Silence

“Hello, darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again.” 20 July 1969 : Apollo 11 : Tranquility Base – “A small step for man…“ A defining moment in many lives (not least messrs, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins), man had made it to the moon. Each astronaut on the mission new the risks, as did those of the backup crew (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Bill Anders – the former two to experience their own problems aboard Apollo 13). There were of course contingency plans in place, all situations were covered, including the possibility of the leaving two men to die on the moon. In silence. In a 30 year old document, it has been revealed that NASA …

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Courage

Human courage in extreme situations continually astounds. I recently heard about a Vietnam documentary which looked at the story of several American soldiers who were captured by the VietCong. They were locked in separate cells, and no communication was allowed. At one point in the documentary one of the soldiers, sitting calmly in a chair, vividly describes how one day he gave up, and tried to kill himself. With nothing in the room to use, no clothes on his body, he stood and smashed his forehead against the wall until he passed out. He didn’t die. Many people say suicide is the cowards way out, but in this circumstance it was, without doubt, an act of incredible bravery. An act …

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Four

“The hurt of lost, the longing of one, the distance from those, the untouchable.” Four lines. Many meanings. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I wrote those four lines a long time ago, I think I was about 17 or 18, vaguely around one of the times I split up with Louise (which as certain people know, happened now and again). Since then it keeps appearing in my head, for no reason that I can fathom, and each time it seems to take on a different meaning. “The hurt of lost” – doesn’t apply anymore, but when did it? Is the loss perceived or a reality? “the longing of one” – I long for many things, or is dream a better term? …

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Silly

Silly adj : lacking seriousness; given to frivolity; “a dizzy blonde”; “light-headed teenagers”; “silly giggles” [syn: airheaded, dizzy, empty-headed, featherbrained, giddy, light-headed] Love can be defined as silliness. I don’t mean silliness as in daftness (although the border between the two is very blurred), I mean silliness as in the daft (see!) little things we do to amuse the other. Silly voices, silly faces, silly words, just plain silly. Personally I think silliness is massively under-rated. People frown on silly behaviour, and it is generally thought to have a certain time or place. This is true to an extent, but not, in my opinion, the places most people think. I know my attempts at silliness is a ‘defense mechanism’ – …

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Bang II

Another shooting in the U.S. The outrage, the shock, the pain. Swiftly followed by the insight, the analysis, the reason. Apathy? Is that what it is? Or an inherent numbness to the horrors? The same arguments against will be countered with the same arguments for, and in a week or so it will all be forgotten. What will it take? OK, radical idea – why don’t the anti-gun lobbies get together and go around the U.S. and shoot one member of each family in the country. Is that what it would take? I fully admit to suffering from the same “it’ll never happen to me” syndrome, but life here in the U.K. hasn’t yet reached the ‘advanced’ stage that the …

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