Godot, and Other No-Shows


March 30, 2021– Today was spent supervising high school students in Online Learning. The students are, in the words of David Bowie, “quite aware of what they are going through”, and stuck to the tasks at hand, which have the common goal of recovering academic credit. There was just one hitch, the Internet was down, for at least part of the day, leaving most of the students in two class periods to use their cellular hotspots.

While this ingenuity played out, I was reminded of the Samuel Beckett play, “Waiting for Godot”. Those who are familiar with the play know that Godot, whoever he is, sends a messenger to announce his non-appearance, a day in advance, but never does show up himself. The main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, continue waiting for him, nonetheless.

The students in the latter three classes were able to pursue their work, without resorting to personal devices alone, as the Internet, unlike Godot, made good on its appearance. There were, most likely, a few no-shows among the student populace. There always are.

I have experienced a fair number of absentees, over the years. Usually, when I’ve been patient, the person shows up, eventually, and has a credible story to tell. Sometimes it pans out and sometimes, it doesn’t. Each time, though, my only thought has been: “Make sure you are not following their example.” My parents were always true to their word-Mom still is. The people who matter most in my life are similarly trustworthy.

While being all things to all people is a mathematical and practical impossibility, I would hope that reducing absenteeism, and broken promises, becomes a more widespread goal.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 89: Deferred


August 28, 2020, Alexandria, LA

The Internet was down today, and will be, until the 31st. So, I have decided that deferral of this blog series will just be a fact of life. In the meantime, I jotted down some notes and can say that there is actually no place I’d rather be, right now, than among the displaced and downtrodden of western and central Louisiana.

We are put among people who need us, in this life, and maybe we need them, just as much. There had to have been a good reason why I dreamt of being deployed to Alexandria. Some, from other parts of the country, put down the South, and the Deep South in particular. I dissent from that view. So far, in fact, Blacks, Whites and Hispanics have been together, under the roof of Rapides Parish Coliseum-for the past five days, in COVID-protocol close quarters, getting along well, because their circumstances are the same and becuase our team treats them all the same.

So, in gratefully accepting the Red Cross Challenge Coin,the organization’s certificate of merit, this evening, I noted that I am accepting it on behalf of everyone who is on staff.

A week remains, as do further challenges that come with a community in recovery. It’s nice to hear, though, that I am always welcome in Alexandria.

A Few Tenets


May 6, 2016, Phoenix-  This one comes a day late, mostly because I was at three different places today, and had to think about sleeping, instead of writing.  So my time-traveling mind pretends it’s still Friday.

Anyway, I got another clean bill of health, this noon.  Someone who loves me very much has reminded me about keeping my skin moisturized.  The things we overlook are going to be noticed by those who want to keep us around.  (No, I’m not in a relationship.  My minder loves her husband, more than she does anyone else.  He is in excellent hands. I am just honoured to be an elder brother-figure.)

This evening, I was being hectored by a conspiracy theorist, for not taking the chemtrails hoo-ha very seriously.  The whole thing made me think about my own tenets of living.  Here goes:

  1.  Think for yourself.  A mind is a terrible thing to let slumber.
  2.  Listen to those around you, but as Christ said: “Be alert to discern”.
  3.  All segments of society, and all parts of a community, state or nation, deserve to have a say in how the place is governed.
  4. The Internet, Google, Yahoo!, and YouTube are not necessarily sources of Truth.
  5. SnapChat, though, is true, even when one doesn’t want it to be- and it’s indelible.
  6.  A person could hike a different trail, in Arizona alone, every day for 20 years, and cover maybe 25% of all the trails in the state.  I’ll  enjoy the ones I do hike.
  7. Money is a tool.  Tools don’t belong in the hands of fools. (This is one lesson I learned, very well, a while back,)
  8.  This is as good a year as any to stay out of partisan politics.
  9.  I like getting up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  10.  When it rains, read.