friends have you – that’s a good gift.

  6. It is so much easier for we who go than those who stay at home. We know, they are in the dark. We feel the moments of exhilaration, they get no thrill.

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