Thursday, November 7, 2013


    Being personal now- our fall trip to Washington was a much needed medication.
    Time with our dear friends Frank and Sandy was part of a cure. The other "tonic" was to touch history, art and culture as an antidote to a bruising and almost unfathomable battle.
    I sense some of you are saying, "What the...?  Washington as a place to go for peace and inspiration?  Yes!  Yes indeed!
   Frequent readers remember I'm a First Amendment fanatic. I'm the kind of goof who reads the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July, and who is adamant about protecting our liberties and who holds dear the extraordinary set of bones upon which this republic hangs-the Constitution.
   I believe that all of us are entitled the full extension of  rights, privileges and responsibilities laid out for us by the founders, protected by sacrifices through generations and increased by our perpetually growing enlightenment. 
   So Washington DC is the touchstone, in so many ways.

   Ingrained in the raison d'ĂȘtre of these monuments and memorials are intellects, sacrifices, leadership, vision and a devotion to an ideal-a nation where all live in equality. 
   Personalities who have risen to lead are honored, beyond their days, as a challenge to us in our time.  These stone reminders are a tonic. We are humbled and inspired by what we see and remember.

    Service personnel and journalists have given much, including their all so that we may know and live free. They inspire me.
   Politicians who rise above petty politics to move the arc of history as statesmen inspire me.
    Temples that celebrate the best of our creative dreams,  reaching and artistic output, inspire and offer a healing balm.
    And so our divided and dysfunctional Congress, beleaguered Presidency and questionable Supreme Court do not detract from the wide and long sweep of the true greatness that can and has emerged in and from this Capitol of human longings and achievement. It is not perfect.  None of the heroes who are memorialized were perfect. Like all of us, they had feet of clay and were made of the same star matter. 
   We have eras of which to be proud and periods of shame and embarrassment but it is always on a human scale, moving toward an ideal, an inch, a day, a moment at a time.
    So I take from all of it an inspiration and renewed zeal to stay stalwart in my belief that all of us, regardless of birthright, are children under the same heaven, brothers and sisters of planet earth. I may not like you, I may not agree with you, but neither that, nor how and who you were born should stand between you and full equality, even in a church.
    Your color, your gender, your ethnic heritage, your sexual orientation, your physical or mental challenges simply make you a human being, entitled to the full privileges of life.
    I thank the good Lord for a vision that it is so, and for a nation where we get better at making it so and for a place where we build monuments and temples to remind us to make sure it is always so and to recall those who have said so.
    See you down the trail.


  1. Damn Tom... That's just plain good!!! So well said!!!

  2. WOW - - kind of neat to be able to say "we knew you when. . . "
    Sharon Armbruster Clark - - granddaughter of Floyd & Emma Langenberg

  3. I was very moved by your message. I'm glad you are still following your calling to write and share.

  4. It is good to have positive inspiration when so much of the world that surrounds us appears negative in our eyes, hearts and minds. Thanks, Tom.

  5. Nicely put, you old idealist! Well done.

  6. Washington is a fabulous place to visit. But I really dislike the Martin Luther King monument, which looks arrogant and doesn't reflect the personality of thIs great man.

  7. "What is essential is invisible to the eye, it is only with the heart that one may see rightly."
    Le Petite Prince
    Your thinking and writing is exactly how the world grows and evolves. Bless you.

  8. I always admired you in High School and now I know why!