Holidays in the Trenches

Being Real Enough for Each Other

Ahnna Marie
Dec 22, 2018 · 2 min read
Image by Engin Akyurt on Pexels

You didn’t come to start a war. You came-to in a war zone, looking for a way out. Those who hate you for disturbing the peace, ignore the landmines under your feet. Offended more by the wound than the violence that inflicted it. Peace is an easy option for those whose firmament is safe.

I’ve learned not to trust the flags people wave. A war cannot be known by it’s symbols. The enemy isn’t the banner; it’s an infectious solipsism. We treat each other like avatars. Like you are standing before me as a emblem of what you represent. Like your pain is a metaphor in my story. How we love a good story.

Image by mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

We dismiss each other’s cries because we dismiss each other’s nuanced realness. Only perfect victims allowed. You don’t look hurt. You have other motives. You don’t fit my narrative. Bleed for me. Play to the crowd of me. Make your agony easy for me or else I won’t recognize it.

Use the symbols of culture to carve out space for your pain to be allowed to exist.

We try to play those parts for others, too, because the purpose of communication is to reach out to the world around us, to participate in life, to get a response. So we use the convenient stereotypes, and then we ask you to see past them. We are soldiers in this war but also financiers, double agents trying to survive.

I haven’t found a path out of here. I don’t have a map to sanctuary. There’s no savior swooping in, no deus ex machina. There is only us, clinging to our humanity, to the faith that we can learn to see through our prepackaged fictions about each other… and about ourselves.

You can’t tend this soil without disturbing the roots. You can’t sew your seed without pouring water from your father’s cup. But it’s Christmas, so we dig a trench and hold, awaiting a better option down in the hollow earth.

Christmas Truce of 1914 Image from “The Times History and Encyclopedia of the War

Ahnna Marie - Poetry

Poetry of Ahnna Marie

Ahnna Marie

Written by

Essays. Culture. Equality. Maybe some poetry and light flirting. Pronouns: she/her

Ahnna Marie - Poetry

Poetry of Ahnna Marie

Ahnna Marie

Written by

Essays. Culture. Equality. Maybe some poetry and light flirting. Pronouns: she/her

Ahnna Marie - Poetry

Poetry of Ahnna Marie

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store