Do you know what I noticed the other day? The light on the speedometer right above 45 mph is dimming. Coming home from the protest to protect Mueller, to remind anyone who would listen that no one is above the law, the light in the speedometer is dimming. “Oh no,” I thought, and gently patted the dashboard. D’s truck. 1994 black Ford Ranger…24 years old. My son is 24. I don’t want D’s truck to stop. Ever. It was my brother’s. The “Biter End” pin from the Gaslamp bar in San Diego is right where you left it, on the visor.
I walk through the world because I love it.
I walk through the world because I love it.
That’s what I read on a wall as I walked by thinking of you. I think you loved it. The world. And it broke your heart. And it breaks mine.
-Dayle Ohlau, Santa Sabina Center
There is in all things
an invisible fecundity,
a dimmed light,
a meek namelessness,
a hidden wholeness.
And I dreamed a dream.
I dreamed I saw a land. And on the hills walked brave women and brave men, hand in hand. And they looked into each other’s eyes, and they were not afraid.
And I saw the women also hold each other’s hands.
And I said to him beside me, “What place is this?”
And he said, “This is heaven.”
And I said, “Where is it?”
And he answered, “On earth.”
And I said, “When shall these things be?”
And he answered, “In the future.”
Dedicated to the women of Nov. 6, 2018
We must. Democracy, we’ve learned, is fragile. Together we rise to protect it.
“When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
Unrest in Baton Rouge
“Our bodies run with ink dark blood. / Blood pools in the pavement’s seams. // Is it strange to say love is a language / Few practice, but all, or near all speak? // Even the men in black armor, the ones / Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else // Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade / Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat? // We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat. / Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean. // Love: naked almost in the everlasting street, / Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.”
Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith
‘Love is a language/Few practice, but all, or near all speak’
Idahoans keep electing the same party and politics and expect different results. There’s a term for that…not important. Here’s what is: ‘D+’ and holding. In 2018, again, Idaho remains 48th in education. Only three school districts were considered ‘best’, ours (Blaine County), Boise Independent, and McCall-Donnelly. We’re tied with North Carolina for a minimum wage of $7.25 (women earn less). Idaho teacher salaries rank the lowest…lowest…in the nation. Idaho has one of country’s highest suicide rates, receiving a solid ‘F’for mental health care. For six years Otter/Little turned their GOP backs on Medicaid expansion that would have insured more than 62,000 working Idahoans. Days before the election? Sure, they say, let’s do it. Knowing it’s the biggest divide between Little and Paulette Jordan we could probably agree it was a political move. But, will they, though? When PROP 2 passes, and if Little is elected, any bets on him saying, “Don’t have the money—let’s try this.”Without any check/balance in leadership, we’ll continue on the same destructive path. We have a chance this year, Idaho, for new leadership. The Idaho Mountain Express may have dangerously encouraged voting party for governor, not endorsing Little or Jordan, yet on her policy platform for our public lands alone should have been more than enough to endorse her for governor. (You know, IME, Obama was a community organizer…not a lot of experience…he did ok.) If we want more of the same for Idaho, vote the same. If we want something better for Idaho, for our kids and their kids, schools, health care, mental health, our public lands, teacher salaries, then let’s just go crazy and put one in the column for Paulette Jordan. What do we have to lose? Seriously, we’re at rock bottom. We can do so much better. Together, beyond party politics, we can do the right thing. “The future of Idaho belongs to all of us.”–Paulette Jordan
Jane Adams co-founded with Ellen Gates Starr an early settlement house in the United States, Chicago’s Hull House that would later become known as one of the most famous settlement houses in America . In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. In her essay “Utilization of Women in City Government,” Jane Addams noted the connection between the workings of government and the household, stating that many departments of government, such as sanitation and the schooling of children, could be traced back to traditional women’s roles in the private sphere. Thus, these were matters of which women would have more knowledge than men, so women needed the vote to best voice their opinions. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatist school of philosophy, and is known by many as the first woman “public philosopher in the history of the United States”. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU.
The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down
How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping.
Will we ever be able to forgive you?
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. [One] experiences [oneself] . . . as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of [one’s] consciousness. . . . Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —Albert Einstein
“If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light” (Luke 11:34). That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, “Be awake.” Jesus talks about “staying watchful”, and “Buddha” means “I am awake” in Sanskrit. —Richard Rohr
David Axelrod said to Wolf Blitzer on CNN after the massacre:
“We Should…pause…to honor these people by reflecting on where we are as a country.”
I have stopped.
You have not.
What had a man not stopped that enabled him (Angulimala) to murder?
And what had Buddha stopped that enable him to be enlightened?
Though we will never know, we can suggest that the thing not stopped might be any form of running from the risk and pain of being alive, such as denial, hiding, projection. For any form of running from the truth of ourselves can lead to such a numb existence that one can become violent in order to feel. If we don’t stop running, we can murder ourselves again and again by taking the lives of others, either physically through violence or sexually through conquest or emotionally through dominance and control or professionally through power. We repeatedly need to have this conversation with ourselves in order to stay compassionate and real.
‘Be swift to love, make haste to be kind.’