Sunday, November 22, 2015

Finding our way through the fog

late Autumn fog, St. Croix River
late Autumn fog, St. Croix River
Photo by J. Harrington

I'll spare you a long exposition about how much I admire Robert F. (Bobby) Kennedy, but it exceeds my veneration for and pride (as a fellow resident of Massachusetts) in his brother Jack as Sen. John F. Kennedy was elected president of these United States. I don't know how much Bobby was blessed with some of the best speech writers ever or how much he contributed himself, but many of his quotes offer me reassurance and hope in these times, just as I find his tour of eastern Kentucky resonates with many of the issues Minnesota faces in 2015. I hope you find both comfort and inspiration in his words and ideas.
"Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on."
"But suppose God is black? What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response?"
"Ultimately, America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired."
"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."
Many of these quotations strike me as essentially being variations on another Senator's theme, that "We all do better when we all do better." I don't think it gets any more Minnesotan than that.

Fog Horns

By David Mason 
The loneliest days,   
damp and indistinct,   
sea and land a haze.   
   
And purple fog horns   
blossomed over tides—   
bruises being born   
   
in silence, so slow,   
so out there, around,   
above and below.   
   
In such hurts of sound   
the known world became   
neither flat nor round.   
   
The steaming tea pot   
was all we fathomed   
of   is and   is not .   
   
The hours were hallways   
with doors at the ends   
opened into days   
   
fading into night   
and the scattering   
particles of light.   
   
Nothing was done then.   
Nothing was ever   
done. Then it was done.


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