The crawler came across TV sometime after 9 p.m. the President of the United States would be making a statement of national importance about 10:15 p.m. As has become the habit of many, turned to CNN to find out what was going on.
The statement had been delayed. All anyone had been told was that it was not about Libya. My mind scanned the earth, or at least as much as I could visualize. For whatever reason my focus settled on Osama bin Laden.
By the time the President came on it was almost anti-climactic, the story was on all the networks: The wicked witch was dead! Or at least that is how I heard it. One of the problems with the way I see the world is that too often it is in allegories, metaphors, and similes. I somehow envisioned Dorothy in the Land of Oz.
An enigmatic tornado lifted Dorothy's cabin and deposited it in Oz; followed by one of the most famous of movies lines, "We're not in Kansas anymore."
The cabin landed squarely on the head of a wicked witch, a most noteworthy event. A multitude of Munchkins rushed into Times Square proclaiming:
Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, and get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go...
Turns out that is neither the end of the story nor of this parable.
Seems there was yet another witch.
Killing the wicked witch was not the solution, except perhaps for those who were really tired of hearing about the problem. Dorothy would have quite a journey ahead in order to reach the security of the Emerald City, where lodged an infallible wizard. And, although living safely seems a logical goal to Munchkins everywhere, Dorothy's real goal was to return to a land of peace -- apparently Kansas would suffice for this.
There were hard roads ahead for our heroine, new allies to make, battles to face, loss to endure. In the end even what seemed such a worthy objective, an all-knowing wizard, proves something less than advertised.
If you have borne the metaphor this long, allow for one more point of order.
What sustains Dorothy is that she has the good on her side. Armed solely with ruby slippers, she invades the enemy stronghold and succeeds or fails by maintaining the right against any wrong.
It is good that the Wizard of Oz comes to us from an America of the 1930s. While it is certain evil still "walks about, seeking whom he may devour," it is not at all clear Kansas is what it once was or that we ourselves can ever go back.
Mr. President, the wicked witch is dead; and Munchkins everywhere rejoice you made it so. However, I respectfully submit ridding the earth of witches does not get us back to Kansas, for there will always be other wicked witches while evil walks about.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.