Terrorists Attack


The Beast heard that I was trying to do something to improve my life and it is pissed. It’s pulling out all the stops. They say the darkest hour is just before dawn. I hope that’s true.
If prey, by some miracle, escapes the mouth of the tiger, the most dangerous moments are when the prey is still close enough to be recaptured. I want to make this work. I want my life to work. I’m praying to God for help. It’s going to take a miracle. And I’m willing to do the work.

With so many on Earth struggling just to have something to eat or clean water to drink, I fell ridiculous complaining about this but apparently I have lost my brand new iPad and external keyboard. I think I left it on the plane. The iPad was a gift and I am broke. This laptop is pushing four years old and is showing signs of its old age. It’s my way of keeping up the blog and it holds several of the “nearly finished” scripts I’ve tried to work on over the last two years. The iPad was to be its replacement. How could I have been so careless? Stress makes me do stupid things. It’s as if I was carrying an armful of kettle-bells and someone just handed me an anvil.

Today is the anniversary of a horrible terrorist attack. Religious zealots killed a large group of people who were simply striving for a better life.On September 11, 1857, fifty or so Mormon terrorists, dressed like Native Americans, attacked and slaughtered a group of Christian pioneers as they made their way through Utah on their way to California. How can people, supposedly centering their lives in worship of and service to God come to believe that such a vicious and criminally insane act is what that God wants them to do?

One hundred and forty-four years later, a group of religious zealots flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York killing thousands who were simply striving for a better life. The United States’ response, in which I took an active part, has killed over a million people– many who were just innocent people, simply striving for a better life. They happened to be living in the “wrong place” as we unleashed our wrath in what seemed to be considered by most, a justified “response.” There is a broad sentiment among the foot soldiers and leaders in the American War Machine that we are somehow blessed by God in our endeavors, that we are acting as part of a righteous crusade, and that those many, many thousands of innocent deaths are simply an unfortunate and unavoidable consequence; they call them “collateral damage.” In light of President Obama’s speech last night, it looks like we are going to do it again. In the words of the old gospel favorite (they are embedded in my psyche forever), “I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

On September 1 of this year, when I made a public declaration that this would be my last year on earth unless I could take the steps to make it better, I upset a lot of people. I’ve apologized for that and trust me, I understand how selfish it was. I know that I am lucky in that I have a lot of people who care deeply about me and want the very best for me. Through my writing, my play, the movie, and my activism, there are a lot of people who seem to have a personal relationship with me– even if it is with their idea of who Jeff Key is. I don’t want to hurt anyone and I’m sorry for the emotional distress I’ve caused. Within a couple of days after my declaration, I found myself at lunch with a large group of friends. There were a lot of people there I knew but also a few I didn’t. Two of these people made the somber announcement that they were entering hospice care because of untreatable cancers. One was a young, beautiful woman who has just reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago. They so desperately want to live and they have so much to live for. How could I be so recklessly considering giving away what others would give anything to hold on to?

Through my peace activism and veterans advocacy work, I have met dozens of parents who lost their sons and daughters in the war of which I was a part. In getting to know Karen Merideth, Vickie Castro, Jane Bright, Cindy Sheehan, Carlos Arredondo, Kevin and Joyce Lucey, and many others who lost what they treasured most as a result of the Iraq War (Jeffrey Lucey committed suicide upon his return), I got to know about the children they had lost. What would they not give to have them back? How could I devalue the life of an Iraq Veteran (me) when it held such incredible value for these people I care so much about?

I’m determined to stick it out. To say this is hard work would be an understatement on the grandest of scales. I am trudging through a very dark place but at least my feet and my fingers are still moving. The blog is helping. But with this determination comes this inordinate amount of resistance. As I said before, the Beast is pissed. Because of my beliefs about God, I cannot believe in a “devil,” but I can certainly see why so many mythologies throughout human history have included the idea of evil deities. It is literally like something (that very clearly wants me dead) has its hooks in me and is ripping my flesh away as I try to pull free. I pray for God’s protection. I pray for Divine help.

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