Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Things Great And Small

I’ve finished reading Ghost Wars, Steve Coll’s account of the rise of Bin Laden; a very sobering book - a tragedy of errors on the American side. It strengthens my belief that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a colossal and unnecessary mistake – that war took energy and resources away from Afghanistan from where the 9/11 attacks had been conceived. The questions remain. Can the porous Afghan/Pakistan border ever be controlled? Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, can it be controlled? Frightening questions.

According to the New York Times parts of Alaska near Juneau are rising as glaciers melt as part of global warming. There are golf links now in what used to be mud flats at low tide. At university I learnt that Norway was still rising as a consequence of the end of the last ice age. Geography is, amongst other things, climate.

I’ve stopped writing poems since I started this blog. Obviously my creativity is going into it. What is gratifying is feedback. From friends mainly. But sometimes complete strangers. Usually by email, sometimes letter, once or twice phone. I’m delighted by such contacts. The world comes to me.

Ill-health narrows down that world. Recent dinner party talk made me aware how much this has happened to me, our guests talking about their recent experiences. Mine are reduced to the apartment, the view from it, books, the internet, and the conversation of friends and visitors. In their different ways they are still rich but they lack the stimulation of variety. Hence,an emphasis upon nostalgia.

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