Amongst the dark vastness of the many millions of blogs, occasionally one shines through like the famous crazy diamonds. Words so powerful, the shafts of light they portray into worlds we'd never otherwise see.
Cold Steel Rain is one such blog. As long term BSS readers will know, due to my relationship with The Captain I have a particular concern for serving and former members of our armed forces. I wept impotently watching a strong, powerful man retreat into a world of terror so powerful he had no idea where he was. A world where pain was so overwhelming that to burn his own flesh with lit cigarettes offered a comfort and focus I couldn't provide. A world a million miles and many years away, but one so real to him that my mere presence invoked a violent response. I knew never to wake him suddenly, to always approach directly, but when his world overtook the world we shared the only thing I could do was withdraw. Understanding his trauma protected my mind, but could not protect my body from his. My Ehlers Danlos Syndrome saved me from a broken arm, when he was in a mental state so disturbed he thought I was attacking him. It was a line I wasn't prepared to cross and one he was too unwell to even know he'd broached.
To say Cold Steel Rain is beautifully written sounds trite as it is a former soldier detailing the traumas of war and coming back to the civilian world. It is an achingly poignant insight into the kind of horrors most of us will never see and will never have to thanks to the bravery of others. Cold Steel Rain should be mandatory reading not just for those making decisions about sending others to war, but for all of us.