I have been digging into my grandfather's military history in the last year, which has left me with friends scattered all over the country, vivid nightmares, depressions and elations, coming from a slow understanding of his struggle to love all he could as he came unraveled under years of thorazine and shock treatments. It has been a dark and somewhat obsessive hobby, and I hide it from most people I know like a dirty habit.
But it has given me the zygote of a book, which makes me hopeful I'll finally do that one of these days. It is going slowly because the plot keeps thickening with the more characters coming out of the woodwork and fragments not quite fitting, but giving my imagination a real sporting chance. And it's kind of a break from the narcissism and the law practice, which is refreshing.
And it will be much much better than this blog, so obviously you will all be reading it.
I am astonished and grateful for these strangers who've been injecting me with facts I would never have known. Many have been keeping me inspired on a larger scale as I lick wounds that are becoming smaller and smaller in the distant roar of B24s.
A happy surprise tonight was contact from the son of one of my grandfather's best friends. During the war, this friend's bomber's left engine got shot out, and my grandfather, a hundred miles ahead and without regard for his own safety or the squadron leaders' orders, sent all of his fighter planes back to guard the injured plane across the continent and into the safety of England.
My grandfather never told us that. We read it in a letter from the son's father that we uncovered. We cried.
While tracking down the family, I discovered that one of the sons (the one who contacted me) is, in fact, quite a gifted poet. If I ever do make it all the way through that book, I am going to ask him to use this poem for a prologue.
Photo of War - 5
only war which
makes him great
in one thing
what the horizon
safe keeps behind
of love, yes