Monday, September 13, 2010

Freedom and Ashes

Patrick and our group of volunteers are heading out today, heading toward the factory that has the turbines we need to build our power stations.

Pat really doesn't want to leave. He has been one of our best friends for what seems like forever, and he has been trying to be there for Jess and I after the shooting and loosing the baby. And while both of us have taken a lot of solace in his being there for us, living in the zombie apocalypse has taught us that hard practicality and taking advantage of opportunities trumps whatever personal tragedies we face.

Because the facts are simple. We love Pat and will miss him, but his staying here will do nothing to help Jess heal faster, and will not bring back our child.

But his going will mean a chance at sustainable power, which will benefit everyone here immensely. Most prominent in my mind at present is the fact that the clinic will be able to grow into something closer to a hospital, since with all that electricity we will be able to run x-ray machines and the like. Frontier medicine only suits us as long as it's required by circumstance...

Which leads me to something interesting.

Evans has started taking names from people to learn medicine. He's got enough gray in his hair that he worries about leaving us without a doctor and surgeon. Will has asked permission to learn from him, which is surprising. Some people are still nervous about Will, worried that someone from his unit in Richmond managed to perpetrate such a heinous act here. Those folks don't think we should put full trust in him, and they lump medical training in with that.

I happen to think that every person who learns skills that might save others is a treasure. It's something that we will take up in council, as well as the larger issue of Will's place here in the compound. I don't think it's fair to the guy, given the strength of character he has shown us, that we continue to dictate his freedoms piecemeal. I think it's time for a definitive yes or no on his status. Is he a citizen here, as he wishes to be, or an enemy?

I will vote citizen. He has proven himself to me, and has killed for us. And I think that if we are going to build a society that will do and be better than the one we have lost, we need to start trusting a little more. Making one man's life so stressful and complicated because of where he comes from rather than judging him on his actions in his time here only makes his life that much worse. The constant fear of being thrown out or imprisoned for his former affiliation with the soldiers in Richmond does nothing to improve his life. I don't wish that albatross of stress on anyone, because as we have all been shown once again in the last week, life is far too short.

It's here to be lived, and enjoyed if possible. Will could die tomorrow, and if he does, I would like it to be with the certainty that he did so in service to his equals, as we should be in service to him.


I guess I should add, before I go, that we had a small service for the baby yesterday. Nearly everyone who was off duty wanted to come, but it ended up being Jess and I, with Will, Pat, Steve and Courtney. Treesong acted as our minister, and we gave our unnamed son our love as we set the pyre alight. We decided to spread the ashes at the base of an apple tree near our house. I'm not a religious person, and only spiritual to a mild degree, but it gives me hope to think that he will help that tree grow, and that its fruit will strengthen and sustain others.

To all of you that wanted to come, we are sorry. It would have been too much for me to see the sadness on your faces, our own pain magnified back at us hundreds of times. Jess and I appreciate your love and concern, and hope that you understand.

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