No Desolation


January 27, 2022- The two boys were arguing over something that frequently seems to aggravate ten-year-old boys: A Pokemon card. My response was to make sure the card was returned to its proper owner-with a warning to him that such material is not exactly welcome at school. The reason is that the cards are too distracting-just as are any number of popular toys and fantasy items. The day, otherwise, went quite smoothly. Things seem to be settling down a bit, today, after a rather challenging month.

Much of the past few weeks has found people speaking of depression, many getting the latest subvariant of the latest variant of the ubiquitous coronavirus and a temporary downturn in the investment properties of several retirees. This all could easily spark a real time recounting of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row”.

I appreciate the great bard’s work, both fearsome warnings and rousing celebrations. I do not, however, take to heart the downturns and forecasts of doom that seem to permeate the landscape in this fledgling year. For one thing, there is a feminine, healing energy that is earnestly trying to break through to the surface. For another, the main source of the acrimony that is behind much of the ennui is a two-pronged culture of denial. The right prong denies events that are very much playing out, in real time. The left prong denies that there is any validity to some of the still relevant elements of cultural biology.

Yet, here we are: Mothers, by and large, still love their babies; fathers want to both love their mates and children-and work hard for the well-being of the family; people are, more often than not, willing to see those who present differently as humans, deserving of a shot at life; both society and history are moving in the direction of inclusivity, validating the best aspects of human beings and away from the dominance of elites. Of course, there will be setbacks; there always are-and the resilience that follows is always astonishing in its depth and breadth.

There are pockets of despair, yes, and some are running more recalcitrant than others. Altogether, though, desolation is not in the cards, long term.

What Now?


November 7, 2020-

The increased likelihood of a Democratic President, come January 20, happened on the day which, for Buddhists, commemorates Siddhartha Gautama’s return to Earth, after three months of teaching in the celestial realm. This, to the Buddhist faithful, is a day of great change and seeping portent.

To the rest of us, it has also been a day of great change and portent, whether one approves of the changes that will be taking place, or not. As with four years ago, I say “Give the next president a chance, and be ready to hold him to account, if large segments of the populace are ignored or left in limbo.”

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Capitalize on the reported friendship you have with Mitch McConnell. Maintain the law enforcement activity that is so close to former Judge McConnell’s heart: Fighting the trafficking of women and children. He was one of the forces behind the foundation of the very effective organization, Shared Hope International, one of the better programs advanced by conservative Republicans over the past several decades.
  2. Also, neither one of you wants to be seen as a deficit dove, so, given your self-comparison to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, dive into the summoning all Americans to help rebuild our infrastructure- get more done, with less Federal expenditure. Help counteract the sentiment that we ought stop asking what we can do for our country. Encourage market-led innovation and climate-enhancing changes. Continue to build on your predecessor’s one HUGE contribution: Looking after our military and veterans.
  3. Get out of Dodge- Washington or Wilmington more, at least for the first year or two. I recommend, starting in February-pick a city in each of the four regions: Northeast, South, Midwest and West, and hold a Town Hall in each one. Do this, monthly, until you have held such a gathering in each of the 50 states.
  4. Like your predecessors, be the Comforter-in-Chief. Aside from the Town Halls, be present for those communities which suffer natural or human-caused disasters.
  5. Be inclusive- Let’s return to the days when the President acknowledged not only Christian Holy Days, but those of other Faiths, as well. This was something at which Barack Obama excelled, but in which Donald Trump was less than interested. Be a cheerleader for the major sporting events, and yes, that includes NASCAR.
  6. Show that you trust Science- especially in facing down COVID-19. Be bold enough to also face down those who don’t see the COVID threat as real. The sooner more of us follow disease-fighting protocols willingly, the sooner the disease will no longer hold us in its vise-like grip.
  7. Finally, let the world know you see all of its parts as worthy of respect. Return us to partnerships which both help American prosperity and advance global co-operation. Attend crucial international gatherings, and encourage a two-way travel street- visiting some other countries each year and hosting their leaders here. There is plenty of anticipation, as there always is, when leadership looks set to change. Use the wealth of talent at your disposal, to build a dynamic, forward-looking, yet grounded, team. Godspeed, Mr.President-elect.

What is Cherished?


May 18, 2020-

This post is inspired by Eugenia’s series of prompts:

I cherish the actions of the heart, above all.

Those efforts that do not seek to elevate one above all others,

but which seek to raise all boats.

I cherish family,

both near biological.

and far extended,

the family of the bloodline

and that of the heart.

I cherish childhood,

that which is given us,

in the first two decades,

or so, of life,

and that which is retained

in spirit, even as the body

and mind take on the

trappings of age and maturity.

I cherish the beauty that

surrounds us,

both the glimmerings

of nature, by day and by night,

and the images conjured

by the mind.

Let all be adored,

which keeps us

and propels us forward.