16 December 2010

Life following leave


So I have a tendency to stop posting when the situation shifts to such a state where the emotional vividness or the social mechanics of the situation become difficult to articulate absent the context of such a “unique” time and place.  It’s most likely laziness or lack of literary adeptness on my part, but it’s sometimes difficult to describe what’s going on here as so little of what happens stands out as events that can be easily be isolated and relayed.  In fact, everything here is interwoven into some incredibly complex, utterly disturbing, and distortedly civilized tapestry that creates an abstraction of humanity which stands as a piece of postmodern art.  Most things that happen here only make sense here and only through the lens of the experience that has brought us to this point in the deployment.  I struggle with accurately relaying that content.  Not to mention that most of our conversations and antics are not to be repeated among polite company.

I enjoyed a wonderful leave for a large part of my absence from blogging.  Leave is truly a bittersweet thing during which the military is kind enough to give us our lives back only to cruelly rip them back away from us once we truly begin to feel again… once we truly understand what it is we are missing.  I relished the moments to see my daughter walking around for the first time and exploring the world in a way that only a mind unblemished by the negative aspects of humanity can do.  I had the opportunity to experience the anticipation of a new baby in a way that’s not possible here given the complexities of living in two realities.  It was a chance to enjoy the experience without worrying about arbitrary deadlines and issues of contrived experiences.  I glimpsed briefly into the incredible difficulties that my wife has experienced in playing the role of two parents, working, and dealing with the emotional turmoil of deployment.  I will never completely understand what she has endured, but I am humbled at her ability to take on the other part of a deployment… the part that gets far less glory and very little press recognition.  In short, I had a vacation to be a whole, real person again.

Back in Iraq I have quickly fallen into the daily routine of moving things around, shuffling paperwork, and gossiping like a bunch of middle-school girls.  Our days are a countdown until the end of our deployment and an extended waiting period between meals.  Meals are for all intents and purposes the clock that drives the Army.  Our focus has started to shift on getting ready to get out of here, but there’s still plenty of time left to go.  We have created a pretty rigorous social and entertainment schedule that gives us enough to look forward to push us through each day.  Our nights are marked by dinners eaten with the company of Pat and Alex as we compete through episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.  The weekends bring Risk tournaments (complete with complex scoring and ranking system) and movie night.  Time passes slowly, but it passes in good company.  For all the negative facet of a deployment, the people make up for it.  The soldiers set the tone of mutual dependency and camaraderie that makes it all bearable.

The picture at the top is me following my daughter as she leads me through the airport to get my luggage at the start of my leave.  And as always I promise to attempt to try to possibly post more… that’s it for the moment.

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