Friday, May 6, 2022



        It's called the Twisted Grove, one of the many Redwood families in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Aptos, California. 

    I see it as a metaphor of now.

        The trees live on the San Andreas fault and changing land in their hundreds of years have caused them to twist to reach to for the light.

         Consider the great palaver about the leaked Supreme Court opinion; That a radical right wing clique appears to be on the verge of banning individual liberty has the majority of Americans dutifully concerned....that the Republican party who packed the court with zealots is more concerned about the leak than a regressive decision, unwanted by a majority of citizens. 

        The Supreme Court we were taught to vaunt and hallow is exposed as being more horse shit offal of our broken political system. Almost holy respect for the Supremes? The mystique is gone.  

       Please recall three of the supremes were nominated by Donald Trump, after one nomination was stolen from President Obama. Two were nominated by George W. Bush. What do Bush and Trump have in common? Both lost the popular vote. 

      The majority of Americans voted against their judgements and character, but they put 5 on the court. At least 3 of those five lied on camera about Roe V. Wade when questioned during their testimony. And on this high court is a man married to a person of questionable character who supported the January 6 insurrection. 


        Sinking is another matter.

        The SS Palo Alto began as a concrete ship, a tanker built for WW I in 1918. The end of war left the Palo Alto without a mission. In time it became an oil storage barge. Later it was purchased to be an amusement center and opened in 1930 at Sea Clift Beach in Santa Cruz County.

        It thrived, only briefly. After two years of dances, dinners and the social life, the depression changed the course of the Palo Alto.
      Over the years it languished, interrupted by periods of attempted revival and then more trouble. Storms cracked the hull, there was renewed effort, a hamburger stand, bait shops, more storms and broken masts, more storms and the original crack in the hull worsened, more rehabilitation and repairs, and it was used as a fishing platform. So it was until 2000 when the ship deck was closed permanently.

        The concrete tanker is now a home for sea birds and a flourishing sea life. It has become a kind of reef, as it continues  sinking, slowly into the sea.

        I think this too is a metaphor; 

    the once important Republican party, broken and infested now with extremists, non traditionalists, anti American authoritarians and fans of autocracy. Republicans I covered are repulsed. Generations passed would abhor the party.

    the American ship of state, divided and the constituency not particularly intelligent anymore.

    Tragic comedy-an irony;

    Right wingers have always worried about subversion and infiltration, by the Soviets and then the Russians. There's a great case to be made how that infiltration target was and is the republican party and their nation breaking, hate your neighbor culture wars, and grievances gaggle. Now they attempt to "game" the system, trying to rule as a minority party.

    Twisted and sinking.  We have been before. 

    Begrudgingly or with belief, we've course corrected, cleaned up the act, busted monopolies, jailed bosses, chased off demagogues, created government compassion, reformed courts, improved, established liberties and continue to evaluate and struggle.
    Struggle. That is our history. Forces of enlightenment and liberty pitched against ignorance, greed, self interest and control.  

    We've endured, almost as long as the youngest of these big trees, that live on a fault line.

        We were at dinner party and in the rambling conversation conviviality I heard myself say I'm ascribing more dignity and favor to trees than I am to a whole lot of humanity. Trees last. By comparison we are on a short timeline.  

        There are good people. Lots of them. Though we may be old and tired or weary, it's time to go another round for human dignity. There is work to do, truth to be told, challenges to make, courts and government to reform, laws to pass and elections to be won. We can model for and work along side like minded youth. For those of us active in the 60's and 70's, there are lessons to teach and to remember. 

        Trees reach for the light. It's what they do to live for hundreds and thousands of years.  Democratic republics could take note. 

        Find the light.  See you down the trail.