A Clear Conscience and Clarity of Thought

 

Granted, humans cannot be expected to remember everything. If we ever attempted to take on such a daunting task, each day would soon become so chaotic we’d likely drive ourselves nuts.

To help maintain our psychological equilibrium, we assess the degree of importance of events, faces, facts and figures, etc.… compartmentalizing this data as either short or long-term memories. We do tend to dismiss low ranked items… in other words… eventually forget the inconsequential stuff. But, that does beg the following Qs…

Would not folks who… oh… say… hire on as high ranking presidential campaign workers OR staff high profile, presidential cabinet positions all become so impressed with… maybe even geeked about… their assignments that they’d automatically categorize more things as important? Ergo, transform more of what they’ve been experiencing and whom they’ve been meeting into long-term memories?

Should not such individuals… oh… say… when questioned during congressional inquests into suspected wrongdoing, become fountains of knowledge? In other words… are they not uniquely qualified / intrinsically better prepared to supply answers to nearly all of the tough questions? And more to the point… is it not their patriotic duty to come clean?

Yet, more often than not, we hear such individuals hemming and hawing… practically mincing words down to their atomic structure… qualifying and prefacing nearly every last damned statement they utter with, “To the best of my recollection…” And then, there’s always that inquest thwarting, stonewalling, robotically deadpanned, “I don’t remember.”

True such amnesia can be legitimate… but what if it’s not? We then wind up witnessing selective amnesia… a.k.a. the convenient feigning of forgetfulness…the ploys to cover up the guilty party’s incompetence, malfeasance and/or corruption.

Let’s not fall victim to, yet, another form of amnesia. We must NEVER forget that the duties many of these federal employees / appointees are responsible for carrying out oft involve national security issues.

Inquisitors must never let slide anyone’s claims of amnesia. Why not? The following two scenarios will elaborate…

Scenario 1: If the forgetfulness is legitimate (and not an isolated occurrence), that means someone might be seriously ill and in need of prompt medical evaluation. Towards them, we can remain compassionate BUT we must also remain vigilant… understand that unless and until meds/therapy can expeditiously “lift the fog” as it were, we cannot allow anyone to remain in a position where being anything less than fully alert could jeopardize our national security.

Scenario 2: If the forgetfulness is feigned (and a chronic behavior), such individuals are in need of prompt legal attention. Their transgressions need to be evaluated in a court of law. Prison sentences should await all who are convicted. If not? Well, then we are allowing such individuals to remain in positions where their corruption could jeopardize our national security.

In our post 9/11 world, national security is what it’s all about. From each of our elected and appointed government entities we cannot and must not settle for anything less than a clear conscience and clarity of thought. Those qualities go hand in hand with transparency in government, too. For anyone unable to meet or exceed (what should be) our high expectations, they should either resign or be fired.

 

The Hot Tub: A Microcosm Of Planet Earth

 

When it comes down to the new DC régime’s pecking order, Mike Pence is Number 2.

Shortly after his boss had withdrawn America from the Paris Agreement, Mr. P publicly commented on issues of the environment. And one almost felt sorry for the li’l guy because he seemed to be genuinely mystified when he said…

“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world. It’s long been a goal of the liberal left in this country to advance a climate change agenda.”

Now Mr. P, there really is a reason and it is… or should be… nonpartisan. But let’s ease into this slowly. We lefties do realize that righties feel flummoxed by science. Nonetheless, you guys simply need to open up your minds… maybe just a tad? Meet us at least half way? OK?

Perhaps you’d gain a better understanding were this environmental stuff to hit home a bit more? And here’s where being a wallowing in wealth type of guy could actually come in handy. I mean, somewhere within your posh mansion, we would find a family sized hot tub, right?

Now let’s say you’ve worked up a profuse sweat from gutting government of all ethics and laying waste to our economy and ecology. Come the weekend would you not want to kick back and relax… to take a dip into all that warm bubbling water?

Perhaps, from time to time, even your wife Karen and your three kids, Audrey, Charlotte and Michael Jr. all hop in to join you?

Now let’s say on one particular weekend, you suddenly come down with a really nasty case of diarrhea… and by that I mean you’re, literally, unable to contain yourself. Under those circumstances, would you hop into the hot tub anyway? Expect your family to smile, say nothing and even remain soaking in the no longer clean water with you?

Of course not! You’re too refined to expect that, right?

Don’t you get it, Mr. P.? In this make-believe scenario, your hot tub is a microcosm of our climate change, warmed up planet… the fouled water analogous to our contaminated seven seas. You represent all of the world’s polluters who your admin enables… your family is akin to the family of man… all seven plus billion of us.

The obvious difference, here, is your spouse and offspring can easily make their escape.

However… on the grander scale, where in our vast universe would seven+ billion people run to?

Mr. P, are you beginning to see the big picture, now?

Decent, considerate folks… and yes you’re right… we’re mostly on the left… do understand that planet Earth is the only home we have. If we render our world utterly uninhabitable… shoot (oo = i) all over the place, as it were… there’s no other known, nearby, earthlike planet, within our vast universe, where humankind can seek refuge.

 

 

Tracking Down ALL The Beatles’ Studio Tracks

Lately, this 63-year-young, Beatles fan has been riding incredibly high upon a massive wave of feel good nostalgia… fueled, in part, by the fanfare surrounding the 50-year anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

However, in order to get to the root cause of my deep-seated feelings, we’d need to turn back the hands of time a bit further… to be exact… to arrive in my living room on Sunday, February 9, 1964, 8 p.m.

It had been at that merger of space/time, where/when I had been 1 amongst 73 million viewers in TV land tuned into the Ed Sullivan Show.

“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” That’s the night where the Fab Four had begun to weave their unique, brilliant British sound into the drab fabric of America’s formulaic, pop music scene… forever changing it for the better. Their first set opened with All My Lovin’… followed by Till There Was You and She Loves You. Their second set closed out that historic broadcast with I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

For this then 9-year-young lad, the Beatles could not have made the scene at a better time. After all, only a scant eleven weeks (+ some temporal “change”) had passed since the assassination of President, John F. Kennedy and we Americans were still deep in mourning… continued to feel haunted by November 22, 1963’s raw TV news coverage… all of that ghastly black and white imagery bleeding out from our TV screens… figuratively staining our living room carpets and searing sorrow into our gray matter.

But being ear-witnesses to John, Paul, George and Ringo’s upbeat, feel good music sure as hell had helped us with our healing process.

Now, to get back to Sgt. Pepper’s 50th anniversary and how I celebrated…

Somehow… just playing back that one, particular album didn’t seem to go far enough. Instead, I wound up tracking through, start to finish, the Fab Four’s full discography… the one, which encompasses the totality of their incredible studio output. If one opted to binge listen, that’d clock out at approximately 10 hours. I have done that before… but… this time around, I chose to spend a week to savor everything a bit more.

Now, if you don’t own this collection and would like to, the data I’m providing, below, will help you immensely. “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” I know it’s an old fashioned notion to actually own physical copies of anything… BUT… in an era fraught with talk about looming government censorship… well… need I say more?

My search to secure these precious albums began and ended in 1990. I had gotten into the CD revolution rather late in the game, but, once in the thick of things, I made it my top priority to assemble the Beatles’ complete body of work. At that juncture, the record stores (remember those?) were stocking the Fab Four’s CD’s, as presented in their U.K. released format, which was (still is) totally cool with me.

I’ve always felt that recording artists should maintain complete, creative control over presenting music in the order they see fit. In other words, not entrust that task to corporate bean counters, who don’t see the notes on the treble and bass clefs… only the dollar signs on their spreadsheets. And… to be sure… during the Beatles’ early years, stateside, Capitol Records had opted to carve up and repackage the Fab Four’s UK albums… resulting in play lists that would not necessarily have amused JPG&R. But I digress…

The following discography features all 13 of the Beatles’ UK released CDs, listed by catalogue number along with a linked album title (which will provide you a wealth of data re the musical content plus historical fun facts).

The 14th and 15th entries are for CDs that include songs, which had been originally been released as 45s, EPs… etc. The liner notes from both of these Past Masters compendia will further clarify…

“If you have the other 13 CDs, and these two, you have everything that the Beatles, the most successful artists in the history of recorded sound, commercially issued during their remarkable reign.”

Well… almost everything… re the 16th and 17th entries on my list, this data will help you find the two songs where Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had laid down their tracks… added their talent to that of the late John Lennon’s solo work… resulting in the first two “new” Beatles songs released in 25 years: Free As A Bird and Real Love.

 

01 ~ CDP7 46435 2 ~ Please Please Me

02 ~ CDP7 46436 2 ~ With The Beatles

03 ~ CDP7 46437 2 ~ A Hard Day’s Night

04 ~ CDP7 46438 2 ~ Beatles For Sale

05 ~ CDP7 46439 2 ~ Help!

06 ~ CDP7 46440 2 ~ Rubber Soul

07 ~ CDP7 46441 2 ~ Revolver

08 ~ CDP7 46442 2 ~ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

09 ~ CDP7 48062 2 ~ Magical Mystery Tour

10 ~ CDP7 46443 2 & CDP7 46444 2 The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) Disc 1 & 2

11 ~ CDP7 46445 2 ~ Yellow Submarine

12 ~ CDP7 46446 2 ~ Abbey Road

13 ~ CDP7 46447 2 ~ Let It Be

14 ~ CDP7 90043 2 ~ Past Masters Volume One

15 ~ CDP7 90044 2 ~ Past Masters Volume Two

 

16 ~ CDP 7243 8 34445 2 ~ Anthology Volume 1

17 ~ C2 7243 8 58544 2 2 ~ Real Love

 

My Sanctuary City’s 5-Star Bistro / Birthing Centre

 

For the past several weeks, quite by surprise, I’ve found myself wearing a diverse array of occupational hats… e.g., proprietor/head chef of a five star bistro (which I hadn’t even known I owned)… silent partner of a suddenly “christened”, necessity is the mother of invention, birthing center… and mayor of a sanctuary city, as it were.

Now, lest I needlessly raise the hackles of overly zealous U.S. federal ICE agents and my own home state’s inspectors of eateries and medical facilities … it is with both sudden alarm and alacrity that I must point out that the hungry patrons (inclusive of a new mom) are none other than a family of rabbits. 1

Undoubtedly, these refugees had been displaced by urban sprawl… the dirty deeds of avarice driven, excessively capitalistic fools… i.e., those who have yet to “meet” a natural, pristine parcel of land that they would not hesitate to violate.

Yes, I do get it… with the level of our global human population on the rise, there is a real need to construct new housing. Even so, would not renovating rather than razing existing homes and apartments slow that sprawl and, in the same breath, be far friendlier to the environment? Would that not show proper consideration for the rabbits and other creatures, which humans are supposed to live in harmony with?

After all, every living organism has a purpose… provides a natural balance within our Creator’s (or if you’d prefer, Ma Nature’s) grand scheme. One would think that in the interest of interspecies amity, humans, allegedly the smartest creatures of all, could find it within their heads and hearts to favor the carrot over the stick?

One wonders if humankind will realize this stark reality soon enough to avert an environmental cataclysm? Time will tell… but… alas… time is also running out… rapidly.

Well, this kindly “mayor” has opted for the carrot… as it were… to welcome my newfound rabbit pals and what a pleasant experience co-existence has been for all. Each new day we’ve been sharing our sit down breakfasts and suppers together… I at my dining room table, indoors, while they’re nibbling away at whatever they choose, al fresco.

As for their specific dietary requirements, most of the lush, verdant, naturally, abundantly growing vegetation within my backyard provides them an “all you can eat” vast smorgasbord of culinary delights.

As for their delivery room / maternity ward needs, mother, instinctively, knows best.

So you can clearly see, my new furry friends are no trouble… not in the least.

Of course, I don’t take my newfound “mayoral” duties lightly. I have felt one overriding concern… namely, unless it’s found within the vegetation, itself, what and where is their water source? Albeit briefly, just as many a restaurateur would do, I did think about setting their “table” with a few shallow containers of water but… factoring in my legitimate worries about standing, summertime H2O being a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos (perhaps even inclusive of the Zika virus), “quick as a bunny”, I wisely nixed that notion.

Of course I had actually had nothing to worry about. If needed, located less than a kilometer down the road, there is a creek, which could amply quench their thirsts. For them, the travel time would be no prob, either. On the rare occasions where I’ve unintentionally spooked them, watching them race away in a blur, indeed, establishes how well deserved their “quick as a bunny” reputation truly is.

But even so, that short distance does seem a long way to go. Why would they prefer moving into my yard rather than dwelling closer to that stream? And why my yard vs. the yards of my next-door neighbors?

I think it’s fair to conclude that rabbits find better tasting vegetation growing within my “sanctuary city”. How could they not? Unlike far too many urbanites ISO the picture perfect lawn, I believe stinky lawn chemicals are a bane… not a boon… are likely carcinogens, too.

The perceptive nature of rabbits amply proves they are not dumb bunnies.

NOPE, such nomenclature would be far more appropriate in describing the money-grubbing, land grabbing developers, who so thoughtlessly (oft needlessly) invade and pave over natural habitats. And the same goes for the lawn chemical industry, which (soon afterwards) steps in to con ill-informed new (and current) homeowners into poisoning our entire planet.

 

1 Please keep in mind that my intent is not to trivialize the suffering of human war refugees and émigrés. Indeed, I believe this blog will demonstrate how man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.

 

 

Remembering Our First Job

 

Most of us can fondly recall the very first time we ever heard those magic words, “You’re hired!” In our younger days, when our résumés presented no appreciable work history, landing that first job depended more upon how well we had answered the interviewer’s questions… especially those queries specifically designed to help evaluate the level of each applicant’s work ethic, intellectual curiosity and personal integrity.

Indeed, to harbor such virtues was (hopefully still is) to earn each prospective boss’s trust… allay her/his legitimate concerns that we might be unable to meet the company’s expectations.

Of course, next came our very first day on the job… typically starting with the probationary phase where we’d remain under the constant, watchful gaze of superiors… where it’d be totally up to us to prove and improve our talents… to meet and exceed said expectations… in short… to earn our keep.

Well, nowadays, when it comes down to “hiring” / electing our representatives to government positions… well… long sigh… sad to say… it seems that expectations-wise, the bar has become set really, Really, REALLY low.

For proof, one need not look far. There’s an extraordinarily, inexperienced new hire punching the Oval Office time clock. If he, indeed, actually possesses even a minimally genuine work ethic, even a smattering of intellectual curiosity and one milligram of personal integrity… well… he’s certainly doing his very damnedest to totally deep six any evidence such virtues exist within his psyche. More to the point…

  1. So far… he has taken an inordinate number of (golfing) breaks, which I suppose is not all bad. After all, it’s whenever he IS “on the job” that the real damage begins. His idea of “a job well done” is to mass-produce chaos. More specifically… his battle plan is to unleash economic and ecological devastation… belittle and browbeat society’s young, disabled, aged and ailing… taunt, demean, objectify and assault women… harass and dehumanize the LGBTQ community… ratchet up racial and religious intolerance… exploit and crush the working poor… promote and proliferate corrupt corporations and cronyism… inculcate, abroad, feelings of distrust, disgust and flat-out hatred towards America, which can only trigger more terrorist attacks, conventional warfare and perhaps even thermonuclear exchange / mutual assured destruction (MAD).
  2. So far… his cocksure, Mr. Know-It-All bluster all but ensures the permanence of his closed minded, ignorance. Indeed, he exhibits an absolute unwillingness to learn one damned thing and possesses / is possessed by a resolve to fight off, tooth and nail, anyone even attempting to educate him.1
  3. So far… be it his improper upbringing / arrested development or his being a sociopath… he cannot even be trusted to know the difference between right and wrong… that amply proven by his own relentless attempts to quash FBI director James Comey’s investigation of the whole effing mess re Russia… and then firing said director for not knuckling under.

Remembering Our First Job, again, I now ask you, if any of us had ever, similarly, turned our workplaces upside down, don’t you think we’d have been called on the carpet? Maybe even heard the words, “You’re fired!”?

Oh, what a shame that there’s no such probationary period during which an utter failure of a prez could be pink-slipped. Oh, what a pity we cannot utter #45’s favorite “You’re Fired” catchphrase and then promptly show him the door.

Regrettably, impeachment and removal from office is a task left up to the U.S. Senate and House… both legislative bodies, at present, suffering from Republican majorities and inhabited with spineless, pathetic old men. Very few of them could ever be counted on to prioritize patriotism over petty partisanship AND may even share some (if not all) of #45’s deplorable character flaws. Needless to say, left unchecked, the so-called prez will continue hammering away at America and our world until there’s nothing left.

That means, Vladimir Putin permitting, our next opportunity to “drain the swamp” and elect new respectable, responsible legislators and a new, respectable, responsible president won’t arrive (respectively) until 2018 and 2020.

That’s when my blog title, Remembering Our First Job, will take on a far more significant connotation. What this must entail is our NEVER forgetting that, via the ballot box, WE are the bosses of our leaders… NEVER vice versa.

Citizens, not just in America, but also living in every freedom and democracy loving nation, worldwide, must ALWAYS actively participate in each and every new election cycle… view all candidates to be the job applicants they are and then interview and vet them… leaving no stone unturned. To not do so?

Well… as of my blog posting time, in the past, scant six months, we’ve already seen the massive damage done because too many fools had said, “You’re hired” to an entity who, indisputably, is devoid of a genuine work ethic… is sorely lacking an insatiable intellectual curiosity and… when it comes down to possessing a rock solid level of personal integrity… the bogus businessman is morally bankrupt.

Remembering Our First Job is also to fearlessly roar out, “NEVER AGAIN!”

 

 

1The former head of the United Negro College Fund, Arthur Fletcher, had summed it up best when he coined the phrase to lament, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!”

 

One Quick Limerick (#011)

The outcome to this limerick’s story, while plausible, is purely speculative and fake news. However its underlying facts, which had served as my inspiration, are proof positive that truth can oft be stranger than fiction.

 

A solar paneled Wall is Grump’s new goal?

Volts generated to build it, bankroll?

“A pipe dream!” yelp maligners?

“Wouldn’t that revolt the miners?”

“Spur them to protest, peg YUGE lumps of coal?”

 

 

Make-Up Artists… Share Your Expertise… Please!

 

My having never appeared anywhere on stage or screen, I’ve never worn make-up. Ergo, it’s way above my pay grade to be discussing such a blog topic. However, with some technical advice from the vast WordPress community, might it be possible to “nail down” this post together?

Hey my blogging colleagues… this could be fun!

Your mission… should you decide to accept it… is to first read this setup for the video, below.

CAUTION: In view of the massive egos of the interviewer, Sean Hannity, and interviewee, Eric Trump, this circle jerk is quite lengthy. But even watching just the very first minute should provide more than enough time to adequately assess the situation.

RED ALERT: The actual political content is biased, disingenuous, delusional and loathsome, too. The viewer is forced to wallow in the hot tub shared by these BFFs… their slimy, communal cesspool… as it were. To view is to risk drowning while these “men” go off the deep end and “get off” within their stiff undercurrent of whiny, smarmy fascism. But I digress… addressing such issues, more in depth, is a task best left for another day / another blog.

Now… where was I? Oh yeah…

While it’s unclear and unimportant where the exact edit point in this fluffy, faux news story / 2020 campaign ad had been, obviously, somewhere mid-interview, the grossed out stage manager had been forced to cry out, “CUT!”

What was the problem?

Well… during this extremely up close and personal, one on one, “intimate” interview (courtesy of Eric), lapdog Sean’s nose had amassed massive amounts of brown… uh… well… uh… to keep this blog family friendly… let’s just call it “goo”.

So now, I pose my questions to every professional and amateur make-up artist…

What was the solution?

Do you think the Fox News make-up artist had to first wipe off all that brown goo OR is there a product on the market that is sufficiently thick… so that, once liberally slapped on… that foundation could easily cover up Sean’s brown nose?

Upon viewing this video, let me know what you think? Your responses in my comment box will be greatly appreciated and will help me finish this blog!

Oh… btw… I’ll welcome comments from readers who are not make-up experts, too!

 

 

 

 

 

Heads and Hearts of Stone

 

For the record, I fully realize there are millions of Caucasians, residing all across America’s Deep South, who are as appalled by racism as I am. This blog is not about you and me. But do read on anyway…

If you’re like me, you feel ashamed of America every time we catch even the slightest whiff of racism. And especially during this bigoted, #45 era, what’s been wafting up out of the Deep South amounts to a fierce stench that even a zillion gallons of Febreze™ could never combat.

It’s mindboggling that, in the 21st century, we find rebels out there… way out there… who are still fighting the Civil War of the 19th century. How so? By attempting to repackage their rebelliousness… spinning it as a preservation of their “southern heritage”.

But, no matter how hard they try to giftwrap and tie a pretty little bow around it, their brand of “southern heritage” is synonymous to flat-out bigotry… equivalent to a sky-high, crawling with maggots, pile of festering, fetid fecal matter.

Before I further excavate the specifics out from under this deep dung heap, let’s take a few seconds to don our gas masks and/or Hazmat suits… I’d strongly recommend the latter. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… 0…

OK, everybody ready now? Let’s rev up our backhoes…

Racists have been going into apoplectic fits because many enlightened, levelheaded local governments have been ordering their Deep South communities purged of specific statuary… i.e., chiseled monuments that glorify the misfits, rebels, malcontents and combatants, who, in support of the Confederate States of America, had felt compelled to lash out against human decency.

The work crews in charge of removing these standing for stupidity, stone statues have actually found it imperative they don bulletproof vests and masks while working under the cloak of darkness… while under the protective wing of heavily armed police officers. Any independent contractors toiling away at these worksites have actually felt compelled to mask all identifying company logos on their trucks and equipment… just to avoid potential, future, retaliatory attacks.

To distill this down, what we have here are the descendants of slave owners pitted against the descendants of slaves. And, the former demographic is EITHER oblivious to the fact that their preservation of “southern heritage” smacks of racial intimidation OR said intimidation is a willful, concerted effort on their part… to make damned sure nobody ever forgets that the Civil War still rages on… that these rebels totally get off on their fond memories of brutal, deadly, full blown, chains clanging, whips cracking slavery.

So, are they calling for an immediate reinstatement of such subjugation? Only they know for sure.

Now… just for the sake of discussion… let’s classify the attitude of these rebels as an extreme case of misguided hero worship / mindlessness… not maliciousness. Might it be possible to dissuade them from their “southern heritage” preservation movement were we to ask them…

How would you feel if someone chose to preserve the memory of 9/11 within communities all across America… by erecting statues of the nineteen, 9/11 hijackers?

Would it be ill advised for any of us to hold our breath while awaiting any of them to wise up?

Probably so… considering how far, Far, FAR too many of them are afflicted with the full blown disease known as racism… it’s symptomology:

Heads and Hearts of Stone.

Hmm… all things considered… it’d appear that those stone statues really do preserve the rebels’ specific strain of bastardized, odious, old-time “southern heritage“.

 

 

Dormant Seeds? Unpromising Soil?

Over fifty Junes ago, my parents, sister and I wound up moving into a 30-year mortgaged, freshly constructed, three-bedroom ranch and went on to transform it into our home.

For our folks, that momentous occasion had been nothing short of a financial miracle considering the paltry income of public school teachers of that early sixties era AND how The Great Depression of 1929 had put both of their lives and livelihoods on hold… had caused them to meet, marry and get into the baby making biz quite late in life. How late?

Well… by the time I had graduated from college, my Mom and Dad were both in their early sixties and in the early phases of failing health.

It was my heartfelt, undying love and gratitude for all they’d done for me, which had motivated me to put my own life on hold… to not only accept but also embrace the intergenerational, caregiver role-reversal.

In the end, I wound up inheriting my boyhood home. That’s where I’ve been “hanging my hat”, ever since the age of seven. I am so deeply rooted here I literally know my microcosm right down to the flowerbeds… i.e., where my Mom, who’d been an avid horticulturalist, had planted her flowers.

And that’s where today’s story actually begins…

Our My home’s roof has an overhang, which oft prevents the rains from adequately reaching every flower. Even the shortest such drought is apt to result in deadly consequences. And that’s precisely what had happened.

While I’d been busily tending to other higher priority matters in my life, I had neglected to water Mom’s prized, purple Irises. Five years ago, their blooms and foliage had all but vanished off the face of the earth… or so I had thought…

Just mere months ago, while tending to her precious daffodils, out of the corner of my eye, I had spotted something green. Several double takes rapidly confirmed the “impossible”. One tiny, fragile Iris leaf was poking through the soil… desperately seeking out the warmth of the early spring sunlight. I immediately redirected my sprinkling can’s nozzle and, ever since, this plant has been the recipient of my intensive care.

In the past several weeks, several dozen more leaves have appeared, as well. While I’m unsure, yet, if this resurrected Iris has regained sufficient strength to bloom this growing season, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

I cannot help but walk away from this experience without considering the more significant, symbolic message here…

My Mom’s Iris is living proof of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s timeless wisdom…

“While there’s life there’s hope.”

To dig a bit deeper…

In view of America’s January 2017, horrific, deplorable, corrupt power shift… we can only hope that the imperiled seeds of human decency can weather and survive the present-day drought of intellect and morality, which is presently overhanging DC… one that poses a serious threat to noble ideas and ideals such as brotherhood, civility, empathy, philanthropy, honesty, transparency, ethics, liberty and justice for ALL.

In light of both my Mom’s rejuvenated Iris AND of how the authors of truly great literature are oft advocates of the above listed inventory of virtues, this brings to mind the late author Carl Sagan’s wisdom. His analogy has never been more relevant…

“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.”

Will there be a sufficient number of folks, who still give a damn, to counteract the drought. If so, it’ll be up to us to fill the sprinkling cans… to ensure we redirect their spouts at all the hard to reach places… and then?

We’ll hope with all our hearts that it won’t take centuries for the precious seeds to bloom anew.

 

 

Channeling Crusoe and Watney

 

 

After reading a thought provoking, wonderfully written WordPress essay about our modern, materialistic, currency dependent society (authored by a blogger who I follow and who follows me), I soon realized that we have only ourselves to blame for this state of economic affairs … no strike that… woes.

From my POV, this has occurred because, with each passing generation, we’ve lost our ability to be genuinely rugged, self-sufficient entities. In short… we’ve wimped out!

SPOILER ALERT: For anyone who may’ve not read Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and/or Andy Weir’s “The Martian” / viewed films based on either of these literary works… skip the following paragraph.

Well, I had barely returned to my own website when my mind went into a free-association mode… soon recalling one of my fave, fictional literary works, namely, “Robinson Crusoe”… how the castaway protagonist had eventually wound up successfully conquering a slew of initially insurmountable obstacles, perhaps too well, for, as it turned out, even his remote, tropical island was not immune to excessive progress. I also quickly considered the film, “The Martian” where stranded astronaut-turned-potato-farmer Mark Watney triumphantly faced down the prospects of an even tougher road planet to hoe… as it were.

Well, it was at that juncture that I ear-witnessed my audible long sigh… and began time tripping to the past to create my own fantasyland… Pollyanna-ishly and loosly basing that setting on the birth of a nation… i.e., the nation of my birth.

I found myself envious of my centuries ago compatriots, who had braved the Atlantic Ocean to emigrate, tame and settle our homeland. Imagine how, soon after arriving, they began freely staking out the territory of their own choosing… possessed all the required logging and carpentry skills to build cabins… the hunting / gathering / farming knowhow to live off the land… the hunting / weaving / sewing expertise to produce all the clothes on their backs (the nearby, babbling brooks becoming their washing machines / the wind whistling through the tree branches their clothes dryers)… the range of their long distance “calls” to their neighbors limited to how loudly they could yell.

And then, as each long day’s worth of labors began winding down, all would be stretching, yawning and kicking back to, perhaps, play flutes so skillfully crafted from hollow branches… while watching the orange and red hued, setting sun yielding to the blue, purplish twilight skies… observing all of those shining, sparkling celestial wonders gradually coming into view. The rising, silvery Moon acting as their natural nightlight and the far off, connect-the-dots flickers of light becoming their motion pictures… those images supported by the non-Hollywood, literal, true star power of the universe.

It all sounds so idyllic does it not? Of course, my story does fail to take into account the downside of human nature… i.e., our propensity to provoke needless wars. Indeed, these settlers squatters had ripped off and pissed off the actual property owners… Native Americans. Another long sigh as I lament… could they have not found a way to peacefully co-exist?

Well… I guess I had better hurry to end this in the here and now… lest I get ensnared in my usual literary / blogging trap… start straying into the reality of society’s negative territory.

Oh well… fantasyland was fun while it lasted.