A long time ago in a place far away, a place called Vietnam, I had to come to grips with the monkey. The monkey was not war. As a colored woman born in the forties, the monkey was life. Vietnam just forced me to look at it. Maybe it allowed me the opportunity. Who knows. Looking back at it has been almost impossible. You see, growing up my grandmother would always say when I wanted to explain something, "Baby-darling, will talking about something that has already happened change it?" Of course it wouldn't change anything. Any fool knows that. "Well," she would say, "Then it's not worth talking about. You're just wasting time." So on I would go, never getting a chance to understand what had happened or trying to figure out if I could have changed it. War was like that. You see, it didn't matter if I talked about it, nothing would change anyway. It had already happened. It was my belief that talking about it would only take up the time that I need to work on other things.


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