Armor on or off?

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, you may remember I wrote that my son was being deployed to Iraq. Well, he\’e2\’80\’99s back in the States for a while, somewhat leathery from the climate but intact, and although he\’e2\’80\’99ll be going back in a few months, for the time being the anxiety level has fallen to the standard maternal throb in the back of the head.

Which makes the dream I had this morning interesting. I\’e2\’80\’99m talking to my son, and break off to tell him that I have to get going, but first I need to retrieve something hidden in the back of my closet. The closet, perhaps inevitably, is filled with books (not actually\’e2\’80\’94I keep my books on shelves when I can) and I have to pull them out and stack them up to reach behind them for\’e2\’80\’94the AK47 I have been issued. I hand him the gun because I know it will interest him (the AK47 was the Soviet equivalent of our M16 in Vietnam, and like the M16 is still in use in much of the world), then I give him a kiss and tell him to wish me well, and doesn\’e2\’80\’99t he think it\’e2\’80\’99s funny that his Mom is now off to basic training?

The odd thing is, I\’e2\’80\’99ve been thinking lately about the lines, \’e2\’80\’9cLet him not boast who puts his armor on/As he who puts it off, the battle done\’e2\’80\’9d in the context of the tour, as if I\’e2\’80\’99m finished the hard part of the year and can now rest on my laurels. In fact, however, I am only buckling the rewrite armor onto me, a much tougher proposition than being wined and dined while talking to people about that fascinating subject, me.

Apparently my subconscious thinks otherwise.

Comments

  1. CaraSusanetta says:

    Or in your case, resting on your Laurie’s. [Snort!] Sorry, had to hit that line drive you pitched. Sounds like it’s armor on time again, eh?

    I’m glad your son is home for a visit and you are getting to relegate your anxiety back into the closet. Makes me remember Bloom County and the anxiety closet!

    You’re pretty good at dream interpretation…guess it shows your literary soul. Do we have any dream scenes in your books? My memory is terrible. If not, you’d write a dandy one, I’m sure! I love how the mind gives us clues we would otherwise miss…hint, hint 😉

  2. Elaine B. Mulligan says:

    It would have been funny if when you pulled out the AK47 it was in the shape of a fountain pen!

    Great news about the son being home.

    Elaine

  3. Anonymous says:

    So happy for you that you have your son home for a while. Maybe your dream has another interpretation–women with books should invade Iraq! Middle age women with free flowing hair wearing swimsuits, not armor. It would be enough to send the insurgents running for the hills.

  4. Fantastic news about your son being home.

  5. Congratulations on your son’s safe return and best of luck to the both of you when he redeploys. What I find particularly interesting about your dream is the AK47 — why was it that rifle instead of the M16? What does that say about who and what you’re off to fight?

    Of course, sometimes a rifle is just a rifle 🙂

  6. Jennifer Ice says:

    Dear Laurie,
    I’m sure Holmes could have given you some help with that dream since he had answers for all of Russell’s. Glad your son is home. Keep your spirits high and Kate will be flying out the door in no time!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should dream about another gun, Aks are very, heavy. However the world is quite small sometimes. My nephew has just returned from Iraq, we were all so worried the whole time and there is so little one can do but that, he will be in my prayers.
    sheyla.

  8. Glad to hear you son is fine and home for a while\’e2\’80\’a6how did he finagle timing it so he didn\’e2\’80\’99t have to spend the summer in Iraq? Lucky him!

    As for the mother \’e2\’80\’9canxiety level\’e2\’80\’9d, right now, mine is through the roof – unfortunately, not from dreams, but a hard dose of reality. A good friend of my daughter\’e2\’80\’99s was the passenger in a tragic car accident that killed two teens last week. It has been heartwrenching watching my daughter struggling with grief for her friend. At the same time, it has been impressive and uplifting to see how she and her friends are supporting each other. I am so glad we live in a community that really understands the meaning of the word.

    \’e2\’80\’a6and oh,did I mention, between the accident and the memorial service, she got her driver\’e2\’80\’99s permit. Not that she\’e2\’80\’99s anything more than a new driver and not that I wouldn\’e2\’80\’99t have worried anyway, it\’e2\’80\’99s just having one\’e2\’80\’99s worst nightmare driven home with such complete and utter finality.

  9. Tell your son welcome back. I’ve been there, lots of us have been there and I think the best moment of my life was getting off the plane in the states and knowing I was safe. Love the dream…I’m sure you would do great in boot camp!

  10. Just reading Keeping Watch. A stunning, good, good book. Probably wouldn’t have, except the cover fooled me into thinking it was part of the Mary Holmes series.(I assume this was a deliberate marketing ploy on the part of your publisher?) I generally make it a habit to steer clear of films and novels about war–too painful. I was intensely involved in the war and since then suffered the guilt and attempts of many of us on the Left(most unsuccessful, I think) to make amends to the vets.
    I missed the whole fiasco of U.S. response to vets return. I was in Vancouver during those years, assisting conscientious objectors over the border into Canada.
    So Keeping Watch is a traumatic read. I only stuck it through the opening Vietnam section b/c the prologue successfully pulled my curiosity to discover what would happen with the man and the boy.

    How DID you manage to write this book? (On several levels–first, the knowledge level): People close to you who experienced some of this? much reading? interviews? what? Your usual use of detail and the verisimilitude that creates is stunning to mein this first section. And, how did you manage to write this book emotionally? To endure the jungles of Nam for all those days and weeks of writing?

    The leap from mystery to suspense novel–was that a choice based on the subject matter? You’re handling of this genre is superb, although I’m not a connosseir of suspense novels.

    so, just thank you for writing this novel. It’s an important book.

  11. Just reading Keeping Watch. A stunning, good, good book. Probably wouldn’t have, except the cover fooled me into thinking it was part of the Mary Holmes series.(I assume this was a deliberate marketing ploy on the part of your publisher?) I generally make it a habit to steer clear of films and novels about war–too painful. I was intensely involved in the war and since then suffered the guilt and attempts of many of us on the Left(most unsuccessful, I think) to make amends to the vets.
    I missed the whole fiasco of U.S. response to vets return. I was in Vancouver during those years, assisting conscientious objectors over the border into Canada.
    So Keeping Watch is a traumatic read. I only stuck it through the opening Vietnam section b/c the prologue successfully pulled my curiosity to discover what would happen with the man and the boy.

    How DID you manage to write this book? (On several levels–first, the knowledge level): People close to you who experienced some of this? much reading? interviews? what? Your usual use of detail and the verisimilitude that creates is stunning to mein this first section. And, how did you manage to write this book emotionally? To endure the jungles of Nam for all those days and weeks of writing?

    The leap from mystery to suspense novel–was that a choice based on the subject matter? You’re handling of this genre is superb, although I’m not a connosseir of suspense novels.

    so, just thank you for writing this novel. It’s an important book.

  12. QweySpiral says:

    I am very happy for you, having your son home!

    I was wondering, if you don’t mind sharing… How do current events effect your writing? Do you find yourself writing a happy ending when a darker solution would be more typical? or does the atmosphere of a scene get dark and gloomy?

    or is your writing immune from external influences?

    just curious.

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