Letting Go

After years of skipping all the WWI era songs on my MP3 player, I simply deleted them. I have them on my computer if I ever really want to hear them but odds are I won’t.

I feel like the memories are losing their sting at last. Maybe I’ll feel it again but I’m in no hurry. Life has changed. I feel alive for once and I’m thankful for it. Life feels less like a prison now as the memories of that far-off time become less and less a feature of my existence.

Maybe one day I’ll still go to Flanders and make one last gesture of farewell. But I can’t put my life on hold for that. I am not John William Harris. Maybe some part of me once was but it’s all just memories and habits.

I’m forging a life now. Hopefully the kind of life Jack could only have dreamed of. I have mountains, forests, and miles upon miles of rivers and oceans to weave a new tapestry of memories. Good memories.

And one day, hopefully when I am very old, I will be buried here in Oregon. And there will be no sobbing over that grave from my future self over a life squandered, only the gentle songs of scrub jays.

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Always A Bit Weird

Always a bit worrying when I see a spike in views on a blog that is now half-extinct.

A couple days ago there were 66 views on my blog, almost all of them from the UK.

I immediately wonder, who’s there and why? And what the brief but intense spike in activity actually meant?

Part of the reason I’ve kept this blog going is because this corner of the Internet is quiet. But I know how easy it is to attract too much of the wrong kind of attention. At any rate my need to talk about these things is not so great that I’d press on any further if I were becoming some kind of side show. I said pretty much all I needed to say about the topics involved and the event I wanted to get closure with never materialized, so it’s no big loss to me if I have to call it done. I guess I’m only keeping this alive out of some hope that I will get to Flanders after all.

It’s Official…

I’m in a polyamorous relationship with my husband and now a girlfriend, something I never thought would happen.

It happened quite by accident too. The plan was to have a roommate, not a girlfriend. But we hit it off, things happened, and my husband warmed up to the idea when I made it clear I was not going to sacrifice his love for anything.

I guess it stands to reason, but this proves I’m at least somewhat bisexual. The intimacy she and I share is very different, though, and we both have strong inclinations toward men. Still, I find myself falling for her with little reservation. I see a lot of myself in her and she sees much of herself in me.

It’s funny, I often write books with characters stumbling into polyam relationships but never thought it would happen that way for me. I feel doubly blessed even if I’m still keeping it low-key for now.

Like my husband, I don’t think she and I crossed paths in another life. I strongly suspect (for reasons only she and I know) that her most recent lives were probably in Russia or Germany. If I was ever in Russia it was a very long time ago and I have no clear memory.

Frankly, I don’t care. I’m twice-lovestruck here and now and loving every minute.

 

Why Is This Thing Still Going?

Honestly, why is this blog still going?

I guess I was keeping it on life support until I could get back to Flanders and get some closure. But I doubt that’s going to happen.

I’m wasting my time. This is garbage. I can’t keep bellyaching about something that happened more than a century ago. I’ve got problems here and now. Yeah, it would be nice to go back. I wish I could. But you know what? Shit in one hand and wish in the other. See which one gets full.

I can’t put my life on hold for the frivolous luxury of a trip to Europe that will in all likelihood never come. This blog is less a part of me now than it ever has been. I almost never talk about past life stuff any more.

I don’t know if I can hang it up though. Maybe it’s an old habit that’s tough to break.

Will We Eat Children Next?

I don’t post my political speculations here often because they’re most likely too wild for you guys, but recent developments have been beyond sickening. And the more I think about the implications, the more disgusted I get.

As many of you know upwards of 1500 children detained by ICE have gone missing, many of them sold to sex traffickers.

I recently had a horrifying thought: What if the rest were sold for their meat?

Normally I would think such a concern was batshit, but as bad as things are, I fear there is no such thing as too low. After all, if you’d sell a child to a pimp, you’d sell them to a butcher, right? Maybe it’s time we start examining the supply chains of the food we’re eating for evidence of cannibalism. Just in case.

But this is an extreme statement, isn’t it? A hot take? A provocative statement that doesn’t stand to reason? Even the Nazis didn’t sell people for meat! They did awful things but they didn’t do that! But you know what? I’m pretty sure the Nazis didn’t sell children to sex traffickers either. Maybe they did but it’s not something I’m aware of. So we can establish that this government is possessed of a depravity beyond that of the Third Reich. There is no bottom any more; they’ll do anything for a buck.

And guess what? SESTA has made it easier for those human traffickers to hide! The bill that was supposed to prevent human trafficking has, in fact, forced the industry into the underworld where it already had a sizable presence. You can still buy slaves on the Dark Web.

So not only did they sell children to traffickers, they also passed bills to make it easier for the crooks to get away with it. And lest we forget, SESTA had resounding bipartisan support. Perhaps one or two out-of-touch idiots voted for it thinking it was an altruistic measure but how many of them voted for it knowing FULL WELL it would benefit the child sex trade? To quote Cicero, Cui Bono? Who benefits?

Again, I say, why wouldn’t they stoop lower? Why wouldn’t they try to trick us into cannibalism? Can you look at the stark facts of this situation and tell me with a straight face we’re not well on our way toward eating children?

Some More Info About Jack

I did some digging on a number of sites but it appears that there isn’t a John Harris from the 2nd Battalion of the KSLI listed on ANY of the war memorials in Herefordshire. This was after cross-referencing two lists.

I already knew he wasn’t listed on the Yeovil Roll because he was not living in Yeovil at the time. Nor is it a surprise that he’s not on any of the Shropshire rolls because he wasn’t living there. But the best information I have says he lived in Herefordshire, specifically Hereford. Why is there no mention of him on any of the monuments?

Was he not living in Herefordshire? And if so, where was he living? I know he enlisted at Nuneaton but Nuneaton was a major army town in those days. At any rate, the Roll of Honour for Nuneaton hasn’t been published online yet as it was only recently compiled.

BUT… along with raising more questions, I may have found out which company of the KSLI Jack was in! According to this page, only one company of the 2nd Battalion had any casualties in July 1915: “B” company.

Also, I reexamined the pdf I was sent of his pre-WWI military service and discovered it was full of information I hadn’t noticed before! I don’t know how I overlooked the following pages all this time but I can tell you this does answer a few questions about him!

So here’s what I know about Jack’s service so far:

*He had been previously enlisted (No. 6834) until February 1914 as a reservist with the KSLI (2nd. Bn). Before that he was active from 1902 to 1910 and served in Secunderabad. His address at the time the war broke out was probably at #1 Coronation Terrace (or lane, the handwriting is unclear). This house may not exist or the street may be renamed.

*He had no education certificates to speak of. His occupation is listed as “laborer.” Sadly I cannot confirm my memory of working in the hop fields on a seasonal basis but this remains plausible.

*He had no physical resemblance to me. His physical appearance upon transfer to the reserve is described thus:

Height (without boots): 5′ 6″

Chest: 34″

Waist: 33″

Exact size of helmet: 21 1/2 (note: I can only guess this refers to a pith helmet as this record predates the Brodie by some time).

Exact size of boots: 7.4 (I do not understand this figure and need to find more information on how boots were sized in the British Army prior to WWI).

Complexion: Dark

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Dark

Descriptive marks: Nil

A description upon enlistment is less legible but he was bigger overall and his hair is listed as dark brown. This page also lists his religious affiliation as Church of England.

*He received several disciplinary actions and remained a private for his whole career. I recently noticed that his behavior is noted, and in most instances it involves drunkenness but there are also two unexcused absences, creating a disturbance, and wilfully damaging a captain’s(?) property. Sadly this a little too much like me in some respects as a lot of this is behaviors I’ve only conquered in this life.

*During his tour in India he suffered an attack of phebitis, heatstroke, fever, and some other conditions which are sadly illegible to me.

*He reenlisted in the 2nd Bn. (No. 7324) some time in September 1914. His records from 1914-1915 were probably lost in the Blitz and most of the data on him comes from CWGC sources.

*He served in “B” company.

*He may have served with his brother Albert, who may have been wounded and likely survived him by almost 60 years.

*He was present at the Second Battle of Ypres.

*He survived the battle but was killed in action later that summer in a quiet sector, L’Epinette, a small hamlet near Houplines and Armentieres. He was a front line casualty, most likely killed in the trenches along the Ruelle de la Blanche between Chemin de L’Epinette and Chemin du Pilori.

*He is buried in Ferme Buterne Military Cemetery, Row C, Plot 1. His epitaph, “He Did His Duty,” was most likely written by his brother, Albert, as his name is on the cemetery records.

I need to do some more research now to see if him being in “B” company confirms or disproves some of my meories. This is a small detail but an important one if I can find the movements of the individual companies during specific battles.