Friday, October 20, 2006

Finding Solidarity And The Style Of Ties That Bind

This was one of those one inch by one inch photos that your Mum keeps in an envelope that is stuffed in your old-family-photo albums.

It was hard to see clearly in its tiny state and blown up it's not a whole lot clearer.

This is one of those photos that is almost pre-memory for me. I was three. I had traumatic moments getting my head shaved and I was forced to wear ties that didn't cover the navel...

I think I blocked it all out.

Every time I peek my eyes over the wall and look to see what is happening in the Mid-East, I want to stand in front of a wall built by Arabs in Jerusalem and hold my brothers hand.

I figure, if I can show how much I am in solidarity with my brother, I might just set an example worth following.

OK. So the thing is, I don't really want to stand in front of that wall. That wall no longer exists. That wall was blown up in 1967 during a short-lived, but famous war. The station wagon behind the wall was transported from the Sates in 1964 via ship to Israel, and blown up in 1967.

Those ties finally went out of style, and so did those shoes.

My brother and I went our separate ways, but we don't kill each other.

Every now and then, I just try and get a handle on things that are too slippery to tote around in one's head. The contents continue to say "fragile". But I still wanna drop it.


hammer said...

Thats a great picture and a sad story to go along with it.

carol said...

your observation is so fundamental and correct that probably no-one concerned would accept it....after all these years it is too hard to shake off the 'blame' mentality.
what was the occasion of the weeny ties? I take it that wasn't everyday wear for american expat kids in Jerusalem.A pic I have of my sis and I during that era depict almost equally shorn heads and impossibly short skirts,standing by Mum's old red Mini (sans aircon) also in front of a now-defunct wall. In our case, the compound we lived in was simply pulled down later to build something more lucrative.That's the difference about this part of the Middle East. Oh well.

Scott from Oregon said...


We would have been going to some function at "government house". Maybe an Easter thing, I don't know.

Thanks hammer. Incidentally, as a carpenter, I consider myself a bit of an "expert" on such things. What size hammer you swinging, anyway?

Shirley said...

Wars leave such sad and lasting memories for a little kid. I was never up close and personal with one, but all the air raids, black-out curtains and such scared the hell out of me in the early days of WW2 when I lived in Southern California. I even had to wear dog tags. The thought of what the Iraqi children are going through is enough to break my heart.

Kris, Seattle said...

That's a rather profound post, Scott.

That's one of the things I appreciate about you. One moment you're talking about poo and the next minute you've come up with some thought-provoking metaphor about the situation in the mid-east.

Hope you have some delinquents repaying their debt to you this weekend.

Hammer said...

"What size hammer you swinging, anyway?"

I've got one for every occasion.

Seriously though,
My blog name comes from the saying:

When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.