I try to stay focused on one thing. But I can't. I look at something and the more I look, the more I see. Maybe I am part insect. Their eyes are like a clear kaleidoscope. They see images in multiples upon multiples. Me too. It is cool and annoying.
I woke up remembering it was The 4th of July, and then it started. I thought about how this celebrated not only a Declaration of Independence from England (ahem...for white men), but the invasion and conquest of native inhabitants. I headed down that path, but veered in another direction. I thought about the war that came after. And how war leads to people killing and dying, no matter who wins.
I thought about the British soldiers. How much did they care about the allegiance of colonies? Weren't they required to serve in the King's Royal Army or die? I have a vague memory of a history teacher saying that.
How long did it take for the mothers, fathers, wives and lovers of the dead to know? Did they get a letter with the date? Did they try to remember what they were doing the day he died? Did their heart feel it?
If they did not receive a letter, did they meet every ship? And stand at the pier until everyone departed? When the very last ship returned without him, did they believe he was still alive? Did they think it possible he missed the ship, or didn't want to come back? How did they live with the not knowing?
Did they curse the King or God?
What happened to the bodies of the dead British soldiers? Were they buried in mass graves? Did they rot where they fell? Or did they become food for the wild animals? What wild animals eat dead corpses? Or were some still alive? Did the animals run away at the sounds of battle? Or learn this was a new food source to follow, and wait?
You see how annoying this is?
Tonight we will go to the fireworks and I'll focus on the delighted faces of my grandchildren.
We will ahhh and squeal together for forty-five minutes. And we'll do that in a crowd of humans, mostly strangers, who will ooh and ahh with us.
That thought is not so annoying.