For now we see through a glass, darkly …
1 Corinthians 13:12
The damnable truth is we are really in different worlds, on totally different planes, and I don't know you anymore I only know the you that was. I wish I could explain the desperate sense of isolation, of not belonging to my own past, of being adrift in some kind of alien space.
Farley Mowat in a letter home from WWII - And no Birds Sang
My father was a soldier once.
He would tell you that was enough.
Growing up this didn’t seem remarkable, wasn’t everybody's father a soldier in the war?
What he and all the other fathers did during the war changed your life, although you may not realize it.
I can't understand what it means to be a soldier, what it means to go to war, so I don't understand a big part of who my father was.
We can try to understand by looking at what they carried and how they lived; here is his uniform, his rifle, this is where he slept and this is what he ate.
We can learn the history of the war, it’s strategies, battles, and statistics.
In the end, though, we build a myth on what we think we know. Even the most accurate the fiction is a shadow of reality.
We see through a glass, darkly. Some part remains forever out of reach, undefined, unknowable.
A soldier is in direct contact with the worlds great doings, red hot from the forge of history, not so much to alter events as to be altered by them.
There is no ordinary soldier, only soldiers. Each with a tale about a separate life, about who they once were, who they once had to be, and who they became.