Saturday, November 12, 2016

We are all in this together

At the moment, I can't think of a damn thing I can do to undo Tuesday's national self-destructive behavior. The idea of convincing the Electors to vote for Clinton instead of Trump is interesting (she did win the popular vote) but not likely to be successful. (Of course, that's what "they" all said about the Trump campaign.) Instead of sitting around, stewing, raising my blood pressure and harranging the Better Half about the dismal state of the world, I went and did something to help some others.

our common home
our common home

I made a contribution to Project Healing Waters. However, rather than exercising my usual check-book liberalism, I went to a session at Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop and actually talked with the guys doing the heavy lifting of organizing the fishing and fly-tying activities for "disabled active military service personnel and veterans." I may even volunteer some of my own time and energy in the future. Then I'd be more in alignment with what I've been reading about and espousing on supporting local economies, local food, local conservation. I've let myself drift away from local involvement on a number of fronts. I can't afford that any longer. I'm becoming convinced none of us can. The more locals can depend on each other, the less we have to rely on Washington. These days that's becoming more important.

it was a dark and stormy night
it was a dark and stormy night
Photo by J. Harrington

We fear what and who we don't know. That's why some many of us were afraid of the dark when we were younger. We couldn't see who or what was out there. The same kinds of fears grow when we spend all out time on the couch or at the desk or coffee shop communicating only with those "just like us." The interesting part is that I don't know anyone that's really "just like me." Do you know anyone "just like you?" Hell, I'm not even the same me from week to week. Remember the "you can't step into the same river twice" observation? So, if there's no one just like you, or me, we're talking about degrees of difference, not absolutes, aren't we? Let's try to remember that.

If we truly believe John Muir's observation that "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.", then we're all hitched to each other to varying degrees. That being so, we need to work a hell of a lot harder at finding common ground and focusing on that. Why? Because all of us are facing a slew of problems that we've created for ourselves and it's going to take all of us, working our hardest, together, to get solutions on the ground. Gated communities might be able to avoid many of the problems brought on by global warming, but even fancy golf courses owned by Presidents-elect get flooded when the water keeps rising. Not much of an inheritance to leave for kids, even rich, well-connected ones, is it?

Letter to the Local Police


By June Jordan


Dear Sirs:

I have been enjoying the law and order of our
community throughout the past three months since
my wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneous
photographs of the six grandchildren belonging to
our previous neighbors (with whom we were very
close) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearly
prospering under your custody

Indeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite my
vigilant casting about, I have been unable to discover
a single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,
much less complaint

You may easily appreciate, then, how it is that
I write to your office, at this date, with utmost
regret for the lamentable circumstances that force
my hand

Speaking directly to the issue of the moment:

I have encountered a regular profusion of certain
unidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,
and according to no perceptible control, approximately
one quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southern
side

To be specific, there are practically thousands of
the aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riot
of wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and only
the Good Lord Himself can say what diverse soliciting
of promiscuous cross-fertilization

As I say, these roses, no matter what the apparent
background, training, tropistic tendencies, age,
or color, do not demonstrate the least inclination
toward categorization, specified allegiance, resolute
preference, consideration of the needs of others, or
any other minimal traits of decency

May I point out that I did not assiduously seek out
this colony, as it were, and that these certain
unidentified roses remain open to viewing even by
children, with or without suitable supervision

(My wife asks me to append a note as regards the
seasonal but nevertheless seriously licentious
phenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one may
apprehend at the corner of Nelson and Main

However, I have recommended that she undertake direct
correspondence with you, as regards this: yet
another civic disturbance in our midst)

I am confident that you will devise and pursue
appropriate legal response to the roses in question
If I may aid your efforts in this respect, please
do not hesitate to call me into consultation

Respectfully yours,


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