Turns out the Grim Reaper is not the villain I feared all my life

Turns out the Grim Reaper is not the villain I feared all my life
I met the shrouded one when I was in my teens. He had taken a liking to my older brother and two of his college friends and my introduction came after their holiday season rendezvous on a slippery icy road on the way to Bradley University. I pretended to ignore him but his presence skulking... Read more »

I feel the slow creep of fear as democracy staggers. I must not allow myself to succumb.

I feel the slow creep of fear as democracy staggers.  I must not allow myself to succumb.
I do not feel hopeful and positive about the future. Distressing events multiply with each news cycle. Basic human values inherent to my grammar school pledge of allegiance are under assault. Congregations of righteous jingoists are using the flag to hide their fascist agenda for an autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader. What scares... Read more »

No cheating death today. But the terms of surrender are pretty good.

My friend died last night. On his own terms. Surrounded by his family. Breathing in their love with his last breath. He lived fully. When there was no longer room for joy in his stricken physical realm, he ceded the field. And died. I had talked to him about this moment. He did not hide... Read more »
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I choose the Mother of Exiles over the President of Exclusion

I choose the Mother of Exiles over the President of Exclusion
This is a post from last summer. It explains why I joined Saturday’s protest march. The Depression and World War II provided the background for my childhood years. I put on the khaki when the Korean Peninsula split in two, never entertaining the idea of avoiding service. When the war in Viet Nam divided our... Read more »

I am called out. I make amends. I’m not perfect.

I am called out.  I make amends.  I’m not perfect.
As we grow old we become wise, and if we’re not careful, a tad sanctimonious. I offer a polite guffaw to that upshot. I am far from perfect and if I present myself as such, the tumble will be Jack and Jill-ian. I have the bruises to make the point. At lunch with a dear... Read more »

Key question for Papa. Why am I still here?

Key question for Papa.  Why am I still here?
I spent an afternoon at the hospital saying goodbye to my dear friend. He is at death’s door, not yet clay but he will never again turn his face to the sun. The next day my granddaughter gave me a Father’s Day hug and time stopped. The Ode to Joy took this loving grandfather above... Read more »
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Why are we unhappy? Maybe we don’t know what happiness is!

Why are we unhappy?  Maybe we don’t know what happiness is!
I watched a Ted Talk recently that floated a startling statistic. According to the speaker who had attended his class reunion at Yale University, 80% of his classmates when asked the question, “Are you happy?” answered in the negative and described themselves as “Unhappy.” I should not have been surprised. There are many rich and... Read more »

The irony: as I rant against intolerance I’ve become more intolerant

The irony: as I rant against intolerance I’ve become more intolerant
I’ve taken sides. I know the issues are complicated and touch on many ancillary considerations. And God knows I am not absent the weight of my own past indifference to the struggles for racial equality, women’s rights, age discrimination and the causes that mobilize the progressive segment of the body politic. But I’m all in... Read more »

Walking the walk with unlikely companions

Walking the walk with unlikely companions
Most of the dinner parties I go to have the “20 percent rule” in place, that is, no more than twenty percent of the conversation can be about Trump no matter how disturbing the latest lies and ugly castigations coming from the White House. I admit to having gleefully taken part in airing groans of... Read more »
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Are we helpless? Is there anything we can do to stop gun violence?

It’s beyond my comprehension. A pimply adolescent walks into a school with a deadly weapon and mows down a dozen fellow teenagers in cold blood. No matter how hard I try I can’t grasp the depraved act. The enigma grows more puzzling when the heinous event is repeated time and time again. Some virulent virus... Read more »