Three Ways

Timothy Wilken writes:  One of my strongest childhood memories is of fear and running. A pack of boys are chasing me and my brother. If they catch us, they will beat us up. I am very tired. We have been running for nearly thirty minutes. My heart is pounding so hard I can hear little else. Perspiration fills my eyes making it difficult to see. A hundred yards ahead my twin brother is running easier. He is taller and a great runner. The pack cannot catch him. But, they are getting closer to me. Recess is almost over now, if we can just hold out until the bell rings, we will escape back into the safety of the classroom. But our escape will be short-lived. I remember dreading every recess – every lunch hour. Just like in boxing, at the sound of the bell we would all come out fighting. At every recess, the war would resume. … To my seven year old mind, conflict seemed really stupid. Both sides got hurt. I tried to give as good as I got. Hurt and be hurt. I realized in that first year at the new school that there were no real winners in conflict. Even, when you “won” somehow you lost. It didn’t make any sense to me.  (06/16/02)
more…