Profoundly Sorry

Lord, I’m profoundly sorry that humanity
has wiped out 60% of animal populations
since 1970 and that means that we are well
on our way (in combination with all our

polluting and global warming) to annihil-
ation of all life and an uninhabitable
earth. I could try to make a defense of
my family’s attempts to conserve, but

I feel they are paltry and only one family
in a world that takes everyone, all families,
all corporations and governments to stop
the destruction and begin the restoration.

I heard a young environmental scientist
tell me on the trails of Arizona that we
are done and that we should just enjoy it
as long as we can. He told me but I didn’t

want to listen. I’m listening now between
the tears. I don’t know how this happened.
Honestly, growing up in the national op-
timism of post WWII America, I thought

everything was great and getting greater.
Sure, I was disillusioned in the 60’s with
war and racism, but I thought peaceful
protest would change all that was wrong

and some progress was made. In the 70’s
we started to hear about the environ-
ment, but I never realized that oil and
gasoline and their by-product plastic,

which meant such progress to our economy
and our joyriding, would turn out to be
a double-edged sword. Now, in light of
all the political chaos, it seems that

is the critical subject as the media
would have us believe, but, in reality,
it is relatively insignificant when
viewed in light of earth’s survival.

As a scientist ominously said, “We
are the first generation to know we
are destroying our planet and the
last one that can do anything about it.”

Kyrie Eleison. Amen.

Like The Old Commercial Warned

While I love the out-of-doors
and can glimpse the face of God,
as they say, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.
We try, so, be cautious where you trod.
Anymore, it could be said that she’s vindictive;
it could also be said she’s more arbitrary.
If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time
Mother Nature can be quite contrary.
So watch out for the volcanoes
and tsunami’s, too,
and where hurricanes and tornadoes
may fly through.
It wasn’t always this bad.
The animals always anticipated and stayed safe.
Our human toll on nature is very sad.
Apparently, our polluting is something
Mother Nature hates.
So as it has been said,
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature;
it’s an understandable toll on us
she is beginning to take.

By the Grace of God

By the grace of God, he never will have to speak
with the (p)-resident of the United States. He
wouldn’t know how. He, who is almost never at
a loss for words, would have no idea of how to
converse with a pathological liar. The (p)-
resident just makes up things, declaring them
certified facts when, in reality, they just
pop out of his uninformed, possibly certifiably
sick psyche (if a psychiatrist ever gets to
examine him to draw just such a conclusion).
And what would be even worse would be speak-
ing with any one of the sixty-million Americans
who believes the (p)-resident’s every word.
And he does. Some of these people are family
members. So, when they get together, which is
less and less frequent and more and more
often at a neutral site such as a restaurant
with juicy hamburgers they all can praise and
agree on, they take a lot of time figuring out
what to order if it is something other than
a hamburger or maybe it is one of the many
burger variations on the basic burger (which
is very time-consuming), smile a lot, talk
about children and grandchildren and the
friends of children and grandchildren
and spend a whole lot of time chewing and
mumbling uh-huh, over and over and over.

Simple Effort, Simple Pleasures

Something as simple as climbing the ladder
(or holding the ladder for a loved one)

and cleaning the gutters gives me the
satisfaction of knowing that when the

thunder-storm hits later in the day the
water will run off harmlessly while I

sit reading and occasionally looking
up at the fire in the fireplace and

glancing at the Chocolate Lab sleeping
contentedly in the big, stuffed chair

in the corner until the thunder starts
and the lightning strikes at which

time she will jump from the chair and
run over to where my wife sits and beg

my wife for pets and kisses and

There Was Never a Democracy….

I read that John Adams said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

It will be 227 years on December 15 since the Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution of the United States. It has been 242 years since the Declaration of Independence. It only took 15 years from declaring independence to having the completed form of the Constitution. I’m sure it felt like a long time for those original framers in those perilous, tenuous times.

In the great scheme of things, how long is 227 years in living under an agreed upon document? A blink of the eye. And so we cannot assume that our democratic republic will remain for posterity. Adam’s words are ominous and we must remain diligent.

We, perhaps, are living in the most perilous time to that agreed upon life. What fears draw us to authoritarian rule? What leads us to give up on each other? What draws us from “we the people” to the almighty “I” — when it is “I, I, I, me, me, me,” and not the “community of we”?

Have we forgotten that we are all, including Native Americans, immigrants, those who traveled thousands of miles to be here for economic, political and religious reasons — for freedom? Have we forgotten that our uniqueness in the world is our unity in diversity?

Perhaps a democracy which only emphasizes rights of individuals and not the community context in which individual rights are guaranteed, is destined to suicide. As it has been said that it takes a community to raise a child, it takes community to secure the rights of the individual. Perhaps the essential question is “How do we see ourselves as a community in diversity and not tribal, warring clans composed of angry, resentful individuals bent on the destruction of others?”

The Preamble to the Constitution is as follows: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (sic), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States….”

And so we see there is an emphasis on community through the words such as union, common, justice, general welfare, blessings, etc. But this appeal to our better angels is not referenced nor acted upon nearly enough by our duly elected officials some of whom sell their birthright for a pot of porridge and betray their calling as elected officials for thirty pieces of silver thus advancing the cause of plutocrats which inevitably leads to resentment by the people treated unjustly and a house with an open window for despots to fly through.

We do need to be reminded regularly and often that the collective cause is a worthy endeavor to keep in check our personal demon of selfishness that leads to resentment and eventually hate, violence and ends in self-destruction.

If we are not to commit democratic suicide, our commitment must go farther than the constitutional guarantees of rights for the individual, to a call for just the opposite (ironically), the self-sacrifice of the individual for the bond of an all-inclusive, diversified, community.

Perhaps, John Kennedy, realizing the fragility of a constitutional democracy, was getting at the essence of a mutually supportive community when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

And that assumes caring for our constitutional, democratic republic is worth holding off the despotic authoritarians who start by constantly tapping on the window much like Poe’s Raven. The narrator opens the window and the raven flies in, perches on the bust of “wisdom and reason” indicating that wisdom is overshadowed by negativity leaving the narrator to live in the raven’s shadow. That’s bad enough but depots, promising the heaven the raven denied, bash in the window at night (Kristallnacht) and destroy all in the household.

Let’s hope and pray John Adams was wrong and act on that hope and prayer to ward off those who now tap on the window and then plunder and to ward off those who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing by exercising our constitutional right of assembling for peaceful protest and, first and foremost, voting.

Climate Change

The climate has been changing —
yes, of course, that one, the big one,

but there is another climate change —
the climate of tolerance, acceptance,

inclusivity, equality, justice and
compassion is changing rapidly in

our country to intolerance, rejection,
exclusivity, inequality, injustice and

hate. Tolerate isn’t all that great
but it is still a lot better than hate.

Jewish people, Muslim people, Black
people, Brown people now are all con-

sidered despised mud people by white
supremacists warns a Latina journal-

ist. Well, guess what, white suprem-
acists, we are all mud people — from

dust we came and to dust we shall

Xanadu Redux

Alone, not solitary but lonely, coping
with being separate from all others,
creation, from life itself — shout it out,
“I am great,  great,  the  greatest.  I am
the best. No mistakes. I am a genius. I
went to the best schools. I am the strong-
est. I am so stable. On the other hand, you
are crooked, low energy,  low IQ, a liar, a
thief, little, tiny, teensy-weensy while I am
big, big, big, the biggest, most wonderful
human who ever existed, exists or will ever
exist.” The record runs down, the batteries
are depleted, the big bag of wind collapses
on the bedroom floor and after but a very
few hours sleep, once again come the tweets.
Alone in his bedroom with only the TV and
his phone. “It’s the weekend, goody-goody,
gum drops. Can I go out to play, mommy,
daddy? I want to go out and play! I’m going
out to play. I’m going to play golf. Who
can I pay to play golf with me? Mommy,
daddy, it’s snowing. May I ride Rosebud?
Mommy, daddy! Where is Rosebud? I want
my Rosebud!!!” “Shake the little snow-globe,
honey.  There’s Rosebud, your Rosebud. No-
body can ever take it away from you.”  Thank
you, mommy and dearest daddy.”