Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Matterhorn

I keep trying to understand why we can't have peace in the world, or at least a little less discord, but then, most of us, probably deal with a great deal of discomfort and discord within, so there is that.  At a party, a few weeks ago, a friend insisted I read the book Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes.   The title didn't intrigue me nor did the subject, the war in Vietnam.  I had read a wonderful book years ago by my friend James Janko, and thought that was enough, but now i see how much more there is to know and understand.  Janko's book I recommend: Buffalo Boy and Geronimo. Both men wrote their books as a path of healing, and both books carry us through pain, love, and care.

I give you the last paragraph of Matterhorn as an invitation into a masterful work of healing, understanding and growth.  Mellas is listening to men chant the names of those in Bravo Company who have died in a mission that makes no sense.

"Mellas didn't sleep that night. He sat on the ground and stared out to the northwest, toward Matterhorn. He watched the mountains subtly change under the shadows of clouds cast by a waning moon as it moved across the sky until the shadows began to fade with the coming of light in the east. He tried to determine if there was meaning in the fact that cloud shadows from moonlight could move across the mountains and yet nothing on the mountain would move or even be affected. He knew that all of them were shadows: the chanters, the dead, the living. All shadows, moving across this landscape of mountains and valleys, changing the pattern of things as they moved but leaving nothing changed when they left. Only the shadows themselves could change."
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