September 14, 2013
The Far Pavillions was the nearest book and the tenth word was “once”. I did do a Google Image Search of the word, but really, my mind was already spinning in so many different directions, that it hardly seemed fair to stimulate it any further.
Once is such a lovely little word. Who doesn’t have fond memories of “Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after”? But, has it ever occurred to you that logically, there can only ever be one fairy tale? Yes, it’s true, because the line goes, “Once upon a time…” So, pretty much, the fairy tale racket should have ceased and desisted after the very first “Once upon a time.” Or at the very least, all of the subsequent fairy tales should have followed sequentially.
Moving at once, from one literary genre to another; well, slightly moving from one literary genre to another, we find The Once and Future King by T. H. White. From fairy tales to legends, I give you King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot and the Holy Grail, Might Makes Right. Okay, White’s book may not have officially coined the phrase. However, Might Makes Right is a prevailing theme throughout the whole of the four books. You might even say that it is a theme of biblical proportions, I mean, I wouldn’t, but there is that whole David and Goliath thing. Sadly, still a truism today.
“Once more unto the breach,” dear Friends, is a line from my favorite William Shakespeare play, Henry V. The play centers around war and is at once, both violent and inspiring, sort of like, you know, war. Not that I would ever once think of calling war inspiring. However, violence seems to bond men as brothers and inspires them to fight, not for one, but for “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
From The Battle of Agincourt (1415) to The Vietnam War (1965).. I suppose once man started, he couldn’t stop. Case in point, 550 years after England’s Henry V and his band of brothers were outnumbered by the French 5 to 1, and won, so comes the book We Were Soldiers, Once…and Young by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway. Paralleled underdog stories, only this time it’s 450 U.S. soldiers against 2,000 North Vietnamese. Huh, war, it sucks. All at once, my off the cuff remarks don’t seem too funny anymore. It seems that once I get closer to the present, there is no fourth wall. Hmm, yeah, war sucks.
It also seems that once I started to realize that I was being flippant about war, I wanted to stop blogging at once. Let me just wrap it up right here. But not before I ask you, dear Readers, just once, when it comes to war, “can’t we figure out what we keep doing wrong? Just once, can’t we find a way to finally make it right? To make [peace] last for more than just one night?”* Just once, dear Readers, please, just once. Peace, and I really mean it, ~v.
*Thank you, James Ingram.