I’ve been packing and working on some work relatted paper work since last night. I took a brief respite and turned on the news while putting the finishing touches on my check in luggage. The programming put me to thinking.
I’ve been flying so much the last two months that it feels like I live in an airport.
Thats not usually a big deal for me but it has made keeping up with Graduate school, to put it very mildly, a challenge.
When I get home my daughter craves, no, demands my undivided attention. Work is a huge demand on my time right now and school is just as bad, if not worse. It’s further complicated by the fact I sometimes jump three to four time zones in a single day.
But its good work, and I am doing my best too do a good job, even if the political enviornment is one I am not fond of. Anyone who knows me knows that I am about as politically correct as a an Irish bordello. So I usually just keep my mouth shut, keep my head down, to my job and move out smartly.
Truth be told in this area the travel is a relief. I grow weary of the huddeled whispers in corners sometimes, and it makes my head hurt when folks talk about the latest TV programming. While the latter is entirely me, and I admit that the former is just eye ball rolling and navel gazing. But I digress.
It has been nice seeing old Ft Carson again, sadly no one that I know is stationed here any longer. That much is somewhat telling, as well as vaguely disturbing. In our minds we often picture a place as frozen in time, in a single pane the way it was we last saw it. So it is often shocking when we return to a location and see the changes that have been wrought in our absence.
Cartersville and Ellijay, GA are both this way for me. Often I hear folks say “Oh its only grown a little.” While I stare at them flabberghasted. However my Ft Carson experience is more unsetteling than normal, whereas Cartersville and Ellijay have people I know who can help me identify changes or find places I used to haunt, with Ft Carson I have none of that. Too many years have passed, to many duty stations have changed and too many personell have left for Fiddlers Green from the wars and “peace actions” since my time here.
In High School, one of our yearbook themes was “We are only just passing through”. My good friend, lets call him Gas-man due his MOS and to protect the guilty, and I noted how many folks just passed through our active duty units. Compared to a dinner we had recently with a group of National Guard veterans who I think may have a more solid bonding experience as their personell usually stay until retirement, with minimal change due to personell rotation, or MOS branch orders like in Active Duty.
I think I envy them that. A steady parade of faces over the years, folks I knew only breifly or not at all move past my minds eye as I board another plane and then another. Watching folks in uniform shuffle from one Gate to another to catch flights from here to yon. The last time I flew on Active Duty we were told we could not wear our uniforms for security concerns. We wore civillian clothes. I consider the fact that those instructions were pre 9/11 and now after the fact we openly have folks wearing. Its a juxtaposition to be sure for me, but one that I can not take a position on as I see points in both aspects. But the faces move on and fade out.
In the end we all do, we make only a few marks in the worls, on the people we meet. There are no more Alexanders, no more Hannibals. There will be no more grand parade of soliders from Antietam, The grand movements are done, the band has ceased. It is not what we mark anymore it is who.
Do I sound tired? I am. Very tired.
I turn off the TV and finish packing my bag. If our network programming is of any indicator, I think I’d rather read the works of Tacitus and remember than see what we have become.