|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|
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 ourcommunity throughout the past three months sincemy wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneousphotographs of the six grandchildren belonging toour previous neighbors (with whom we were veryclose) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearlyprospering under your custodyIndeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite myvigilant casting about, I have been unable to discovera single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,much less complaintYou may easily appreciate, then, how it is thatI write to your office, at this date, with utmostregret for the lamentable circumstances that forcemy handSpeaking directly to the issue of the moment:I have encountered a regular profusion of certainunidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,and according to no perceptible control, approximatelyone quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southernsideTo be specific, there are practically thousands ofthe aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riotof wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and onlythe Good Lord Himself can say what diverse solicitingof promiscuous cross-fertilizationAs I say, these roses, no matter what the apparentbackground, training, tropistic tendencies, age,or color, do not demonstrate the least inclinationtoward categorization, specified allegiance, resolutepreference, consideration of the needs of others, orany other minimal traits of decencyMay I point out that I did not assiduously seek outthis colony, as it were, and that these certainunidentified roses remain open to viewing even bychildren, with or without suitable supervision(My wife asks me to append a note as regards theseasonal but nevertheless seriously licentiousphenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one mayapprehend at the corner of Nelson and MainHowever, I have recommended that she undertake directcorrespondence with you, as regards this: yetanother civic disturbance in our midst)I am confident that you will devise and pursueappropriate legal response to the roses in questionIf I may aid your efforts in this respect, pleasedo not hesitate to call me into consultationRespectfully yours,
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.