I had to smile when the bagpiper unleashed his instrument inside a Catholic church. I was not expecting one instrument to resonate so loudly. the second part of the funeral service was I finally have a clue what the Catholic service is saying. all the funerals in that denomination I have gone to have been done in German in Switzerland. it was a nice send-off for a childhood friends father whose suffering is over and I have to admit I am a bit envious to the place he is going versus the rest of us staying here for a bit. later they will put him in the ground and he will be given a military burial, of which, I have to confess I hate the sound of taps being played, so a part of me is in a sense happy to be spared those tones today.
I had no idea my friend’s father fought in the Korean War, of which with the Olympics, I can still remember the helicopter ride we would take to do a show in Taejon. we would get on at the Olympic stadium, take off and fly away from the DMZ, and I would see what appeared to be every mountaintop, a position from the war. I would always see the rocky terrain and wonder, “what exactly where the people fighting for? a seeming inhospitable series of rocky mountain tops?”
today the meaning of taps has changed for me. in the past, once the trumpeter would start to play, you can unleash tears in my eyes from the sound the trumpet made. I used to think it was I was sad that someone was passing from this life to the other and there was some heroic ideal in service to one’s country and the loss of a life. inside the USA there is a strange patriotism I don’t see much in the rest of the world where we have taken terms of freedom and rights and somehow bastardized them in the past 25 years versus when my friend father was in a war. I could type a bit about the united state's overuse and/or mistake heroics with celebrity, hype, and feel-good-I-tis.
but today when the bagpiper let his tune rip in the church, I wondered if the sound of taps affecting me the way it does might have a deeper meaning. perhaps I am simply sad at the root level that humanity is still disagreeing with each other and we keep repeating the insanity of warfare. some people call it heroic and the ultimate test/challenge. I can see that point, yet, when I pull back and take a wider perspective of the planet, the idea of war is pretty insane.
now if only the people sending people into the battle zone would go to the front of the line and fight with their friends and family. I wager we would see a big drop in conflicts that get out of hand – sans leaders who have issues.
but I think taps touches me at the core of my soul, not just because you are saying goodbye to someone, yet, the reality of warfare is basically insanity wrapped up into some ideology and sugar-coated image.
sitting here in a café, after the service, I listen to all the various folk's chatter and think, “do most inside the USA realize how good they have it? I seem to be hearing a whole lot of talk about what is wrong and very little about what is right.
life is very short. make the most of it.