Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finding Calm

It hasn't been easy, and I can't say I've been successful.

I've been reminded every few days, "Take some time for yourself. Don't burn yourself out." It's happened before.

I've come into this mission knowing what separation from my friends and family will be like. I've been there before.

The frustration of working with those who find pleasure in inflicting their will on others. I've meet them before.

I feel the stress, the sadness and the anger rising. My neck tightens.

This time, will not be like before. I will find peace in war.
Drink deeply.
Live in seventy and joy.
The Wise person delights in the truth
And follows the law of the awakened.

The farmer channels water to his land.
The fletcher whittles his arrows.
And the carpenter turns his wood.
So the wise direct their minds.

-The Buddha

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hot or Cold

I've been here for two weeks and already, it's been too long. Our Fort Lewis hosts have set us up in what our bus driver calls "The Historic District." The white washed World War II era open bay barracks stand in stark contrast to the modern stone condos of the local Soldiers one block away. Using the sinks here is a bit frustrating. We have two choices: scalding hot or freezing cold, with nothing in between.

This is certainly not the worst place I've stayed with the Army. There was that shelter half during basic, setup on a frozen Kentucky valley floor. The shivering kept me up all night. The food isn't the worst I've had. The T rations in Hohenfels forced many of us to stop eating at the chow hall for days at a time.

The point is, it's not the worst place, but I've heard it from several poeple so far. They just want to get out of here and on to Iraq.