Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Things We Carried

Ever since I heard that there was going to be a showing of a movie of a fairly recent book talk by Tim O'Brien on The Things They Carried (first published in 1990), I considered whether I should go see the 1-hour movie with a discussion afterward.  The movie was part of a series called "Writers in the Limelight," presented by Village Books (Bellingham's independent book store) at the tiny Limelight Cinema in downtown Bellingham.

Since 2006 when I began this blog, I've come a long way with the things I've carried in the wake of the Vietnam War, and I questioned the wisdom of visiting those memories today.  After a walk with a friend down by Bellingham Bay this morning and meeting with a group of friends afterward, I decided to risk opening old wounds in the hope of finding some healing for those old wounds.

Outside the theater, I recognized a Vietnam veteran who speaks in the local schools as a member of Veterans for Peace.  There were two other men of similar age along with a few women who looked to be in their 60s.  The event was sparsely attended.  There may have been a few younger people, but most of the men and woman appeared to be in their 60s or older.  After the movie, there was a short discussion facilitated by one of the booksellers from Village Books.

It was a wise decision for me to be there today.  I can look back, look at the present, and also look forward without the haunted feeling that I lived with for so long.

What I've posted below is a similar recent book talk on The Things They Carried.  It's worth listening to.  After an introduction, Tim O'Brien begins speaking at about 3:40:

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