Saturday, November 05, 2011

Eva Obsession

My obsession with Eva Peron continues.  I have been trying to figure out exactly why and today, during a refreshing hike with my dog, I finally put my intellectual finger on it:  Eva Peron loved her country unconditionally.  She loved it enough to fight the politics to help the poor and the working class.  She loved it enough to tell her people how much she loved it.  And she did it before she died at the young age of 33.

My mother might say that's prophetic because that's the age Jesus died.  And while I know the people of Argentina dubbed Eva Peron "Santa Evita," I realize she wasn't a saint.  No one is.  My husband said from what he knows, she was a woman who justified the means with the end.  That probably means she knocked people off when they got in her way. But such were the times and the location.  I'm not excusing the behavior, but I understand it.

Yesterday at work, there was a novel lying around, something about military action in Argentina. I thumbed through it but honestly, found it unreadable.  It was far too technical and dry for me (strategies and all, as far as I could tell).  I wondered what kind of CIA action we had going on in Eva's time, and I then wondered for a second if I loved my country enough to die for it, even if I couldn't stand to see what our country was doing.  As I've mentioned several times, I've often contemplated being in the military.  But what would I be fighting for?

In the woods this morning, I decided I would not be fighting for country but for people.  There's a difference.  When you fight for country, you could be fighting for government and its ideals.  As far as I am concerned, though, my government has betrayed me.  They didn't protect me against a federally funded student loan scam.  They can't agree on a national budget.  They wage partisan wars and encourage social unrest.  No, I would not fight for my country if country is defined by government.

Over and over, I've listened to "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and over and over, I am moved by this women and her love, not necessarily for abstract country but for human beings.  I've spoken about this musical to my classes, have given them several handouts on Peron, and hope they get the chance to see the movie (the version with Madonna and Antonio Banderas isn't bad and it might appeal to them).

The message I received in the woods is that I hope I can love so greatly and be able to give so much as she did.  That's a life worth living, no matter how brief.
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