I was performing a routine weld today, nothing too difficult but a long job. Flashing in front of me was a vision of beauty, alchemy, rather magical really. I created this by my actions, saw two disparate metals join together against their natural tendency. It took me back to a war I was involved in, a far away place. Cold, grey and windy. The brightness of the weld reminded me of bursting star shells and the magical quality of the light.
Two disparate peoples, not too different in outlook or culture, just that curse called nationalism. If you tried to weld them together, they would not join. Unlike the metal they have thoughts, feelings, history and passion. A historical passion. I searched my for soul within that bright light. I did not have to go, I volunteered. I had tasted it already, in small bits. I wanted more. I was brought up on stories of France in 1914, Kenya and Aden, Malaya in the 1950′s and 60′s. I should have known better really, listened to the only two men I have ever really been in awe of, but no, I wanted to go. I knew best. Anyway, they would be proud and it’s expected.
Well, now it is my turn to reflect, to gaze into that bright light. I have asked God, He will not give an answer, I know I will be judged one day. I did things, followed orders and more. Thought I was not going home a few times, surprised myself and scared myself. Saw things, well lets say I wish I had not seen them. I learned one thing about men, it is the actions from those you do not expect to act in a particular way that surprise.