The Rocket, The Gun, The Old Man at the Dinner Table


I wrote this piece about three years ago. With the turmoil that is in recent news, I felt the need to try and share as it has given me a little more perspective in time.

I hope you do to....



The Rocket, The Gun, The Old Man at the Dinner Table

I dreamt of a gathering 
 a multitude of friends – catching up on years of life, accomplishments, and regrets. Some were well off, while others(in the same rut of life) were wasting their hopes and talents away.

I dreamt that they all sat atop a hill looking over a great city. The city was torn with violence and destruction, spilling out into the streets  into it’s suburbs and onto the out reaches their civilization. People were killing one another and an escape seemed like a far away fantasy.

My brother and I stood amongst the community, frightened by the possibility of 
the violent chaos of the city reaching us. Some amongst us were armed in the event of a sudden attack, believing that a ever growing stock pile of guns and ammunition was the answer to security. My brother and I wanted no part of it and couldn't face the certain death within a random cross fire. We decided to leave the small hilltop and the far outskirts of this city – away from the only home we ever knew. We wandered deeper into the distant mountains and rocky canyons, hoping to find lasting peace and shelter.

We stumbled into a small village and a small family took us into their home. They did not have much, but what little they did have they gave to us and fed us with their days harvest; we took refuge and we were glad. During that evening’s dinner, the father spoke of a lifetime of great achievement – wealthy in wisdom and compassion. My brother and I listened in great awe and reverence, hoping that one day we could be able to tell a similar story to our children.

Then I dreamt of a great black sky suddenly flashing a searing white – turning the very night into day. A distant fireball, a rocket-like projectile soared and collided into the horizon. The family cried out as the earth shook; a plumb of smoke rose in the far distance – a pillar of impending death – a judgment reigning down upon us all. How can man create such devices while disease go uncured and hungry children of the world cry to sleepThe small family took refuge, but I knew there was no escape. My brother and I too shelter within a small bathroom in the basement – using only a bookshelf to barricade the door, but we knew it was futile. This was the end and we knew we only had a moment to say goodbye. Then a great fire consumed us all and everything we ever knew. I felt nothing: no pain, no sorrow, and no tragedy – only a blazing white furnace of destruction. 

And then…

My eyes slowly opened and I realized I was now awake – a memory of something not yet come to past. I have been blessed with another day to do what I decide to do. The trees outside the small apartment window gently swayed in the autumn breeze, a blue sky hovering above. The room sat still in a great silence, with nothing to fill the air but a faint ticking of a table-side clock.

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