Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Pittance of Time

I wrote this post last year. It still says everything I want to say about Remembrance Day.

Two Minutes

I was in my kitchen this morning when the clock clicked over to 11:00. I didn't know where to look for the two minutes of silence, so I watched my microwave clock. For two minutes.

It always feels longer than I expect, standing there doing nothing for two minutes. I tried not to let my mind wander, but I kept thinking about stupid stuff. I wanted to take out the garbage. I wanted to wipe the counters. I wanted to get set up on the table to start the assignment I should have started two days ago. I forced myself to be quiet and still for two minutes.

I thought about what it would be like not just to be annoyed about having to be still. About what it would be like to also be hungry, or thirsty, cold or hot, unwashed and weighed down with pounds and pounds of heavy equipment. I thought about what it would be like if I had to be quiet as if my life depended on it.

I can't find the exact quote, but I thought I'd heard something about war being equal parts boredom and terror. Fortunately for those of us who haven't had to go to war, we're much more conversant with boredom.

Remembrance Day. It's the other Thanksgiving.

4 comments:

Nan | Wrath Of Mom said...

" I would never have survived in a trench in France." is all I thought for the 2 minutes of silence (in -6ºC) at our local cenotaph.

Denise Nielsen said...

The cold and discomfort and the awkwardness of silence always serves to remind me that the hardships we face are really nothing at all. Makes me humble. And yes, my mind too wanders...

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

This is brilliant.
I've been catching up and can identify with every last post!
You do such good work Allison. You really should have a million followers.

Amber Strocel said...

I love this piece. :)