Light/Breezes

Light/Breezes
SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Passing it on

trails in the slipstream

     It was a quiet moment, a relaxed pause in holiday saturation, a deep sigh.
     "I think it's so neat the girls are carrying on some of our traditional things," Lana said looking at one of the home made gift tags Katherine created.
     Sentimentalist that I am, I've kept some of those tags, even dating back to when elder sister Kristin was a wee one.
     Traditions and rituals are the stuff of this season including taking measure, a self imposed exam we tabulate when we see old man time limping for the door. 
      Resolutions and reflections go hand in hand.

      We are fond of the Kennedy Center Honors, a seasonal glitter of tribute. This year's celebration came with an announcement that a year long remembrance of JFK's devotion to the arts and creativity will cast a major presence in Washington. I'm struck by the resurrection of the lights of Camelot in a capitol presided over by a reality television star. JFK and Jackie looming over the Donald and Melania. Good juju.

the embrace
      Do you think the significance of the US and Japanese ritual is fully appreciated and understood? 
      75 years after the entry of the US into WW II two hated foes crossed a chasm once thought impossible to bridge. Though we are nominally allies with Japan two visits this year seared wounded hearts with deep and cathartic healing.      
      First President Obama visited Hiroshima where America first used an atomic bomb. He embraced survivors, said the souls of those who died speak to us and he urged the world to purse a future without nuclear weapons. 
      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor, that they attacked propelling the US into the war, was another bridge. The significance of those first visits of former combatants to the historic sites of war may seem to be only protocol or ceremonial but in the arc of history they are momentous. Two blood enemies acknowledging the deepest blackness of their hearts in order to move forward in a better world. The ritual of forgiveness on a global scale.

        Does irony not strike again? The end of a year, the end of an administration, two principal adversaries of a World War talk of burying hatred and nuclear weapons as a President-to be-talks of a new arms race.


the fist salute
        Every four years as the Times Square ball drops, an adjustment begins to move over the US as the transition of power turns closer to inaugural day. It is a marvelous tradition  and sends up the message things are normal, life continues  and all is well. This year the peaceful transition will occur, but a majority of Americans know things are not normal and all is not well. 

       A fist salute next to a Christmas tree?! A Christian celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace met with a kind of power fist salute. No things are not at all normal or well.


winter green

dedicated to resilience 

     See you down the trail.

12 comments:

  1. Powerful thoughts, Tom. I agree with you about the strange juxtaposition of healing wounds between two former foes with the ratcheting up of 'arms race' rhetoric in a new administration. Things are not normal right now. I am unclear, more than ever before in my life, of what the future holds. I always remain hopeful that our 'better angels' will prevail and that we will move forward, not backwards, in the long run. Thank you for your touching insight. I have enjoyed it over the years. I am in a new chapter and starting to write more musings myself. And, I'm taking more time, now, to read the thoughts of others. We need each other more now than ever. All the best to you!

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    1. Angela, I share your hope in our "better angels." I'm pleased to read you have begun to write and share your musings. I think those of us who have been (once-always) journalists have a lens and sensitivity that provide tools for us to observe, muse, ponder and contribute. You were a great professional. Welcome to the "emeritus" league. I look forward to your writing.

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    2. Thank you Tom. Yes, as journalists, we are lifetime storytellers. It's in our blood. Your insights inspire me. Keep it up. I will be in touch. Take care.

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  2. I woke up this morning and thought about the Presidents in my lifetime. There's a bunch of them beginning with Truman when I was a very little kid...never in my life have I felt such a level of uncertainty after an election. Trump, his cabinet choices, his family, his lies and misrepresentation of our country's status in the world. The demonization of the "others". Not to mention his outright admiration of Putin. Invest in pitchforks, torches and tumbrels, they'll be a growth industry before long.

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    1. It does feel as though a ground swell of a resistance is building. Democracy is often noisy and rancorous. Tyrants, oligarchs and plutocrats need to be dealt with, always.

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  3. I wonder, if in some future time, there will be a 'before' and 'after' category to US Presidents. Perhaps on the walls at the White House there will be a category 'A', ending with President Obama, and starting with president Trump.

    I look for at least a couple things in someone I'd like to lead us, be our President. One is an active, curious mind. Another is less definable, but it's gravitas. I see neither in Trump.

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    1. I'm trying to picture one of those posters that depict all of the Presidents and imagine how a Trump visage will blend with all of the others. Zachary Taylor, John Adams, James Polk and Martin Van Buren all had unique hair stylings, but I think the trumpster is in a class of his own. He will be the orangest of the line.

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  4. These are really thought provoking topics. I say, a great way to start a new year. Happy 2017!

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  5. Wishing you a happy, healthy, loving and joyful new year.

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  6. Of the things we worry about, somewhere between one-in-ten and one-in-a-hundred actually occur. Is that encouraging?

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    1. Maybe, slightly. Guess the best thing to do is to stop worrying.

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