October 4, 2019-

We have all seen and heard- over the past few days, months, years- those among us who shun nuance, skit tact and embrace the bullhorn-far more than the average person.  Granted, most of us drop the tact microphone every now and again. Fatigue, stress, runaway emotions can all factor in and create a thoroughly embarrassing moment-or extended series thereof.

Those who have followed me for several years, know that I’ve had my share of tact-free episodes.  I have to own those times, and if they get thrown in my face, it is best that I ponder the situation and see what remains to be learned.

We have had a few firestorms of nuance taking a vacation, over the past several years, and most recently the back and forth over responsibility for climate change, as well as diplomatic fracases.  The larger truth seems to be that every living thing affects the climate of the planet on which he, she or it lives.  We humans, being the most advanced creatures on Earth, have the greatest capacity for influencing such change, but I digress.

Humans, chimpanzees and ants are the three groups of animals most closely associated with warfare.  Ants use what Nature gave them.  The Primate species use tools, and unlike ants, can effect intentional destruction.  There is scant nuance in war.

Nuance is developed by adopting a mindset that gradual change is best; that things aren’t always, or even often, what they seem; that complexity is inherent in the human condition; that people are not prisoners of their past.  Nuance, like any other feature of civilization, requires an open mind, listening skills and an essential love for humanity, for sentient life.

I look forward to continuing to develop an appreciation for nuance.

A Measure of Kindness


January 21, 2016, Prescott- I am spending today and tomorrow with fourth graders at a small elementary school, on Prescott’s north side.   It’s a welcoming place, that has offered me continuity, over the years.  I will miss that, in the latter part of next week, but one must choose, and move forward with those choices.

Here’s a bit of speculation, on a different note:

Is it ethical to practice vivisection on ants?

Looking at the segments of the writhing forms,

whilst knowing full well none of them may register a plaint.

The susurration of a shocked animal-rights advocate, in Scandinavia, may be the norm.

Yet, would it be any less barbaric, for a horseshoe to land on the insects, as they herd their aphids, among their plants?

(The above is in response to another prompt, in the Winter Scavenger Hunt).