Collapses

The disembodied voice proclaims the virtue of another star who discarded life like one more piece of outdated bling, not sparkling with sufficient dazzle when moonlight reached the designated spot at the appointed time in the summer sky.  

The car chugs through that part of town still smelling of the bacon fried on the greasy grill this morning, holding tight to the beer and vomit chucked upon the stairs last night or was it possibly the night before?

Its crowded corridors echo the voice of that man who professed cleansing light into these streets .

(did he promise? or did we  believe? did he assure?  or did we just imagine?)

From his unholy pulpit, without audacity, he blesses now –

not the life of the teen shot down by the law-man with a gun,

but the  suicide ringed with riches but living with despair.

And in these sweltering houses, in the thermal shops, on these misty corners, the grocer and the barman and the mother and the unemployed:

they all listen, and they are puzzled – as though he now speaks a foreign tongue.

The unarmed teen disobeyed police orders.  Ten bullets showered round him as he died on the street in mid america in light of day!

The suicide broke the same laws for which the grocer’s son and the barman’s brothers and many  husbands endured dark prisons and forfeited paths to riches the star has thrown away.

To live with darkness, to live with sorrow, to live with challenge.  Life exacts authenticity, endurance.

That we can embrace each light, remaining buoyant until each evening is mere fiction dressed up,  displayed  and peddled  as  precious precept: a dream, a mantra, a sharpster’s slogan until it collapses – sodden, sad, shaming, like the suicide or  broken promise of champions bygone.

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The Back to School Aisle in the Grocery Store

back toschoolSliding from the fancy roadster with the light-colored leather seats, I  dash into the shop, careless of the time of day and season of the year.

Like a panther lurking,  feelings gnaw, snap sharply with strong teeth, the pain spreads quickly from my heart  to each unsuspecting nerve within my body.

I enjoy again your tiny hand, so gentle, soft and trusting within mine;  fingernails, not quite clean, ice cream stains still tracing  near happiness.

Your lively eyes, wide with wonder, perceive the judgment  you must make tonight for times of  rain and snow, through golden days of autumn til the springtime gives you release again to summer.

Which color shall you choose, the rainbow of spring or the child’s bold primary colors? No prince or princess engages you. But shall you choose some other player to consort with  at meals?  Or, shall some mix or shape, and stain and form, instead,  foster your gentle and precocious imaginings?

With intensity,  you deliberate; like a diplomat  commencing  peace negotiations.  I honor your  bravery and intelligence:  the belief, still living, in a perfect choice.

Again,  the softness of  your hand disarms me.  More  exquisite, smooth and tender  in my memory, no doubt, than ever truly known. And the sweetness of your scent, unwashed after a full day of summer play: chlorine and french fries, sand and dirt,  sweat and river water.  Lingering, the smell of morning toothpaste and jelly from the sandwich that I made; your friends at play, their evening soap, and your brother’s brand new sneakers. And the dog.  All of you trotting just behind her  late this afternoon.

Rather,  a physical blow to the powerful tear of memory.

(Is this just the in-between time?  The days when you have gone into the world and we are all adventuring? Will other days inhabit time with other life and visions?)

Satisfaction and fulfilment.  Clarity: my existence has a meaning when your existence is such perfection.  Perhaps, not truly generosity. Perhaps only covetous love celebrates dispensing someone else’s need…

Tears,behind the eyes, closed throat perceive the absence of the little hand.

Clatter of a shopping cart and the moment fades.

The store chills.  Evening recedes.  I  purchase and resume my solitary journey home.

 

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window on the world

2013-10-03 06.05.40

That portal, appraising a refuge from that insistent insomnia which followed the  uncommon and lingering cold of that Pennsylvania winter, made too dark by death and distance and recurrent themes of global iniquity, offered succor and satisfaction.

That sanctuary improbably contains entire unseen worlds: icy rivers, fragrant fields, ancient towers; long-lost seasons, war battered villagers, sun-kissed nordic children; human depravity; graceful forgiveness; unconditional love.

MHZ Woldwide , MHZ Networks Worldwide.or might easily become an addiction.

U.S. television never tantalized in this way.  The “comedy,” too mean, or cheap, or base, rarely spawns a smile.  The fantastical or blood-drenched drama fails to engage.

Is the “small screen”  in truth a magnifier of  larger culture?

I see in most US made television too omnipresent toilet humor and flesh bared for the sake of it.  No longer, if ever it was,  art or narrative, or even excitement, but seeming  as a naughty child announcing his own defiant and dubious accomplishment. Rarely does the screen reflect the economic truth that is our life and will be our videographic legacy.  Rather, fabulous images permeate: pristine interiors; not  a single unwashed dish awaits the harried mother on her return from work.  Poverty, so rarely seen, is never seen true: one can never see the broken glass  in the subway or the detritus in the alley or the smells of urine, blood, rotted food and sex  emanating from the darkened halls of the tenement where the brave and perfectly coiffed FBI agent with his shiny gun snakes through with such grit and virile vigor.

Too much physical beauty: the highest of the high-end of  runway fashions painted onto idealized forms of starving actors who exhibit bodies turned out by gyms or film editing tricks to emphasise the muscles on anorexic female forms.  Anachronistic:  emphasize the female form in costume above historical accuracy.  Inappropriate: what matter if no lawyer, doctor would truly wear such fashion in the hum drum halls of her profession? Product placement:  Whether cable or subscription or the network: the means to market to the masses(the car, computer or refrigerator in the scene) must never be forsaken!

Sex and violence.  Violent sex. Cannibalism and cult criminality.  Such themes sell, apparently.  Heterosexual, the predominant cultural fantasy but increasingly same-sex relationships are scripted into shows, much as “racial quotas” are often witnessed.  The marketing of violence and male sexual fantasy is the persistent  “sell.” Infrequent now, tenderness on the small screen.  Rather, sexual encounters as violently “passionate” encounters, virtual rape fantasies.  Not that the small screen lacks for the portrayal of actual rape encounters; whole series dedicated to sex crimes.

The Anglo-American television drama produces more than its share of the misogynist serial rapist murderer, frequently ritual misogynistic rapist/murderer.

It tires. Saddens.  Disheartens. More than rarely, it disgusts.

The discovery of  MHZ:  a cornucopia of  European vision.  Perhaps, it sparkles brightly in proportion to its novelty.  Possibly.  Or, it offers a genuine thread to untangle worlds unknown.

The mind awakes to the varied patterns of language; attending not merely the sound of the tongue but the eyes, the face, the gestures and body movement of the language as well.  Communication in each country emerges uniquely. In drama, in comedy, the actor engages her entire self.

Landscapes incorporate the narrative.  The thrilling North Sea cliffs  tell a different tale than the Palermo seascape, the mood of the autobahn is different from that of the fifth arrondissement.

Food and celebration are conveyed so clearly in modern Swedish Solstice celebrations but vivid too are postwar Danish Christmas rituals, spare and sincere. A  family dinner in 1950’s Milan creates a different feeling than the urban family meal in a Parisian restaurant.

There is pleasure in the private discovery of the cultural codes and conventions one might learn from the unfolding presentations.

Many regions value food more highly than US television producers.  Care is taken to demonstrate cuisine,  kitchen tools and cooking methods of a period, of a city or a country.  Restaurants and kitchens, dining rooms and patios emanate ambiance so bright as one watches the smells, almost the tastes come alive, one’s palate is tempted with the wines richly described and correctly poured on screen.

Styles of living through the years evolve so dramatically, yet change not at all.  When marketing products or perfection is not the story, dust can accumulate on the mahogany furnishings beneath the open Roman window and  water stains on the tile under the soggy boots of a Berlin winter.  The casual elegance of a Parisian Sunday brunch in an over furnished 1930’s apartment arrests our attention.  People live with wine bottles on the table from last night’s meal and newspapers still being read in the internet age. The viewer is permitted a more realistic, if not a true view, of how wealth distorts lifestyle through the decades whether in northern continental urban Europe  largely residing in apartments, or the Scandinavian and the Mediterranean whose lives,  rich and poor, may have some backdrop of the sea.

Together, these tales tease to discover the values which bind the culture.  When the father who has been grievously wronged embraces his child with forgiveness , is it the omnipresence of the Catholic Church in Italy which allows him to do so?  But would an Irishman do the same?  Or is this generosity something unique to the Italian landscape, sun-baked and steeped in the sweet aromas of the Mediterranean?

Most striking, History is a character in  so many of the dramas.  Most especially, World War II is kept an actor of our time.  The war as action, the war as precedent, the war as motivation.  The man as hero, the child as orphan, the woman as love child.  Often without a direct mention, it is ever clear that the  historical created the dramatic conflict of the moment, the precise events of history,  the reality lived: these people and events  inhabit the stories which unfold on that small screen.

As an American watching  a world in which the characters of the twenty-first century appear deeply connected to the events of  seventy-five or one hundred years ago, I feel a void.  One could argue our culture is more free, unburdened by the past.  One could also suggest we are less prepared to craft a future.

That portal, still a haven for restless nights, filled with the fireflies and the lightening of  these overheated summer days, too filled with replays of unending global conflict, enlightens and directs an understanding which feels a salve for the burdens of the day.

 

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late stage summer

 

image

This, the sluggish time of summer, bemusing in the trace of recent splendour: verdant, periwinkle ,Titian, beryl and gold,  beguiles ambition, seduces passion, as if extravagance and spectacle were spent.

An endeavor to evoke, in these late and steamy days, faded landscapes ablaze and  eloquent once more –

The air cooled and the countryside crackling with fierce shades of color; an intense and earnest conversation, engaging, addictive.

 

 

 

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Suffer the Immigrants…

My father had lived half his life before emigrating permanently, making the United States his home.   Almost forty, though no longer adorned with whatever resilience and sang-froid youth had bestowed, he engaged life in America with a spirit of hope which mystifies still, these decades after he has gone.

My mind summons our first house, brick, box-like, postage-stamp cubicle play yard, neighbor atop neighbor. Though he would, in time, acquire grander, this first house, just outside the city limits, announced achievement, proclaimed him resident in that new land.

Sun shivering on  sliver buttons and badges as  men, red-faced and scowling in hot blue uniforms access the glass front door. Sneering voices forbid Sunday radio music the neighbors will not allow. The child is unseen, sweltering shame.

Sadness in the sun-aged face, wary as the local journalist photographs his shining Chevrolet sedan. Pride, too true, it seems, a deadly sin. Thick blue bruise of paint spewed on the hood, bled down the side.  No witnesses, no crime, the police had said. 

The sharp shock and sting of the stone that struck the head of the little girl walking home alone. Hateful slur followed  but not the boys who propel the now familiar call: “Go back where you came from, Go back there! We don’t want your kind here!”

I will never forget, near ecstasy on my father’s face the night a man, exuding youth and hope,  was elected President of the United States:   that man who looked like him and spoke like him, who was not afraid to say he actually was like him, he worshiped like my father. At times, it seemed to me, my father worshiped him.

Not much later, my father renounced the citizenship of the beloved land of his birth; he identified as a full American along with my older sister, who also had been born abroad.  The house he shared with my mother was filled with the young president’s photograph; his recorded speeches were played instead of the radio on Sunday afternoon, and when he was assassinated, a huge full-color bust portrait hung in their home, displacing the Pope, for the rest of their joint lives.

My parents were Irish immigrants.

The taunt was “Shanty Irish.”

The President was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It is painful to  contemplate children in oven-like buses, confused and frightened, as adults, sometimes with costumes, sometimes with signs, sometimes with weapons, hurl insults and slurs and even rocks or glass  and froth with rage.

When I tell my immigration story, today, the reaction, largely, is to question: how did my parents find such a bizarre pocket of anti-Irish feeling to settle? We no longer recognize ourselves in that tale.  We have forgotten the vitriol of the 1960 presidential campaign, the genuine anti-Catholic prejudice Kennedy faced down.   The lingering bigotry the Irish confronted  in 1960 seems impossible:  “No Irish Need Apply ” signs not yet quaint antiques for sale in the United States as  ” No Irish, No Coloured, No Dogs”  in Britain.

But the accommodation of forgetting cannot erase the dark reality of history.

Immigration policy is complex and important.It has become a throw away truism to state “we are a nation of immigrants.”

We serve ourselves well to recall that the children we revile today we may describe as “the bedrock of our society” tomorrow: as integrated and indispensable as though they always “belonged.”

grandfather

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Missing You

Sometimes, when deer and rabbit, raccoon and woodchuck recede within the generous mantilla of summer, and warbler and cicada celebrate the close of another day, the light that falls from that searing scarlet scalds my heart with the sadness of missing you, who first presented this array.

Scorch of fire as puckered lips graze the coffin; seething tears trickling onto steel; staggering, as strains of “Danny Boy” levitate above you (a tune you did not call an Irish air).

In the end, too true:  arid canon of cult, not creed, coheres the torpid keeners corroding your wonder.

Eyes reach no focus, colors run together; the  stranger  with fraternal blood, too cold, or suffocated in the sun,  speaks. That Holy Man,  the turnkey, postures with your offspring jailers; swelter, perspire, steadfast mien of heartbreak, every one.

The burned flesh on my heart, throbs and blisters. Pain pulsates with each steady beat. We love, we learn, we are often less than worthy.  The arabesque we make, so rarely fine.

In the sun soaked stillness of a summer evening, so many poses, so many words remain to speak.     2013-10-05 07.19.58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  

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‘Chocolate Cream Soldiers’

“Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Fourth of July on a Canadian village stage, gunshots not fireworks assail the senses. The imagined war, prefiguring the Great War that began 100 years ago this summer, occasions fantastical combat.  Humor, wisdom linger in the theater. WHAT MYSTERY! His mind conjures a stinking, filthy runaway from combat scaling the Shakespearean balcony of the privileged flower of womanhood. Byronic beauty, her modesty, her romantic distraction are the soldier’s shield, his protection. Cream chocolates, not bullets, replenishment for the return to war.

What uses are cartridges in battle?

Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak.”

(Act II, ARMS AND THE MAN)

Imagined in an age before the western world became intimate with the sound, images and everyday commerce of the slaughter of war, ARMS and a MAN seduces with comedy. The play is wise. This early Shaw is not yet so enamored of his own voice as to clutter his comedy and stultify his style with  the detritus of his didactic ego. Sage appreciation of human emotion combines with a satiric cynicism that still allows understanding.

This relatively early play of Shaw, currently in performance at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario mocks rather than condemns militarism.   Sergius, is a “hero”, for the failure of the opponent’s weaponry.  The aristocrat, Petroff, the ranking military leader of the Bulgarians, roars, a comic character.  Society’s glorification of war and patriotism is pilloried in this play.

‘nine soldiers out of ten were born fools’

Arms and the Man

“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….”

“War does not decide who is right but who is left.”

― George Bernard Shaw

The rapid changes and resulting peculiarities emerging from modernization of society, industry,commerce,and international relations also endure Shaw’s analysis.  His “Man”,  Bluntschli, the ‘coward’ we initially encounter escaping the battlefield, arrives later in the play, distinguished, handsome, astonishingly efficient.  Not only is he headed back to his native Switzerland, appreciative that he holds the high honor of “free citizen,” and accomplished in matters military and administrative, this merchant soldier, unburdened with ideology, but gifted with efficiency, now develops troop movement plans for the Bulgarians, the  battlefield “enemy”  so recently fled.  This task had overwhelmed the aristocratic leadership Petroff and Sergius.  Shaw playfully questions whether the benefits of “progress,” from mechanization of households with servant buzzers and buzzing clocks to national armaments truly advances humanity. Or, not?

“We shouldn’t have been able to begin fighting if these foreigners hadn’t shewn us how to do it”

Act II, Arms and The Man

Two other major themes of Shaw’s life and work are realized in this play as well:  class politics and sexual politics, in equal measure seen as of an antithetical nature. Shaw parodies the romance between the social equals, the wealthy young woman and her ordained suitor who do and act as each expect the other should, and convince their world,themselves and each other they are deliriously “in love.”  Stilted language and exaggerated stage instruction enhance the enjoyment.  A cross-class romance, wherein the servant beguiles the master to marry her, amuses although the audience perceives its shocking character in the social constriction of the day.  And the pragmatist who has abandoned all romance, philosophy, and blind creed, wins the Byronic heroine, finally, to the apparently inexorable  gladness and admiration of all.  In the end, Shaw allows us to see the age of the modern days of the “real,” displacing old idealism, but we do so, gently and without pessimism.

“everything I think is mocked by everything I do.”

 “I have to get your room ready for you: to sweep and dust, to fetch and carry. How could that degrade me if it did not degrade you to have it done for you?”

 “As for her, she’s a liar; and her fine airs are a cheat; and I’m worth six of her. “

“When you strike that noble attitude and speak in that thrilling voice, I admire you; but I find it impossible to believe a single word you say.”

ARMS AND THE MAN (ACT III)

  

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To Welcome a New Life

Just after midsummer, a new baby will be born.

Love penetrates the heart  before the eye discovers. Already,unknowing, I have selected  a fine, wide cloth, now waiting adornments. The tapestry as yet unknown.

Joy, anticipating him….

I cherish his velvet skin, delicious, pure for so brief a time. The tiny fist so tightly clenched inspires the effort of living.  His baby smell, effervesced, but still sublimely sweet, exhilarates.

Hair matted against his face, heat of day too much;  his sweat, as all his little life,  extreme.

Whispers of wind, (or call of birds? ) rattle giggles from him.  His busy, boundless journey remains singular, for a time.

He and I do not share blood, or cells or chromosomes.

But he is kindred, still.

Will the unspawned babes of my own young grow up with him,  grasping vibrant  mantle of childhood in accord?   Will attic rooms reverberate each season once again, snickers, shrieks recalling silly scenes of the holiday table? Will summer tents contain their giggles and their shouts when scary stories are unleashed in the darkened wood? Will they  join with him, the oldest one,  when they  denounce the demons of the life they find themselves confronting?

Or will this baby merely be, first, the infant,then, the child, and finally, the man  I love dearly from afar, whom I know not well enough to fill my life?

Time holds the answer and it will be one way or other other.

Joy.  Expectancy.

Now I apprehend his weight, his  warmth, the soft pattern of his breathing.

The reminder, once again, that we can be our best selves, sometimes, when we allow ourselves to simply live.

 

   

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2013-10-02 05.08.42

Lost things..

Just last week I fretted for an hour about a favorite earring I had selected in the morning but discovered in the evening I had lost. Frustration bedeviled my moods. Until I walked into a park and saw a little girl. She was about two or three years old, sable hair, healthy, baby fine.  Her sound returned me to sweet hours in a cloistered tent upon a wooden beach.  Her laughter was the restless air and the cooling mountain stream along the rocky trail.  Her doting parents will never  find the words to show the love and joy the three of them were feeling in that accidentally observed moment, no matter if a telephone recorded every frame. The delicacy of loving bliss cannot be digitized, uploaded. It comes and goes as does the sunlight which etched softness on my heart.

 

   

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Down the yellow brick road after almost forty years

cropped-6-13-14.jpgIt does not take much to make us realize what fools we are, but

the little it takes is long in coming.

Flannery O’Connor

Some  days, green times of the early seventies filter through my memory and energize me with a subtle hopefulness.  It was after all, and as they say, a time of innocence.

For over a hundred years our voices had been unwelcome, our presence banned.   None of our ideas were thought to ennoble this  pleasant urban space. Now, the breath of change, crisp and fresh,  gave life to new friendship all around the campus.  

Willowy, long-haired women in denim skirts which reached the ground or those  in peasant garb or  the ones with shaggy hair dressed in traditional worker blues picnicked in the sun.  Books buttressing shoulders or balancing long sheets of ink filled paper, they sidelined sandwiches half-eaten, collected  yogurt cups on the felt-like lawn.  Miniskirts and mustaches  passed, silent or sneering, either way unnoticed as the gathered women vowed to meet again for dinner on Wednesday night to share, then, a more personal conversation.

Elsewhere, alcohol and drugs were expanding minds.  We adventured  landscapes new and old,  together and separately.  And though it was not always sunshine, it remained mostly green, as we became the star-gazer, the professor, the business woman, the writer, the teacher, and the one who disappeared. Nor can we forget, the lawyer, the one who was made duty bound to make the change for our daughters and their daughters. We thought, then,”if women had the power…” We believed better worlds lay down the yellow brick road. 

Young women dreaming, working hard, studying, achieving, so serious. Perched precariously, preparing for the revolutionary times that were ours to make and to finesse with fine ideas and our own fire.

But it became a summer of sweet content, mainly.

We became a writer and a star-gazer turned corporate traveler, a professor and two lawyers. Life gave  husbands, wives, houses, children, joys, sorrows and to one an early death. With our sisters in the same professions or in book clubs, we met at power lunches, for power walks, power runs for sister candidates.  We got older, looking younger than previous generations, with  expensive lotions, female surgeons and women’s fitness routines. We styled our long hair, recycled peasant dresses, shrunk the denim.

As do our sisters of the same color, class and education, we  live in such comfort our mothers dreamt of for the important and the wealthy. Many  mothers, who showed us more than we will ever comprehend about life, age in “assisted living” placements.  Our generation prides itself on our deep, rich, barrier breaking sensibilities.

 Our urban campus today, a testament: “if you let them in they shall seize it all. ”  Women outnumber men by three to one.  The institute  of learning which channeled  leaders to high places in the city, now feeds nurses to the clinics. No less achieved. More?

But, do the women still picnic on the green, grasping a new world order?  What of women vanished into that summer of content?

Deep hued times and even a new century,  women rise with matured aspirations.  Institutions defiantly departed now greet the daughters nonchalantly. Doctors and lawyers and professors, women are not uncommon.  Justice, equality and power remain absent, but inky notes on picnic papers  are quaint  relics of past hopes and philosophies.

The real revolution was women talking.  Women reaching out to women and listening to what was said.  Wanting to know what the other thought, felt, experienced, understood, expressed.  Certainly, this was a way of understanding self, narcissistic.  But it was also, a way of reaching out into the world.  Power, connection, caring.  

As are  blithe gatherings on the green, the conviviality for a cause vanished quickly in the summer. “Sisterhood” soon  shrouded with a bruising cloth.

We used to say the political is personal, the personal, political.

Some us always listened to each other, perhaps because these were the only sisters whose care we had ever known.  In that circle of understanding, learning, justice, connection, but validation above all.  Naively seeing worldly circles equal, these women headed straight to painful falls.

Some of us, unaware we were so vulnerable.  That attachment to a person and a cause would fray so quickly.  “That isn’t the way I see it, I see it differently.  There are extremists on every issue, in every time.”

Some of us,so easily intoxicated, refusing treatment, in denial our whole life long.  For  some, the drug, meanness,  the silent, silken   sway, enchanting, to see the others fall down in the path.  The bitter taste, but men have drunk this brew through ages, so many blends. We drink with gusto.Our right.  Our turn.

We , the bully, the bureaucrat, the shooter,the soldier,now as well.

” and so it goes,” Secretary Hillary Clinton  may refuse to trash Sarah Palin  just because she is asked to do so. But, Terry Gross will  try to trash  Secretary  Clinton  merely to show she can.

The writer will trash the business executive,traveling around the world.  Not in the open, with the concrete thing, which can be seen and defended. But behind the curtains, to some of the others, some words spoken.  The meaning clear, or not so clear, for the executive must believe she herself  at fault.

The director of the community group will trash the  popular professor.  The professor, too kind, too supportive, or, perhaps, presents another defect.  Is she a stand out member, too assertive, too many ideas?  The emails and memos circulate. There are missed meetings, about which the professor was not called. She will later scramble to trace events, as if she is researching her dissertation: who has been told; what has been said; when did this start; what is happening? Falling into a well of darkness, unsure of the beginning or the end.

Trashing is crazymaking.  Conflict announced as conflict avoidance.  Sudden, the unanticipated cold steel apprehended in the midst of warm conversation.

Is this the old, old pattern from years ago, or a dynamic by a newer catchy name: the bully, the frenemy.

Is this just what we did in school when they said that boys were tough but girls were catty?

Oh, has the world changed at all in forty years?

On the TV after another school shooting, another protest.  This time the grandmothers are all marching with colored signs outside the school.  They blame the bullies, they blame the videos and they blame the gun laws.  As I watch them, I cannot hep wonder how they communicate.

The statehouse steps erupt in shouts and angry protest as the car speeds away.  The governor again declares not all citizens have equal rights. At the front, clenched fists are pounding the humid air, relentless.  To the right, a couple embraces, and the woman cries on her partner’s breast.

The small courtroom empties to the lot in the shopping center.  The  man-child marches to his car, the woman-child to hers.  Because he is a soldier, his drunken fists have been forgiven. What will those fists do in three months time in the desert sands of Afghanistan?

…it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place.  If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

Lewis Carroll

       

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