Monday, November 27, 2017


 night work in Morro Bay

resembling the freeway

a light in the darkness
   The moment I saw this photo by Jim Wilson of the New York Times, I wanted to share it. Christmas season has come to even Santa Rosa California where normal is a word without relevance this season. 

twilight hopes
    There was a time when people were sure dreams could become real, that visions were visited upon souls and that spirits could roam. It was in the gloaming, in the twilight, that narrowing distance between day and night, thought to be a time of magic. Hope and fear nestling together, dependent on the other.

after the prelude
     Who could expect a tech dependent culture, a society risen on the muscle of science and fed on commerce would find itself stumbling into a wilderness, shredding itself by means of an inner, bipolar war, voluntarily blinding itself by a refusal to see, ignoring truths and exercising meanness while celebrating venality.
in the time before
    Those of old could never know what would come with the morning, nor how might they survive the mysteries in the dark. How weakened would they be by the fear that built in the night.
who shall we be?
      Women and men who deserve our respect tell us we are divided and in a cultural war-rural against urban, those with higher educations and those without, fractured by economic class, riven by ideologies, splintering into enclaves, separated by expectations.
      Indeed, we are like those ancient hopes and fears, nestled together on the fulcrum. 
      We watch as an executive branch and federal establishment implodes and disintegrates, departments being dissembled, with no skilled hand on the tiller and scores of important positions unfilled. The legislative branch is locked in an insular world though in a free fall decomposition. 
     Integrity and decorum are abandoned. It is dangerous and foolish to ignore the lessons of 240 years.
      Perhaps you read the remarks of General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA

      "If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American President capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment."

      It is the fair axiom of politics to ask, are we better than we were? Are we better off, are we a more united United States after a year of trump than we were at the end of Obama? Is anything better than it was?
       Here's a link to good and brief assessment of the trump year from Foreign Policy Magazine.
       Are we living into Shakespeare's Richard III lament-
"Now is the winter of our discontent..."
      Who shall we be when the sun returns to its fullness? Who shall emerge in the primaries of the spring and who will lead the challenge or defense in the campaigns of fall? Who will have the power to turn the votes-rural or urban, the educated or those who are not, those who carry tiki torches and spew or those who invite diversity? 
       Some hope for candidates of vision, compassion, integrity, pragmatism and strength to clean, correct, make right and restore. Others see no fault nor sins nor madness in the regime. We are divided. We enter this winter on the throes of fear, discord and anger. 
       The older I get the more I am convinced it was ever such. We can destroy or we can heal. I am of the camp that looks for light, a peace out of the chaos. Be alert. Watch with hope and live that way.

        See you down the trail.




  1. Over 70% of registered republicans think college educations are a waste of money...

    I read a piece (of many) on an Arizona trump supporter, tough guy self sufficient, etc, etc, etc. He bragged about shooting a rattlesnake from 20 feet away with a 22 pistol, bragged about leaning how to shoot in the Army. I sent the reporter an email saying I killed a rattler this summer by my front door from 4 feet away with a garden spade, learned that from my grandmother.

  2. Re: the burned out homes in Santa Rosa pix, I read in WSJ today that homeowners have another living hell to go through trying to find a builder once insurers pay out (which most haven't yet). Builders are in scarce supply in California, and few want to take on individual homes when it makes more sense to build whole tracts (economies of scale). Also, payouts don't appear to be enough to replace most homes, one owner said he definitely won't be able to get his previous home back, at least in size. FYI, I just changed insurers to Travelers from Ameriprise (Costco) because they have agents, and I think it is wise to be able to have an advocate locally (Paso). Fires definitely precipitated this move...

  3. Well said and written, Tom. I don't know any more than you how we shall go from here, or what our children's future will bring. I can only add a bit from Shakespeare's tome:

    "Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.....
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures."

    May all change, as in Richard, and our children and grandchildren see future with hope and promise.

  4. I do live on hope that our cultural morass will reassemble into something worth believing in. I miss feeling patriotic and I miss admiring the person we've placed at the top.

  5. I was just saying to Judy last night how ignorant so many people seem to be and I didn't know if it was poor education or no education. Gayle had an instance of this recently when she responded to questions of how she managed to appear so young. She said "I have a picture in my attic." None of her group of friends got the reference or had ever heard of Dorian Gray. Or probably not of Oscar Wilde.