I haven't written in almost three weeks. I stopped checking CNN every day. I stopped listening to the news on the radio. Life really did have to return to normal, and I guess that happens for each person at a different pace. For some people, "normal" will have to be redefined--they'll have to go on without family members, find new places to live, wait for their place of employment to be relocated...
What is normal American life anyway? That's something I don't really feel I ever got a grasp on in history class. I enjoy reading biographies, in-depth accounts, and historical fiction much more than what I read in my classes. When I started writing these letters to you, I had every intention of getting them published. I still do. I want to add one more voice to the collection. I want to tell you and whoever else may be interested what normal life is for me--and I want to tell you how my normal life is changing because of the things which are happening right now.
We are at war. I knew this all along, but it's official now. I went to work in the church nursery during the third service on Sunday, and my dad sold CDs for a visiting family who was singing. I came out of the nursery, and we headed for the car as usual. Dad got in, shut his door, and started the car. "We bombed Afghanistan today," he said. It was announced during third service.
Of course, I am back to checking CNN's Website once a day since I don't have Cable--people here don't get any TV channels without Cable. The Taliban (Afghanistan's ruling party) is threatening more attacks on the U.S. until we remove our troops from all Muslim countries and stop supporting Israel. I listened to a translation of a speech Osama Bin Laden gave on television. "America is getting a taste of what we have endured for 80 years. ... America will not taste security until we feel security in our home." Of course, with his hundreds of millions of dollars he could be improving people's lives in his country.
I've tried to understand the other point of view, Ciara. I've tried with everything in me. I'm generally an agreeable person, and most of the time I understand that people's actions are provoked by a need or desire which makes some sense. I understand everything that is being said--that's not at all the issue. I don't understand the logic behind it. This is about things in the past which I don't understand at all. Our attack on Afghanistan is being condemned as a "terrorist attack". Oh really? Then what was the incident with the four planes to be called? And what does the country who refuses to acknowledge the reach of this man and his organization propose to do about it? Nothing! They think a little statement about being sorry for our losses is enough, I suppose. Six thousand lives! Six thousand lives, and it's all supposed to be ok?
I didn't realize I was so angry. Part of the reason I am angry is that I am realizing how easily I have come to believe--and repeat--things which about which I have no firsthand knowledge. I don't understand what goes on in the Middle East. I would never prevent other people from becoming who they can be--and I would even help them if I could. So why is my security being threatened? I didn't do anything to them! We're the devil to them, and at least in some cases they're the devil to us. But they're just people with feelings and needs. It's hard to see that when they won't see that about us. It hurts. It's not just a physical attack. It's an emotional, mental and spiritual attack. Everything in me is shaken: my physical security, my ability to rest peacefully, my understanding of people and the world, and my understanding of God. Much of this is about a war that is ages old: a war involving Israel. I believe that this is part of Biblical history, although I don't understand just how.