Sunday, May 29, 2011

When the world no longer makes sense...

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and the world was not the orderly place you know today? I read an article in the latest issue of Writer's Digest  and a newly published author, Karsten Knight, mentioned how quickly life can change. He said something like he was an unpublished author at 9AM and at 9:15AM he was talking to his future editor and his life was changed forever.

What has happened in your life that changed you forever? I think of a few things immediately. The obvious is when I met my wife, Kim, in Austin. One minute I was having drinks with my friends and the next minute I was looking into the eyes of the most beautiful woman I had ever met. I think of when each of my children were born and I held them. Theses were changes for the better.

Then I think of how excited I was to be part of the Advanced Party rolling into Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-90s. I was sick with the flu and we had been driving our vehicles for days. I was a Tanker by trade (M1A1) but was on a Fueler HEMTT at the time.
I was an NCO and my Driver was PFC Stewart. We were so tired of driving through the rolling Hungarian countryside that when we got word we would cross the Sava within the hour, we started chanting and yelling. We blasted our stereo Stewart had thought to bring along. We were about to get into the "real stuff"! 
Then it happened....
We came to the river. The modern bridge spanning the river was mostly destroyed. There was no way of crossing it. We got our first look of the devastation on the other side of the Sava. We were in a bright, beautiful world of color. On the other side was a gray world of burnt and smoking buildings. . There were half destroyed building and every building had holes and chunks - all created by firearms and mortars. The trees were mostly burned skeletons and there wasn't a sign of life. It was a world that made no sense
Our cheering faltered then faded to silence. Stewart and I looked at one another. He asked me, "Sergeant Taylor, do you think we'll be OK in this truck?" Stewart was a Tanker also. We were used to having armor around us.
My world changed at that moment. I think it was the first time I realized I could actually die and never know it was coming. Prior to this, I thought I would slowly die of old age and just go to sleep one day and not wake-up. 

When I write, I like to think of those moments that life changes. Those small instances where we connect with something beyond our previous experience. I feel that by touching these moments I am able to reveal a little more reality to those who read it or perhaps connect on a level that resonates after they put the book down.

What has happened to you that changes your world?

1 comment:

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