Thursday, November 13, 2008

My reflections of Dexter Filkins at the Dekalb Public Library, October 2, 2008

I am looking for a word to call this. Ordinarily, I would call it a "review," but somehow, I don't think a person who has spent the last five years in a war zone needs my "review." Maybe I can call it my "reflections," since I'm over a month tardy in writing it, and the word reflect suggests looking back.

I attended a presentation on October 2 at the Dekalb Public Library by Dexter Filkins, author of THE FOREVER WAR.

As I was waiting for the talk to begin, I started reading the book. In the first chapter, Dexter wrote about
 attending a public execution and amputation in a sporting arena in Afghanistan 10 years ago, so I knew from the start this was not a book to read before going to bed. Nightmare city. But it was real.

Dexter opened his talk by telling the same chilling story. As I looked over the crowd, I could see the looks on people's face
s go from a pleasant welcome for Dexter to grim.

Dexter shared photos by James Hill, who
m he'd traveled with for months in Afghanistan and Iraq. The photos were magnificent. I wanted to jump out of my chair and be there...until Dexter would unfold a story that would usually end in death.

For instance, the funky
-looking old man with a beret...who turned out to be not the local artist but a war lord. And the truck load of men that looked like they were going to work on some sort of desert farm...but were really prisoners that were crying out for water in several different languages; they were dead within hours.

The two sisters in burkas were cute. I pray they are still alive and safe.

I sat there and wondered, with all the beauty and majesty of this land how could such human atrocities be happening?

The only negative thing I could say was Dexter kept telling us he was going to be brief and not talk for long. I wished I could say to him, Dexter, people
were jumping through hoops to get there and hear you. Don't be brief!

Also, at the risk of not seeming to take the subject seriously enough, I must say, Dexter is easy on the eyes. He also has a very cute personality.

1 comment:

Delie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Mavis. I wish I could have been there with you!