Jane Røken – Long Epic Peace

Long, Epic Peace
At the back of someone’s garden, under an overturned wheelless barrow, lived a little piece of Peace that dreamt of being long and epic.

Since any piece of Peace is by nature an orphan, and a single child by default, it had no one to ask how its dream could be fulfilled. Even the scummiest outcast has a backing group of sorts; even the scurviest midden-rat has a formidable network, but a piece of Peace is on its own.

So the little piece of Peace decided to bring its quest before the municipal authorities. The stairs were many, long and steep. The counters and desks were high and intimidating.

“Please, I want to be long and epic.”
“Only war has the stamina to be long. Only suffering has the moral right to be epic.”

The little piece of Peace climbed down the stairs and shuffled home to its shelter under the barrow. At night, when all was dark, it went out again, broke into a DIY centre and stole a five-litre bucket of red paint.

Jane Røken lives in Denmark, on the interface between hedgerows and barley fields. She is fond of old tractors, garden sheds, scarecrows and other stuff that, in the due course of time, will ripen into something else. Her writings have appeared in many very different places, mostly online.



One thought on “Jane Røken – Long Epic Peace

  1. Having fairly recently watched The Quiet American with Michael Caine in the lead role, I remember the shock when I first read Graham Greene’s masterly exposure in my early teens.

    As my Uncle Harry, Dad’s brother, and Aunt Phyllis had emigrated to New York in the early 1930s, had my cousin Maureen there, and become American citizens, and Dad, formerly of the RAF, stated unequivocally that Britain would not have survived without Lend-Lease, and the American efforts after Pearl Harbour brought the USA into WWII, during childhood I had been inclined most favourably towards The Peace Corps, young Americans mostly committing their temporary overseas assistance to “good works”.

    Once I had assimilated Greene’s insistence that The Peace Corps was a clever covering of what was apparently inevitable skullduggery masquerading as aid, I became far more cautious about U.S. motives, the Vietnam War doing nothing to dispel my qualms when I was a uni student from 1964 to 1967, and mixed with several Americans who both here and “at home” were very bitterly opposed to conscription and their involvement in Vietnam.

    I remain grateful to the Wilson Government for turning down LBJ’s pleas for the UK to become involved, unlike the Korean War where British troops had been involved on the American side partly as thanks for U.S. aid to Britain and its allies in WWII.

    I really am most grateful that NATO and the European Union have cherished “Peace In Our Time” and feel blessed to be living in a civilsed country during the relativel civilised era of my nearly 70-year lifetime.

    Thank you, Jane, and thank you to The Stare’s Nest for finding room for this.

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