Sunday, February 25, 2007

What My Head Was Saying At the Funeral

I did my duty as a musician and a neighbor. We buried the young man yesterday. I kept my thoughts and my opinions to myself. I played the songs his family asked me to play. Nothing unusual. The regular hymns and stuff. The family wants to believe he's walking with Jesus in glory above. Fine with me.

The honor gaurd was there at the grave. American legion guys. I took my new bagpipes and managed to play "Amazing Grace" and "Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier."

I passed on the reception afterward. I wasn't in any kind of place to be sociable. During the service my head was wanting to shout:

How many more? Give me a number of dead that will satisfy you. How many more?

I hear no answers. I was up very early this morning to ride out in the desert alone. I saw the sun come up over the mountains I grew up in.

I'm. Just. Tired. Of. It. All.

When you come from a small town and a kid gets killed it hurts a little more I guess. The total enrollment of our high school is smaller than the class size of the high schools in California. Hell, we've only been playing 11 man football for the last six years. Every one of these kids (there have been four from my little bitty town) is a kid I have known. Not well, except for one who dated one of my daughters, but we know each other out here. We trade fruit for pies and jam, milk for yoghurt, we watch out for each other and for each other's kids.

Yesterday wasn't about politics, it was about family and nieghbors. There is one more kid in the ground. I didn't open my mouth yesterday. It wouldn't have accomplished anything but make my neighbors feel bad.

All night though, I heard

How. Many. More?

Big Brass Blog


Blogger Rez Dog said...

MB, your presence honored your neighbor and your music comforted the family. Your question honors all the dead and your own heart. How many more, indeed!

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It hurts, darling, it hurts. Give this pain to the desert. Give it to the open sky.

We are always more than we know. Let yourself be with this.


- Tata

9:14 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

That's the same exact question I have been running around and screaming at my tv for some time now.

Now it seems they want to start another killing field in Iran. What's the matter, aren't we losing and killing enough in Iraq? What will it take to stop this disaster?

5:56 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

MB, in a small town the deaths are personal - in a bigger town, they're on the news and folks comment that it's a shame, but unless you knew the kid, it doesn't really hit home. You were right to honor the dead by playing and the family by keeping your thoughts to yourself. It had to be hard.

I think I may have told you I used to live in NH. I heard something encouraging this morning - NOR was in Manchester or Concord talking with some of the voters about Sununu's position of being against the troop surge but voting against debating the Dem non binding resolution because the Dems wouldn't allow a Rep, version to go to the floor for a vote. A guy who described himself as an "historical conservative" (which in NH probably means a Republican who has never voted for a democrat in his life) said Sununu's position makes no sense and he'll remember that when he votes in '08. Knock off another few Republicn senators and maybe the WH, and maybe, just maybe, we'll get the hellout of there.

And PoP, I hope to god this talk about Iran is just so much saber rattling, but with two peole as hardheaded as Bush and Ahminijad, both cut from the same cloth but putting their hands on different books to be sworn into office, I have my fears.

7:26 AM  
Blogger JackGoff said...

What rez dog said. How many god damn more? The peanut gallery, as always, remains silent.

5:38 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind... but it may not be the answer that any of us like.

7:35 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

every hear the jerry jeff take-off?

the answer my friend
is pissin' in the wind.
the answer is pissin'
in the sink

9:21 PM  

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