Burned, but Not Broken

22

August 4, 2018, Prescott-

As I stood, gazing at the sunset, this evening, admiring just how beautiful this city is, I think of different people here, and also realized:

You the disaffected one, silently snarl,

and greet me sullenly,

no longer by name,

just a perfunctory “Hello“.

You’d like me gone,

because I’m not who you want me to be,

WHAT you want me to be.

I’m still here,

as it’s the Universe,

not human beings,

deciding what I am going to do,

and where.

You, the gym managers, greet me by name,

because you see my heart,

and your only agenda

is to love and serve.

You, the busy entrepreneur, make time for me,

when it fits your schedule.

That’s okay, as

I was brought up

to honour people’s privacy.

You, the children and youth, smile

when I walk in your space,

or into the classroom,

because we share

a tenderness of heart.

You, my co-workers,

know of my undivided loyalty,

and support,

because we share a love

for the youth we serve,

and all else is secondary.

I have no real enemies,

just people who read me  wrong.

I suffer no lasting injury,

just the temporary wounds

which those in dire pain

want so badly to share.

As I looked at the sunset,

I realized the wounds are healing.

The 2018 Road, Day 17: Resilience and The Sixth Great Lake

9

June 11, 2018, Plattsburgh, NY-

Being in full recovery mode, this Monday morning, I headed out from the hostel around 9, going first to the U.S. Consulate.  It took less than ten minutes to get clearance to cross the border, as I have two government-issued photo IDs.

Next up was the glass repair shop, which was clear across town, but I found it easily. By 3:30, I was back on the road, wending my way, through the beginnings of Montreal’s evening commute, to southbound National Highway 15.

The visit at the border station lasted no more than three minutes, and by 6 PM, I was at Rip Van Winkle Motel, on Plattsburgh’s north side.   It proved a very comfortable spot.  I did meet some interesting characters here, but there was not a hint of menace from anyone.

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Dinner was a short walk away, at Gus’ Famous Red Hots Restaurant.  The Red Hots are apparently the founder’s spicy sausages.  I found gentler fare was fine, for the evening meal.

I got in my good long walk, afterward, heading for Lake Champlain.  Plattsburgh, and a fair length of northeastern New York, lie on the west shore of the “Sixth Great Lake”, with the east shore touching Vermont and a brief north shore in Quebec.  There was low tide, this evening, as I joined about two dozen other people, taking in the gorgeous evening. Few bugs were out and about.

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The Green Mountains loom to the east.

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Here is a view of Plattsburgh’s center, of which more in the next post.

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Here is the quiet community of Cumberland Head, just northeast of Plattsburgh.

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I was exhilarated by my time in Montreal, the unpleasant burglary aside.  Being with youth is always a revitalizing experience.  I am ready for the next set of wonders.

NEXT:  Grandma’s Girlhood Hometown

 

Enough

17

March 24, 2018, Prescott-

Great minds think for themselves.

300 people marched in our town

of free-thinkers,

a conservative majority,

and a vocal liberal minority.

Today, the conservatives

liberals,

and folks like me,

who are neither,

walked together,

had mostly civil discussions,

and in the end,

conservatives, liberals

and none of the above

stood together,

in a minute of silence.

There is no one trying

to sell the odious

Victorian-era epithet,

“Children should be seen

and not heard.”

Children should be seen,

taught to think,

and heard.

When what they say

is truth;

when what they  do

is sensible,

they should be believed.

Then, they should be supported.

On the edges of the march route,

there were 3-6 armed civilians.

They were not there to intimidate.

They were there to watch out,

for any crazies.

Ditto for the police

who were present.

One lone man

carried a sign

saying “Abortion is murder.”

He’s largely correct,

but it is not

up to men,

to tell women

how to manage

their own bodies.

It is up to women

to exercise their

consciences.

This is, though,

a topic for another post.

For now,

I need to remain

clear headed.

I need to remain

available to support

these two generations

of children and youth,

who are taking

responsibility

for themselves.

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Yes, there was a Trump supporter standing with the kids on the Courthouse steps.  There is something about people not being killed, that appeals to each of us.

It’s Time

4

November 10, 2016, Prescott-

It has been two days, since this time of transition began.  People on the Left have vented their frustrations and spoken of their fears.  People on the Right have expressed their joy at being “vindicated” and spoken of their annoyance.

It’s time to start listening, hard, to one another.

It’s time to really take stock of how we’ve really been, towards one another.

It’s time to stop blaming one another.

Black Lives Matter did not create the recent round of violence against police.

The Tea Party did not create the outpouring of hate against transgender people.

It’s time for the common people, of all backgrounds, to recognize that we each achieve more, shoulder to shoulder, than we do nose to nose.

It’s time for those of us deemed “little”, by the media, to know wire-pulling and manipulation, when we see it.

It’s time for people of faith to expect elevated behaviour, from our leaders and from one another, rather than to overlook base actions and coarse speech.

Make no mistake: I love my friends in  Christianity,in the Baha’i Faith, those devoted to Judaism, Buddhism,Hinduism, Islam, Wicca, because their faith defines them;

I love my friends whose sexual orientation and gender identities differ from mine, because they are honest people, trying to make sense of  complexities that few of us in the “straight” world can really understand;

I love my friends who are young, gifted and from hundreds of ethnic backgrounds and dozens of religious traditions, because they will inherit the Earth, and need all the encouragement they can get;

I love my friends who live in small towns and crumbling cities, in the Northeast, Midwest and South, because they do not deserve to be cast-offs;

I love my friends who live on Reservations, in ghettos, in barrios and in ramshackle mountain hollows, because they do not deserve to be stepping-stones for the callous and the greedy;

I love my friends of colour, and of pallour, of youth and of age, because the blood that keeps each of us alive is the same, and too much of that blood has been shed, in the name of falsehood.

It’s time to share our Home, our America, our Earth.