Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We are not amused

It reminded me of Pop-pop 
although the 2 men couldn’t be further apart in intellect, temperament 
or quality of character. 

As he aged,
my grandfather had a form of progressive dementia 
due largely to anoxia from COPD but,
since he was a man of few words,
you would never have known it.

He was capable of driving wherever he and my grandmother needed to go;
it was, after all, an island 18 miles long and 3 blocks wide 
not much likelihood of him getting lost for too long 
and, other than during the peak of summer,
the island was sparsely populated.

He spent most of his days 
sitting on the screened in front porch, 
rocking, “watching the world go by”;
and loving his family;
he was really good at that too.

Occasionally in the evening 
he’d say something totally random,
asking the gathered family, "Who has the room key? I’m ready to go back now."  

When one of us would gently say,
"Pop-pop, you’re already home but I can help if you want to go to bed now.", 
he’d issue a smile that reached all the way to his eyes 
and respond
"Very good. I was just checking to see if you were oriented and paying attention".

My grandmother would laugh these remarks off,
refusing to see them as sign of what we all knew was advancing incapacity.
If she had any misgivings, 
she never acknowledged them openly.

I thought of this yesterday after #45’s ridiculous, 
aborted and then deleted midnight Tweet:
Despite the constant negative press covfefe,”
only to be replaced several hours later with 
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!

While millions of folks around the globe were laughing 
and making meme magic,
I had quite a different reaction.

It made me nauseous.

This isn’t a gentle man,
being lovingly cared for in the peace of his own home 
as his mental capacity slips away.

This is a man with tremendous power,
smallness of spirit,
no soul 
and access to nuclear codes.

When are those in power going to openly acknowledge that this man 
is a danger to himself and others?

Some of us ARE oriented 
and some of us ARE paying attention 
and, for those who us who have been there before,
it’s no laughing matter.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I used to get up early on Memorial Day 
so I'd be one of the first in line for entry to Gypsy Caravan -
a huge flea market in town that has been operating for 45 years. 

Scoring a yearly 'find' after spending hours 
rummaging through other peoples castoffs 
was the order of the day.

Then I had a son who enlisted in the military
and served time in the Middle East
and the solemnity of the day took on new meaning.

shopping and BBQ-ing wasn't that important anymore;
remembering was, 
honoring was;
simply being present to an overwhelming amount of national loss
became the order of the day.
So, for the last several years,
early morning on Memorial Day,
 has found me at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
It has never failed to move me.
Whoever the first person was to say that 'death is the great equalizer'
must have been visiting a military cemetery at the time. 

Personal characteristics of rank, class, gender and individuality have been obliterated;
the common denominators of military service and death
are all that are left.
I find that reality comforting - 
and disturbing - 
in equal measures.
The Mississippi River rolling along endlessly just down the hill
seems the perfect metaphor for life continuing to go on
despite personal sadness and loss.
To imagine the life and stories associated with each headstone
makes the amount of loss even more staggering.
Simply too many.

This wood sculpture on the lawn of a house right outside the cemetery
seems to sum up some of the current national mood.
But maybe that's just me.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's a good thing

1 week from today
 I'll be crossing the plains
to go 'home' to the reservation;
to re-new relationships and learn new things 
about a place that's familiar after 20 years;
yet a place that still abounds with mysteries;
mysteries which may always remain unknown
to a 'wasicu' like me.
1 week from today
I'll be turning away from news 
of treason and espionage in the White House 
to stand in solidarity with folks 
just trying to get through every day.

That's always the way of the world, isn't it?

Behind all the headlines,
all the news of impending doom 
and human misdeeds, 
folks get up every day 
to face their particular, very individual
and very universal goal
of staying alive 
and living a life that has meaning.  

I gave up trying to define what the pull is,
what keeps me coming back
year after year.
I've accepted that it's deep in my DNA, 
very real
demands to be honored.

It's unsettling,
often painful
and always beautiful.

I read words a few years ago -
in Scotland of all places -
and don't know who wrote them;
words that struck a chord 
and immediately reminded me of the reservation.

Don't hide;
don't run
but rather
discover in the midst of the fragmentation
a new way forward;

a different kind of journey
marked by its fragility,
and lack of definition.

And on that path
hold hands with those
that even in their brokenness
create a new tomorrow;
 dance at the margins
and see
the face of Christ
where hurt is real
and pain a way of life.

Be touched
in the eye of the storm
aware that tomorrow
may not bring peace.
 Impossible, you say;
let me retreat
and find my rest.

What rest, my friend, is possible
in these fragmented times?

I'm not looking for rest,
although my soul will be refreshed.

I'm not looking for peace
but there will be many peaceful moments.

I'm eager to be on the road. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.

All things break. 
And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.

So go.
Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you

Saturday, May 20, 2017

News from the swamp

Good grief it's a full time job to keep up 
and I already have one of those,
thank you very much.

But I think I've got the highlights ...  

  • FBI Director Comey was fired, after asking for more resources to ratchet up the Russia/Trump campaign investigation and after refusing to pledge his loyalty to #45. (Honest to Pete, who does that? Other than the Marlon Brando in the Godfather? Was he supposed to kiss his ring as well?) 
  •  #45 throws all his staff under a bus by having them go before the press to say Comey was fired because of how Hillary was investigated - and then he turns around and admits that had nothing to do with it. He was going to fire him anyway. 
  • Then there's the small matter of telling the Russians (in the Oval office, no less) the guy he fired was a nut job and he was putting too much pressure on poor picked on #45, so he had to go.
  • In that same Oval Office closed door meeting with the Russians, during which US media outlets were forbidden but Russian reporters and photographers (and most likely surveillance equipment were let in), he brags about his 'intel' and just happens to leak Israeli intelligence about an ISIS plot involving planes and bombs again.
  •  When that story gets leaked, the White House says the report is false, without specifying which parts are incorrect and 45 sends national security advisor H.R. McMaster, to whore in front of the cameras and ruin his reputation.
  • 45 rants on Twitter that he did give the Russians information, but so what?- he's President so he can do anything he wants.
  • Another story gets leaked that Comey wrote a memo in February when the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn's ties to Russia and being a double agent and all that, because he's a nice guy.
  • A Special Prosecutor gets appointed - to add to the FBI and Congressional investigations looking into this whole mess.
  • Oh - and son in law, Jared, the one in charge of world peace, solving the opioid crisis and making Korea play nice - yeah, that one... he's a special person of interest in the investigations. And, if you've watched more than 2 episodes of "Dateline", you know what that means - he did it!
I think that about sums it up! 
Just a few thoughts.

WHY haven't all the White House press staff walked out?
Isn't it bad enough that you were willing to sell your soul to the devil 
by covering and shilling for the Antichrist, 
why do you stay 
knowing he'll never defend you for lying your asses off 
and making you look ridiculous before the world writ large?
TRY to find your backbones - and get the hell out.
No one would blame you - 
except for staying when you know what a maniac he is
and you continue to aid and abet him anyway.
I, for one, can't WAIT to hear what Comey will testify to.
45 picked on the wrong man -
someone who's made an entire career 
of documenting evidence and producing legal reports 
worthy of withstanding scrutiny and legal challenges.
Just who do you think is going to come out as the winner 
in this pissing contest?
Career law enforcement or career con man?
Meanwhile, back in reality,
there are bills to pay, work to do,
deck art to make and enjoy
beauty to find

and people to love
even when it looks like he should be in an ad for 'Save the Children'!
I can practically hear Amy Grants voice now, saying
"Please, won't you help?"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It never stops

 Little did we know it was only the beginning.

I wonder WHAT he was thinking. 
I wonder IF he was thinking.

Did he honestly think if he fired the Director of the FBI 
right after he testified about the timeline 
of when the White House knew there was a traitor in their midst, 
trumping up treason with the Russians – 
there might not be backlash? 

Especially since that same Director is the one in charge 
of investigating other aspects of those same acts of treason 
and who other players were in the drama, 
including but not limited to
the President himself.

And to admit the firing was at the recommendation of the Atty General –
the very same who had to recuse himself from any action 
related to the Russian investigation 
because the taint and stink of partisanship 
hangs on him like a cheap suit … 
how is that being ‘recused’?

Got to hand it to’em - 
this criminal administrative enterprise certainly knows how 
to make up ‘alternative facts’ and alternative definitions of words: 
ex. Sessions: “recuse: to throw yourself into the midst of” 
and Ivanka “complicit: wanting to be a force for good”.

NOnononononono – 
you do NOT get to redefine the very essence of words
to make yourselves look better than the self-serving cretins you are! 

Creating the definition of a word 
to be the antithesis of the traditional meaning 
would get you thrown out of a spelling bee at my old elementary school – 
as far as I’m concerned, 
it should get you thrown out of government as well.

And he handled the firing in as cowardly a way as possible. 
Despite his trademark blustering “You’re fired” on his despicable TV show, 
he didn’t even have the nerve to tell the man straight to his face 
that he was being axed … 
a f8Cking letter delivered by a henchman while he was out of town.
How is that presidential?

I suspect it’s because not even he could say out loud  -
with a straight face -
that the reason  he was being fired was due to the way he handled Hillary’s emails -
8 months ago! 

It’s laughable. 
No one with 2 functioning brain cells buys that explanation.

The investigative dogs are closing in, 
sniffing around the Russian money laundering 
upon which #45’s whole pathetic house of cards is built– 
and he had to try to throw them off the scent.
I’m sure he was hoping a good constitutional crisis should do it!

As if they’ve not provided plenty of diversions elsewhere – 
the highlight reel includes:
 *SIL Jared’s family selling expedited visas 
for a small investment in the family business 
($500,00 is apparently chump change in China.)

* A ‘tax reform’ 
consisting of a 1 page narrative 
with bullet points 
and no numbers.
That’s not even a Cliff Note version – 
that’s a book report written in the back of the bus 
on the way to school 
the morning it’s due -
on crumpled up, old paper 
you fished out of the bottom of your backpack.
That's an ‘F’.

*passing a travesty of a healthcare bill 
that will force millions to face both routine and catastrophic illnesses 
without any coverage –
and then gleefully throwing a frat party, 
complete with a kegger,
 on the white House lawn.
Who are these people? 

Remember all that hoorah during the ACA passage 
about ‘death panels?
Here they are folks, 
right here.
The content of the bill is bad enough but, 
for the love of God, 
does anyone talk to them about optics?
I guess not – 
otherwise he wouldn’t be meeting today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov 
in the White House!

The group charged with concocting the law 
as well as the group fixing the mess and reforming healthcare in the House?
with nary a breast or uterus to be had! 
Well, I'll bet there are some man boobs among them 
but I frankly don’t want to know.
If it doesn’t need to be mammogram-ed, 
it doesn’t count.

And hiring an attorney to send a certified letter 
to the Senate Judiciary Committee 
denying that you had any dealings with the Russians? – 
ya, that will tamp speculation down.

As #45 is about to find out, 
when you lie habitually and often – 
as in every word coming out of your mouth – 
the consequence is that no one believes you – 
even if you’re telling the truth which, 
let’s be honest, 
you’re not!

Contrary to what Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders would like
 -it’s NOT going away. 
We’re NOT moving on. 
Don’t care if it’s been almost a year.
We listened to your guys bullsh*t for 8 years about #44’s birth certificate.

Sister, this is treason; 
this is about colluding with a hostile foreign government 
for the illegitimate takeover of our government and its processes.

It’s NOT going away – 
but, with any luck, 
your guy WILL!
 How fitting is this?

I’m hopeful.
You know what happened to Marie Antoinette, don’t you?

Insert smile here!!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The high road

I'm taking the high road on all that's happened this week - 
but only because I don't have all the words yet 
for how disheartening it's been. 

I'm headed to Chicago this weekend
so I'll have several hours of drive time 
to sort out what I want to say - 
if anything.
 I'll be taking two copies of this
to my 4 favorite fearless women in the making
 and celebrating the accomplishments of this one - 
before she heads off to backpack in Europe and then graduate school!
Where have the years gone?
In the meantime,
I'll stick to sharing a wonderful sentiment that found its way to me 
through all the noise of the shenanigators in DC ...
 (btw, if Webster doesn't recognize that word yet, it should!)

"If grief can be a doorway to love,
then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart,
so we can love it back to wholeness again."

Robin Wall Kimmerer