forgive me father, for I have sinned; it's been 25 days since my last blog.
what up, girl...you sorry slacker; you think having your college girl home for a few winks gives you any excuse? or was it the unexpected encounter with a dentist saying, oh girl (to my girl) you have no cavities, but....all four wisdom teeth need to come out, like, now. If all goes right -- and so far so good, now that we are on day three of the long day after -- she will have plenty of time to have an In N Out Double Double, like for four days in a row, at least, before she has to go back to school. Cross your fingers. (and No. There is no comparison to any other burger joint on the planet...and that includes, Five Guys, Splunkers, and Shake Shack, and the like. So there.)
Perhaps it would be an understatement to say that much has happened since my last entry.
Perhaps it would be an understatement to say that much has happened since my last entry.
double double ugh.
At least, as of this moment, we are not shooting the muthafucka out of North Korea yet; there is that. But what a war of strategery going on, eh? Perhaps if good ole boy BillyBobClinton settled this once and for all, way back when, we wouldn't be in this situation....anyone?
Um something tells me North Korea doesn't really wanna join the "community of nations" in any meaningful way. (so, given where we've been and where we stand today, just maybe somebody should be looking deeper into that "good deal" we made with Iran, um not so long ago. Just sayin'; and second, is anyone gonna get Billy to comment on this downward trajectory of late and our fate? That would be fun. No?)
But here we go --
into the fray --
into the furor and fury --
into the terrible things that happened just today, in America.
In Charlottsville, VA to be specific. August 12, 2017.
At one point during the afternoon, our president's twitter account said this: "We must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST."
Timing is such, that just this morning I was reading my monthly issue of IMPRIMIS, from Hillsdale College. In it -- the July/August edition -- there is more than one excerpt, of more than one occasion. adapted and made available through their "readers monthly." Dr. Michael Ward is featured, with an adaptation of his convocation address, at the ground breaking in April, of Hillsdale's new Christ Chapel, and titled: A Time to Scatter Stones and a Time to Gather Stones Together. It's REALLY GOOD! BUT sadly, for some reason, the web is not cooperating in giving me access to this latest edition, perhaps its too early. Not to fret; here is a link to the video of his actual speech from the day itself! [It's only 25 minutes. But I don't care; watch it or don't watch it.]
The Imprimis edition hits all the hot spots; like the part when he describes one of his life's missions, "to reclaim the word 'religion' from this verbicide it's been suffering. [Given it's bad rap of late.] It doesn't mean formalism or fanaticism. Etymologically, it means rather something like tying back together -- re-ligion: re-ligamenting, re-ligituring, finding the unifying reality behind disparate appearances, seeking oneness, integration, wholeness, 'a theory of everything' (as Stephen Hawking might say)."
And I just love this flashpoint -- beginning with something Richard Dawkins once said, that "religion flies planes into buildings but science flies rockets to the moon." Dr. Ward goes on to poke fun at that kind of logic like so: "Firstly, religion and science -- being abstract nouns, not people -- don't actually do anything, good or bad; they're not agents. And secondly because, if we are going to play that game of ascribing agency to abstract nouns, one might as well say 'religion gives us Mother Teresa but science gives us mustard gas."
There is a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones together....indeed.
And after a day like today in Charlottesville -- apparently, there is also a day to throw stones.
Oh for the joy of nation building...over and over and over again.
I'm not aiming to make light of what happened; there are so many things wrong with what seems to have happened today, not sure where to begin, really. So let's not. Let us then get distracted one more time --
The second piece in the July/August Imprimis happens to be upon the dedication of a very special statue at Hillsdale....a distinguished American and change maker: Frederick Douglass. He was elevated to "statue-hood" by direct association with the township of Hillsdale, coming to meet one day with the ladies of the literary society. As history would have it, he spoke in the College Chapel on January 21, 1863. And as Imprimis highlights, the "title of his lecture was 'Popular Error and Unpopular Truth.'" Douglass is quoted as saying, "There is no such thing as new truth. Error might be old or new; but truth was as old as the universe." So beautiful.
Going on to emphasize one of his observations, the Imprimis continues, quoting "that the Constitution knows no distinction between citizens on account of color....we utterly repudiate all invidious distinctions, whether in our favor or against us, and only ask for a fair field, and no favor." And adding, "Douglass was no fan of 'race pride', counting it 'a positive evil' and a 'false foundation'.'' For Douglass, "the only relevant minority in America was the minority of one -- the individual. The government of all should be partial to none."
That is all well and good, indeed.
When a certain "race pride" rally got out of control. What is wrong with the south? -- and so close to the Mason Dixon line, too. What is this 1860?
Yes, the Constitution is color-blind and similar to religion and science -- that "being abstract nouns, not people -- don't actually do anything, good or bad; they're not agents" -- the Constitution relies on the people to uphold its full and gracious and grand scope of all things relating to liberty and freedom for all.
Make no mistake -- INDIVIDUALS made bad decisions today in Charlottesville. INDIVIDUALS are to blame for the horror of all things executed today, things that most Americans believed we thought were long past. long past.
Suffice it to say, though, it wasn't the fault of the Dodge Charger; it was the person behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger. (whether planes, trains, or automobiles...or guns...it's all the same.)
And who is he? Someone equal to the age of my very own baby girl? A twenty year old -- from Ohio -- who purposefully and recklessly and shamelessly and with malice in his heart, went to Charlottesville to wreak havoc, to dispel his kind of hatred towards another human being (or 20!) God bless their souls.
So just as my twenty year old was dealing with the recovery of oral surgery, here was somebody's boy, of the exact same age, plowing down innocents -- and all I can compare this to now is the feeling of total shock. If I put the two beside the other -- my girl and this boy -- as a mom, my heart sinks into an abyss of what his mama may be experiencing right about now.
...and I thought my last 48 hours was difficult.
Truth is, the rally itself, never really got under way. The warring factions took to the streets before the actual event -- even before the speeches, before the lament of times changing and the process deciding the fate of historical statues of ill repute (like that of Robert E. Lee) -- which as the courts would have it, suddenly had to come down simply based on the gut wrenching feelings of guilt, and being an open reminder of an age when many individuals aligned with the wrong side of human rights; for some, it was simply too upsetting for the faint of heart, unable to reflect upon the grace of God that brought us OUT of such dark ages to begin with.
The thing is: wouldn't a statue such as this be almost necessary? To remind us, with brutal honesty, of our transgressions, in order to never go back?
Couldn't these statues be looked upon in terms of being a constant re-ligamenting to the horror of the actions of other humans against other humans, and its effects upon American history of long ago? We have to know these things, or what, pray tell, keeps us from sliding back into the way of so much of the rest of the world? Is knowing the fault of our stars and stripes too much for us to handle these days? Really? Are we really that weak?
I want my girl to know the damage of what's been done in all of America's 241 years -- along with every good. And there has been lots of good.
It's all essential....the good, the bad and the ugly.
Today was really ugly. And very bad.
I firmly believe that the people who voted for Trump, predominantly, want good things for ALL AMERICANS. I can say this, because I AM one of those Americans and I know what's in my heart.
I refuse to slide back into a civil war -- these "white nationalists" and "white supremacists" do not have the power over this land and do not speak for the majority. It's of a certain false foundation, relying upon harmful civil disobedience to gain a foothold, and that I will have no part of. The whole point of the Civil War -- the age of the sixties of both centuries, nineteenth and twentieth -- was about unification; a mountain top religious experience that made the theory of everything and nothing at square one again in equal portion (with maybe some lingering growing pains).
And with some certainty and a whole lot of travesty, there just may be a connection with the Black Lives Matter protests with what the centuries old stones turned over there in Charlottesville today...especially taking into account of what happened about a year ago in Dallas, Texas with the assassination of five police officers -- that was not a good day in America either. Protests and rallies based upon the color of our skin is never a good idea, it's just not.
This is a time to gather stones together and rebuild.
This is a time to come together and revile all attacks that get in the way of the process of re-ligamenting America, every step of the way.
And the good news: this kind of resiliency and strength of courage is built into our very roots. Time and time again we have dug deep, and time and time again we sprout, we heal, we make hay, we grow. Nothing gets in our way when our intentions our good and pure and wholesome and of one, sound, loving mind in an e pluribus unum kinda way.
This is a sad day. But here I sit, nearly exhausted of my own world of worries, and yet, fully confident that something good will come from all of this.
At this very moment, my baby girl -- of all of twenty years -- is resting peacefully...hence, the time to blog instead of a time to not blog; while also in this moment, my wish for another twenty year old is for him to rest in jail for the rest of his life, and may he never have a good night's rest.
My prayers go out to the families unexpectedly struck with grief -- so far, three people have lost their lives and many more injured. God bless us one and all.
Make it a Good Day, G