Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social (maybe) equity (not so much)

Well, the roofers and the framers who were supposed to be working already won't start construction before next Monday, most likely. Sigh. Since we have an old fashioned roof-top antenna, once it comes down, no TV until the roof is reframed and reshingled and the antenna reinstalled. Talk about the old conundrum: "do you want it quick, good or cheap? Pick two." We've already eliminated cheap so I was hoping for quick and good. Now it looks like we're down to "good" as the only remaining option. I hope we don't lose that one too. On the other hand, a forced absence from TV, and, particularly the news, will help develop the spirit of the season, I think.

I used to wonder what my Dad meant when he'd say "It's a great life, as long as you don't weaken." Now I think I know. Meanwhile, the tree is decorated, I went shopping yesterday for some holly but the local florist had none--zilch--zero! I'll be in "The Cities" later this week and see what I can find there. The hope-full news is that Paul Douglas today is writing about warmer weather with El Nino finally kicking in.

Christmas tree all decorated, 2014
Christmas tree all decorated, 2014
Photo by J. Harrington

In his Star Tribune blog, Aaron Brown has done his usual high quality and insightful job writing about Up North racism and healing. I like the way he also touches on the racism experienced in Minnesota by Native Americans. Since social equity is one of the pillars of a sustainable community, we all need to have more meaningful conversations about what it takes to build a Minnesota (and a United States) that works for all of us. I'm keep thinking of the statement attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. As we add to the billions of us already here, and slowly, oh so slowly, start to recognize our interdependence equals or exceeds our independence, the truth of Ben's observation grows and grows, as does Gwendolyn Brooks' truth.


By Gwendolyn Brooks 
And if sun comes
How shall we greet him?
Shall we not dread him,
Shall we not fear him
After so lengthy a
Session with shade?
Though we have wept for him,
Though we have prayed
All through the night-years—
What if we wake one shimmering morning to
Hear the fierce hammering
Of his firm knuckles
Hard on the door?
Shall we not shudder?—
Shall we not flee
Into the shelter, the dear thick shelter
Of the familiar
Propitious haze?
Sweet is it, sweet is it
To sleep in the coolness
Of snug unawareness.
The dark hangs heavily
Over the eyes.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.