Not With A Bang, But A ‘Whoomp’


This weekend in Seattle, the clouds broke for the first time in what seems like ages.  Sunlight blanketed the city and friends drank sangria on rooftops as boats passed through the Sound.

But not all scenes were so idyllic.  On one grassy field, in some fiery hearts, a war was brewing.

Here, in the shadow of the rapier form of the Space Needle, a small but fevered crowd of combatants arrived, summoned by the demiurgic will of Ares, and possibly their Facebook feeds.

They came dressed for battle, faces painted, pillows fluffed.  Teeth bared.

The fight began.  One minute there was peace, the next war.  No one could say who struck first, but if you were to ask each individual who was there, they would tell you that war does not begin.  It just is.

At times it seemed if it was every man for himself, every woman for herself, brother against brother, father against child, feathers indiscriminate in their cutting arcs.

But then, out of chaos arose form.  An alliance, a tenuous and certainly uneasy truce to solder power into a single striking force.

For a moment it seemed the war could end at the hands of the behemoth.  But brute strength proved no match for the furious onslaught of the swarming hive.

The battle raged, the feathers flew and the sky, at times, looked as if the very clouds had broken like glass across the verdant field, only to blow away moments later.

Crowds watched from every corner and at times innocent bystanders would feel the sting of an errant blow.  Within the hour, it was hard to distinguish between the soldiers and the onlookers, the wounded and the relaxing comfortably in the grass on a nice spring day.  There was no wall.  Humans.  We were all humans on the field of battle, and those of us who believed we could watch the fight with impartial distance would only see our childish fantasy break apart like a cheap Wal-Mart pillow.

Even I have tasted the bitter blade.

The battle ended, as they all do, not with a bang, but a ‘whoomp.’  Whether because of exhaustion or depleted forces, or because the pillow fight was only scheduled to last an hour.

The field cleared of feathers, but not memories.

The battle is over, but the war continues, from one day to the next, from one generation to the next.

If we cannot resolve our differences, should we be surprised when our children rise and take up pillows against each other?

We live today, to fight again tomorrow.

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