Friday, March 13, 2009


The thanatos is strong tonight. I may edit this later to put in the links that will help this make sense.  Freud said that there were two competing drives, the drive for life and the drive for death, Thanatos. Like a lot of things, Freud got it half right.  Most people don't have a drive for death- most have a drive for intensity, maybe, and the intensity of danger is more alive than most have ever felt.  But...

I walked the perimeter of the camp tonight. Overcast, no stars. Smoking a cuban cigar and listening to music. No real danger, not here, deep on a Peshmerga base. The music is about battle and loss.  What did Oscar Wilde write about the Irish? "...the race that God made mad, for all their wars are merry and all their songs are sad."

I'm feeling it tonight, missing the battle joy, feeling the depression of the inevitability of life, of aging.  Wishing to meet the man who can kill me.  Not to die so much as to die in absolute battle joy, on the very edge of what a human can experience- perfectly focused, every atom of my being in a single strike or a single sight picture and presssssss... then the clean burning pain from the wound I didn't see coming.  I've been close enough to know the feeling (have I really? Wouldn't it be new, more, different than near death?) of burning pain of the wound and creeping cold of the shock and the fear of the big dark... but, tonight I am hungry for it.

There is so much more to see in this world and the world is so beautiful... and yet I am weary.

Hear me, world, for I am weary
I have heard the muezzin at sunrise
And broken the bones of the enemy
Loved well
Lived hard
Seen the sunrise over sands that Ali walked
Been challenged by the Ravens of Odin
And earned the brotherhood of the Wind
Shown mercy
Felt pride
Warriors feel the Death in me and step away
Children and wolves relax
"You are like a fox," Shewar says
Different meanings
In different languages
Orange skies and blue, and the aurora
Green seas, and blue, and stormy gray
The blue white blue white flash, spinning
True brothers and
Enemies become friends

I turned off skype tonight. Kami is the one thing that makes this fade, but it would be too hard to hear her voice. Not tonight, love. I need to feel this, not deny it.  It will pass. There is so much to do. Good works, I am literally saving people, but...

Always 'but'.  The animal in me would wander into the mountains, into the desert. That is who I am. The man in me must help others, fulfill obligations.  That is who I have promised to be.


ush said...

The quote is Chestertons', not Wildes', though he probably nicked it.
"His harp was carved and cunning,
As the Celtic craftsman makes,
Graven all over with twisting shapes
Like many headless snakes.

His harp was carved and cunning,
His sword was prompt and sharp,
And he was gay when he held the sword,
Sad when he held the harp.

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

He kept the Roman order,
He made the Christian sign;
But his eyes grew often blind and bright,
And the sea that rose in the rocks at night
Rose to his head like wine.

He made the sign of the cross of God,
He knew the Roman prayer,
But he had unreason in his heart
Because of the gods that were."

Swallowtail said...

Sounds like you're feeling the same thing this poem by Rumi is talking a bit about, it's my favourite, I've considered for years the idea of getting it tattooed but I don't want it to get misunderstood as something kinky so I don't think it'll happen.

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

Not to step onto a platform or anything, I just agree with you there, all of the times I've felt that wild wake up again have been at the lonely hours in places that were alien but still familiar in some way and very, very (soul satisfyingly?) dangerous. Maybe that's why I like rock climbing so much.

- Elinor

Kai Jones said...

If you love something, set it free.
If it doesn't come back, track it down and kill it.

Stephen Grey said...

Interesting and very well written.

But I don't think that thoughts of violence and death augur anything good about what's going on inside. Especially when they go along with 4 hours of sleep at night, and seeking employment in countries where ammunition is the most stable currency.

'Course, the way things are going, that could include the United States soon.

I don't know you from boo and I wouldn't say anything but it sounds like you have people who love you waiting at home.

Molly said...

Beautiful1! I know you often dance with your dark side. I find it refreshing to be with people that are comfortable facing their own mortality (is this why I love working with the very old?). It is not usual for you to express this here, in this format, at least not so personally. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

In my experience real life happens after all the glittering prizes and
"cool" experiences are out of reach. Are you sure that battlejoy is that far removed from kung fu killer fantasies? Be a good person help others and sit back and let the universe show you it's miracles.

Terry said...

Mr. Miller,
I do not know how, but you find words, and feeling to express things I feel, have felt, or need explained, at the time I can handle it.
Thank you, and thank you for opening yourself in this way.
I think you help far more people than you might imagine.

Steve Perry said...

We all have our touchstone. We rub them for what comfort they offer.

Care must be taken not to begrudge those whose stones don't fit our hands.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked, it was not feudal Japan.