|When hope would otherwise become hopelessness...|
November 8, 2017
it becomes Faith.- Robert Brault
After a long tense evening, here we are as the sun lights the sky with opal-shot colour as I waved my husband off after making certain he was able to get inside that huge ol' SUV. Medications have been adjusted, so more unpleasant side effects are being felt but he planned to attend this group outing with friends, so I cheerily sent him on his way.
After feeding him a light, tasty and easy-to-digest meal and going through the whole evening's medications schedule and taking and recording of vitals, he was eager to go. I could have come along but really, after hearing the results of the latest MRI on my ankle and foot, (new better more painful and damaging splits and tears and crumbling bones), I begged off. Really, I was happy to be home, and for this evening, it's out of my control what happens or transpires or results from going out with friends. It was so thoughtful they just told him in a friendly way, he would be picked up so the whole driving issue was discreetly and graciously dealt with.
To my right, we have a small flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in antique silver christening cup. The shield on the Virginia flag has always fascinated me, along with the motto: "Semper Tryannis." Ages ago, one of the boys after carefully sounding out those two words, turned a little puzzled face at me and said, "That does not look like a dinosaur the lady is stepping on and part of her dress fell down. Is she an Amazon?"
Last night, when the Virginia governor race was announced, sure enough, phones lit up with "Semper Tyrannis!" The man across the street this morning, stopped me on my front porch, and hollered, "I saw your boy has Virginia plates and a Terry McAuliffe sticker on the bumper!" Not much gets by him, now does it? Good ol' Mr. Semi-Retired Retired Guy. He always teases us when we fly the Virginia flag anyway on its statehood day and Anniversary Days but hey, I don't mess with tradition. Lots of our family history, the records state Virginia. Plus, for a long time, family members have worked on several Virginia governor campaigns, even whilst still in school or just freshly graduated.
There was much joy in our house last night. And on down the list, from the Mayor of NewYorkCity (Hi!You-know-whom! All of you. Good job!) to Maine to well, it was just after Virginia, we were all so pleased anyway.
Of course, the Kentucky Flag is right next to the Virginia flag, so different. Goldenrod, two men, one in buckskins, one in formal gentry attire, shaking hands, "United We Stand Divided We Fall", no semi-dressed victorious warrior goddess and vanquished tyrant! It's silly and almost embarrassing, but it still gives me a strong sense of continuity and heritage, even as invisible our family is now, that we are still, some of us, toiling in the battlegrounds of politics and trying trying trying to shape these "Commonwealths" into what a commonwealth was supposed to be. I just like thinking back on the lines of family members, and marvel at the full-circle and unexpected twist that it is our children that have picked up the torch, so to speak. Or sword? Lord knows after DaddyC. passed away, there were only a few cousins on that side and on my father's side, again, three cousins and two of them deserted to the GOP during the Reagan years.
I even restrained myself from sending drawings of the dinosaur we made up and named Semper Tryannis. All of us, our imagination just goes bonkers, like the time we "invented" the deadly new martial art, "Kohl-RABI!".
Anyway,, that's enough of that.
Growing up, I had access to several libraries besides the county ones and school ones so by fifteen, I had read a lot of books that really made it pretty clear, this world can be a dark and puzzling place. Mad-men, murders, FalseFlags, all the Coups..Coup Droit, Coup de grace, Coup d'etat, and the like;plus the morals of various centuries, and so many other realities, I wasn't never jaded. Just,I am not as surprised as most people at the sheer magnitude of cruelty and violence humans can wreak upon each other.
Both sets of grandparents, both great-grandfathers, two ministers (each having Ph.d's and one was a medical doctor and an Episcopal priest), penned my reading lists, varied and thorough. One Christmas season, sighing and fussing about the dreadful high school I was languishing in in Texas, not only was I gifted with all these novels and non-fiction books, but several lists, lists that would take years to read through and I did. I worked my way down those lists and still laugh at myself, twelve years old reading all of John Cheever, Henry Fielding, and Charles Dickens one book at a time. Russian novels. Translations. Trashy novels from earlier centuries, loved many of those! There were lists of books GreatGranddaddy starred with, well, stars, "You will LOATHE this book. Read it anyway, please!"
Books on the populaton explosion, books on industrial issues and poverty and violence and dirt, disease, sadness. How the Other Half Lives. sent me into a spiraling sadness and anger, set me up to argue with Sunday-School teachers and Bible Camp Leaders that tried to blame th 20th century for poverty and sin. That went over soooo well.
Thomas Hardy novels broke my heart. Upton Sinclair scarred me for life, The Jungle, oh my. Papa and Great-Granddaddy D. and B. assured me it was possible to educate one's self by reading only I never manged to learn math or algebra or quantum physics by reading, I did try a few times, but nope, way over my head!
Yet, really, the sheer magnitude and volume (modern efficiency) of tragedies and craziness can flatten me just as well as almost anything.
I know of that little Baptist Church down in Sutherland Springs, from long ago, Baptist and Church-of-Christ camp meetings. I know what many of those Baptist Churches can be like. I have watched people be "read-out" and I know the whole handbook on church memberships, rules, procedures and impact.
Myself? There have been a few times, when I had no problem whatsoever in understanding someone stomping into a church meeting and blazing away a la Rambo. It's happened before. Now, the scale is so much HUGER, mostly to the scale of the guns used, the population that owns way too many guns and the serious fetish-isation of guns. (Is that a word?) It used to completely unnerve me to watch boys and men fondle their firearms and whip out handguns in almost the same air of someone exposing themselves. And the Mormons and their stockpiles! Oh, dear lord!
Yet, I grew up around rifles and sporting/shooting guns. Handguns? Not at all. And men and women that were crack shots and excellent marks-people/men/ladies and hunters. Living on farms, living in the rural areas, there are real reasons as to why rifles are part of the tools/equipment needed.
Snakes! Oh yes. Rabid animals. OH YES. Severely injured animals, sick and diseased animals. Hunting for game that is eaten, shared, sold. It is puzzling to observe so many what? City people, people raised on John Wayne movies and Hollywood's take on guns, horses, cowboys, hunters? I have always had a hard time when having to watch most of all Hollywood offerings with guns or horses in them. John Wayne couldn't sit a horse at all, he held rifles and guns in totally dangerous ways. Old old televisions shows? I marathon-watched Bonanza with my sister's father-in-law and we both got the giggles-guffaws at how Ben Cartwright and Little Joe held their pistols and handled horses...at times rolling our eyes at t he sheer ignorance and un-realness of it all. And INDIANS! Good lord! My sister's father-in-law is both ah honest-to-goodness third generation rancher and Westpoint graduate and career officer. His father was in the horse-mounted infantry in World War I. His mother was an ribbon winning horsewoman, English and Western. And as time goes on, there are less and less and less people that have grown up around animals, guns, the realities of shooting and responsibilities. It's scary. People mostly learn, so to speak, from movies, television and video games! EGADS.
Mix that all up with so many fractured and damaged people, add, possibly drugs, drinking and sometimes, prescription and street, unmet needs and raging spirits and the sheer pressure of so many many many people in the world, one's city, one's job market, on one's street...all the ingredients for unstable people to just blow up and want to take the world with them!
The recent Plano shooting: Divorced couple, job loss, too many angers, too many guns.
Oh, I don't want to tally up all the shootings just since this September.
If one was of a mind to think, possibly, that the gods have taken different forms, well, the blood sacrifices are flowing, the demons/gods/avatars growing by leaps and bounds.
Even, really? Rand Paul being beaten up by his next-door neighbour in a gated community? Both men doctors. In a gated community, where the bad and dangerous are kept outside.
I guess we have met the enemy and they is us!