We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Daily archives for July 4th, 2018

Yankee Doodle

Summer                                                                  Woolly Mammoth Moon

4th of July, 2015

4th of July, 2015

Celebrating the beginning of the American experiment. SeoAh, oddly, enough is a Yankee Doodle dandy, born on the fourth of July and currently with Joe and Murdoch on the beach somewhere in Florida. In the military Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the 4th of July are big, moments of national attention to the difficult life chosen by those in the armed forces.

The 4th, though it retains a certain martial flare exhibited in parades and political speeches, is also about remembering the life of our country, its many birthdays and its often rocky history. This 4th of July being in the moment, being present to the current reality of our country is devastating to me. Trump and his executive branch filled with people opposed to governing, with crony capitalists and regulators captured by the industries they oversee, have drained this July 4th of its joy.

Ruins of Johns-Manville factory, September, 2015, Alexandria, In.

Ruins of Johns-Manville factory, September, 2015, Alexandria, In.

Instead it occasions reflection, a how did it come to this wondering. We are all complicit, of course. Too confident in the uneasy, but predictable governing of traditional Democrats and Republicans, reading amity as a sense that if things were not exactly ok, they were as good as they could be expected be. Now that amity, the politics of my youth until the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War showed the poison blossoms that had been just waiting to bloom, is long gone, certainly after 2001 though the roots are a lot, lot deeper.


Bailey, Co. September 2015

In the complex sashay between politics as usual and the politics of the marginalized some of the latter decided to walk down the aisle with plutocratic grooms. This July 4th the marriage of one percent privilege to the rage of white Americans who feel their privilege slipping away has turned a bright light on the problem of factions, well known to the writers and signers of our Constitution. We are in a time of politics by defamation, by lie, by corruption, by deceit, by arrogance, by rapaciousness, by the basest of human impulses. We are in a time when groups defined by their hate and by their isolation at the top conspire together, though only to the benefit of those at the top.


Black Mountain Majesty

All this is true as we light the candles on the red white and blue cake for birthday 242. I’m choosing however to celebrate the promise of America, that promise of working together for liberty and justice and happiness and a decent life for all. Since I still believe in that America, since I know many who do, I’m not going to give into despair or angst; rather, I’m going to celebrate the abolition of slavery, the passage of the civil rights act, the Marshall Plan, the victory in WWII, the Great Society programs of LBJ, Obamacare (flawed as it was and is), Medicare and Social Security, the purple mountain majesties and all our fruited plains.

I’m going to stand up today with the Statue of Liberty and affirm that I still mean Emmy Lazarus’ words written there. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” No, we are not all, not even most, Trumpian chauvinists and xenophobes. We, too, are America and eventually our voices will be heard.

May it happen soon.


Front Range Life

Summer                                                                            Woolly Mammoth Moon

Downward Dog

Downward Dog

Gertie is apparently blind in one eye. Her left eye has been clouded by a cataract for some time, but an exam Monday revealed she may also have acute glaucoma and her pupil did not constrict when confronted with light. As in dogs in general, it doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s still her wriggly, rascally self.

Rigel seems to have recovered completely from her earlier this year bout with a food allergy. At some moment in the recent past she saw something that interested her out by our far back fence. Now, she lies on the deck, forelegs dangling over, eyes locked on the fence. In the morning she often goes back there to check things out, sometimes she’ll lie in the grass just beyond the shed, again eyes focused on the utility easement that begins just beyond the fence. The easement itself is a wildlife highway since it’s kept clear by IREA (Intermountain Rural Electrical Association) and extends up and down the mountains.

20180414_130149Kate bustled around yesterday in short bursts and defeated the nausea demon by not taking her diclofenac in the morning. Or at least we think that was it. She’s engaged in an experiment right now to test whether the diclofenac might be a major contributor. Problem is that the diclofenac covers her arthritis pain and without it she’s in pain. Difficult and complicated.

We went to the Mussar Vaad Practice group last night. Interesting conversation about faith and trust, the difference between the two. The difference is slippery and of course hinges on what they mean to you. If faith is the equivalent of belief, as in many creedal theologies it often is, then faith is fragile. If, however, faith is about our everyday willingness to live as if life will continue, as if our loved ones will not die at least today, as if abundance is ours to claim and experience, then it is not fragile, but a necessary component of the awakened, vital life. Trust is more transactional, more circumstantial, not global, but specific. It is a willingness to know the other, for instance, and, accept them as they are. Trust is, as a writer quoted last night said, the mother of love and the daughter of truth.

Another day in the Front Range.