Make Love Not War by Sarah White

This month’s featured story is an intoxicating tale of cultural encounter, romance, and missed opportunity by Sarah White, president of the Association of Personal Historians.  It will likely remind you of your own ‘un coup de telephone’ which I hope you’ll write about post haste. This story was just released in the Seasons of our Lives: Summer anthology. Please also listen to Sarah’s story on YouTube.

Make Love Not War
by Sarah White

It’s July 4, 1978. I’m sitting in a dorm room in Dijon, France, with the girls of “Group Indiana” who are throwing an Independence Day party. A classmate has brought a new friend from his dorm, a Lebanese boy named Halim.

The Hoosiers are homesick for their hometown festivities. “Just two years ago we were celebrating the Bicentennial–two hundred years since the American Revolution.”

Halim interjects softly, “Two years ago, I was fighting in a revolution, myself.” That trumps nostalgia and we all turn to listen. “I’ve come to Dijon to make up some classes I need, because the civil war in Lebanon interrupted my studies. I joined the Palestinian guerilla forces. I am a Communist.”

Sometimes a moment changes everything. Sometimes the trigger is a phone call, or as the French say, un coup de telephone — a blow, punch, shock. My coup came …     finish the story at the Women’s Memoirs website.

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2 Comments on “Make Love Not War by Sarah White”

  1. February 2, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    This is a terrific story in so many ways. I love the writing, clever in a way that brings a smile. If I kept a list of phrases to celebrate, several expressions from this story would be on it including “banquet to this starving man” and coup de telephone. I love the glimpse of the times, the shocking shift from Midwest to Global. And above all, I love that “Story” lifts you the writer as well as me the reader above social mores and shame and transports us into the magical world of the Story where in retrospect the mistakes, stumbles, and mystery turned out to be steps along the path. I need to read a lot more of your work.

    Best wishes,
    Jerry Waxler
    Author of Memoir Revolution

    • February 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      So well said! I’m glad you enjoyed the story as much as I did. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jerry.

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