I know what it is like to kick the earth, or at least a piece of wood. I thought my toe would never recover. I looked around, of course, for someone to blame and there were two dogs pulling on the lead. I bit my tongue in the metaphoric sense, and kept walking.
The reference of the title is to the lyrics in the song by Redgum, “I was only 19”:
Frankie kicked a mine, the day that mankind kicked the moon,
God help me he was going home in June.”
This lyric has poignancy for me because I can remember that day in Perth. Vietnam was the furtherest concern from my thoughts and concerns.
That is the way it is for young soldiers now as ever. We are not aware of the anxiety they experience in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. And the populations experiencing these conflicts do not get a mention – except perhaps as refugees. In those cases we put up the barriers at the borders, forgetting that one of the strongest evocation of nationalism is the violence perpertrated in other peoples’ countries. Perhaps the creation of the other, the dehumanization that makes violence possible is more honest that what passes for love of what is constructed as our own kind.
And yet the argument would be made that violence is the necessary condition for peace. It is as if nation states are concieved in violence, and that it would be a contraction to employ and sponsor nonviolence.
As far as I know Dexter and Hannah are not concerned about this subject. It is peaceful enough for them to go out safely. And they seem to get something out of their walks – which probably is not conveyed by photos. I have used Silent Partner’s “Chances” again:
And for an evocation of times past, Redgum’s reporting on experience of the Vietnam War:
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Winter Soltice, which slips by almost with note. And self-respecting pagan would find this to be a signifigant moment. Just goes to show how our forebears looked south seared themselves away from their social context. Any attendant grief associated seems to be unrecorded.