Struggle is the very essence of nature. As long as humans have lived, there has been war, and today there is no single issue looming larger in the American psyche than the matter of war with Iraq. After the “expert” opinions, national surveys, and grainy surveillance photos, ultimately – Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Julia King believes – the heart must respond. Here, she lets hers speak:
Struggle is the very essence of nature. As long as humans have lived, there has been war. And
today there is no single issue looming larger in the American psyche than the matter of war with
Iraq. After the “expert” opinions, national surveys, and grainy surveillance photos, ultimately –
Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Julia King believes – the heart must respond. Here, she lets hers
I am a woman who wants peace. It was stitched into the fabric of my soul some 400,000 years
ago when first we walked the planet. It was written in the stars and in the rolling oceans and in
the crickets’ song and on the soft, sweet-smelling skin of my daughter’s cheek. It’s not a whim,
this longing, this weight in my bones; it’s of design.
Women know these truths, not because we are better or smarter, but because we are different
from men, especially men who would launch horror into the lives of mothers and sons,
grandfathers and daughters, friends and strangers.
Yes, women have been loud and angry and strong; we have dominated and bullied, we have
fought and attacked, but we have not made war. Because we have grown humans in our bodies
and labored to help them into the world and then cradled them at our breasts to nourish them, we
take personally their orchestrated, surgical destruction.
I know, some will shout “stereotype!” They’ll say it’s not that simple – and they’ll be right: it
isn’t. “Margaret Thatcher,” they’ll say. But I won’t be convinced. And that’s okay – every
certainty is an imperfect expression of the human condition.
One can persuade the mind of almost anything. But women have learned to listen just as
carefully to a different kind of honesty – to joy, to pain.
Do not misunderstand these words: feeling is not the subjugation of intellect. Women are smart;
we are knowledgeable; we deal in fact and information. We simply understand that love, that
loss, that death, that anguish is also information – that it is not incidental that the sound of
children’s laughter warms, or that a husbands’ touch comforts, or that the frailty of a parent
saddens. These are factors to be added to every equation. And only once in a very blue moon do
they add up to war.
Women know early in life the joy of friendship, the richness of human connectedness. We grasp,
as if by magic, the evanescence of life. It is why we worry, why we cry, why we celebrate so
fiercely the things, the people we know to be important. There has never been a new mother who
didn’t lose herself in her baby’s eyes… and who wasn’t also terrified at the prospect of one so
small and delicate holding so much in that tiny, beating heart.
“What if…?” Mothers have whispered for all these thousands of years, “What if something were
War ignores all of these things. But they’re true. Go look at the stars; watch the ocean; hear the
crickets. Smell the soft skin of your son’s cheek. Peace is true.
And I am a woman who wants peace. It’s not a whim; it’s of design.
Host Tag: Julia King lives and writes in Goshen, Indiana. She comes to us by way of the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.