Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thank you, Lisa, for that generous introduction and welcome. I know many of your contributors, and probably many of your readers, from my former life in AOL Journals, where I kept the Journals Windmills of My Mind, and The BiblioPhiles. I began my "new"Blogger blog, Quid Nunc?, almost five years ago as a necessity for joining the political group blog, The Blue Voice, formed by a gang of former AOL political Journalers at that time. When we started The Blue Voice I was tapped as the "environmental" writer for the group, as I had written copiously on the environment in my AOL journal. That blog continues, though only the fabulous Bruce Miller has maintained the will and ability to write frequently in it. Most of the other blog members, myself included, have been dormant for well over a year. Some of us have spoken lately about regrouping and bringing the Voice back to life. It remains to be seen.
Though Quid Nunc? was itself dormant for most of the years of its existence, I resuscitated it this past fall when I was missing a place to simply write about my current interests and passions, and am enjoying having a place to put my thoughts onto a public page. Around the same time, I discovered that some of my longlost AOL friends had ended up in this group of wonderful writing women. After following this blog for some months, and seeing that I was indeed still able to write coherently, had something to say and was going to keep up my own blog - I got up the courage to contact both Kat and Lisa and ask about being let in to the group.
So, here I am, hopefully with something to add to the mix, glad to be back in touch with some old friends, and have the chance to make some new ones. If you take a moment to check out Quid Nunc?, you'll see where my interests lie and what my subjects seem to be. Subject, always, to enormous changes at the last minute. That's me there, in a photo I have titled "Tired Old Broad With Cat."
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
And so I would like to take this opportunity to announce the addition of a new “author” to our sadly neglected little blog. Our old friend Marigolds2—from the long ago AOL journal land days—has asked to join our group, and I think she will be a fine addition. Marigolds had a couple of blogs in old Journal Land (the names of which currently escape me—help me out here, someone…) And is the author of Quid Nunc? here on blogger, as well as one of the contributors to the progressive political blog “The Blue Voice” –for which I was also privileged to write for a short time (before I sold my soul, I mean, before I bought the restaurant…)
So, go check out her blogs if you are unfamiliar with her writing. I hope you will welcome her on board as enthusiastically as I plan to.
Welcome, Mari. We are SO looking forward to your contribution.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
It’s funny how the accumulation of years upon the planet begins to impart a sense of history to those of us who are paying any attention at all. It starts when we begin to see our parents as human beings; we notice and understand the things they conquered, the mistakes they made, the hurdles they cleared. And we see how those things eventually became part of who WE are. That knowledge settles upon us like the stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, eventually, acceptance—that we are, to a large extent, those people from whom we struggled so valiantly to break away and distinguish ourselves. Little do we know that, another decade or two down the road, as our parents pass on and all we have left of them is what we can see in the mirror, we will cling to that connection as if it were the last life ring thrown over the side of the Titanic.
That compilation of years has brought me another bone to chew, of late. I’m beginning to see how we Boomers have failed our children. How our mistakes—those things we did thirty or forty years ago when WE were in charge of writing history—became a less than exemplary model for the generations that have come after us. We were all about bucking the system. We were all about re-writing the rules to suit our own sensibilities. We were young and we were free—or we wanted to be. Our parents’ social mores were stifling, prejudicial and outdated. So we threw away their rules and wrote our own.
Granted, some of those rules cried out for rewriting. We understood that our parents’ rules criminalized behavior that was the sole business of parties engaging in it. We didn’t/don’t need Big Brother hiding under our beds or dictating a social order based on ethnicity or skin color. But we were not at all selective about which of our parents’ rules we flushed down the toilet. Down it all went. We didn’t understand that the kind of freedom for which we clamored carries a great burden—first of discernment, then of self-regulation. We didn’t take the time to discern what part of the social code to which our parents subscribed was valid, timeless and universal. Our governing philosophy became, “We should be able to do whatever we want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.”
And so, we have passed that watered-down, unspecific credo down to our children—who have proceeded to alter it even further. Today’s rule is, “We should be able to do anything we want.” Evidently, the “as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else” part of the rule was entirely too subjective—What does “hurt” mean? And who, exactly, is “anybody else”? And why should I care, anyway? So the next generation did away with that caveat completely.
In the end, what we thought was a leap toward great and necessary social liberation, turned out to be that...PLUS a step down the road to utter chaos. All because we didn’t understand that human beings are notoriously incapable of self-regulation. Because we didn’t understand that was why our parents’ rules—which were surely mutations of their parents’ rules—were developed in the first place. Now...NOW that we have managed to put a few decades under our belts and acquire some of that "historical perspective" I mentioned, we GET IT. But what can, what WILL we do about it? How can we rebuild what we tore down? Who will listen to us now?
And can we hope that our children will "get it" before their children, or their childrens' children, drag us down to complete anarchy?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The surge in troops is part of an exit plan, but it cannot be seen solely in terms of strategy. It holds thousands of faces and touches even more lives. Our troops deserve to know that we, as fellow citizens, friends and family, respect their service. They deserve to know that our government will support them better than it has shown itself to do. I can't seem to join in the flag waving though.
When I see all these flags, I feel somber. I wonder how many of those beautiful young women I've worked with will be widows before they know what it's really like to be a wife. I wonder how many funerals I'll either attend or know of that will make me think back to this week.
I have no answers to this violent mess. I'm too disquieted to even work up the years old righteous outrage about this war. This is what is on my mind: There have been 4,687 coalition deaths, including 13 civilian Department of Defense employees. 31, 575 U.S. troops have been wounded in action. 40, 000 troops have been diagnosed with PTSD, and it is feared that many others are hiding this illness.
There will never be an end to war unless the entire human race is transformed, and I just don't see that happening anytime soon. That doesn't absolve my lack of answers, and it doesn't ease the feeling of impotence I have about my prayers for peace and safety. The least I can do is remember some of the real cost of this war and treat it seriously. I won't be waving a flag tomorrow morning. I don't know if I'll be on the main road of my town tomorrow morning, but I do know that these men and women will be in my mind and heart.
Originally posted at Sorting The Pieces.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This is a wonderful video. Medline Industries, Inc., began manufacturing pink gloves as a way to promote breast cancer awareness, and they agreed to donate some of the profits from the sale of the pink gloves to fund mammograms for women who can’t afford them. To promote the gloves and breast cancer awareness, more than 200 staff members of