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Monthly Archives: July 2015

In my favorite scene from one of my favorite movies, the 1982 film The Year of Living Dangerously, Billy Kwan (played by Linda Hunt, who won and Academy Award for the role)  pounds on the keys of his typewriter, asking the question,  “What then must we do?” 

This deeply disturbing question returned to me this week when a friend posted a Facebook comment on the arrest and death of Sandra Bland thereby eliciting a firestorm of comments that ultimately ended with the shrug of collective virtual shoulders and a nearly audible electronic sigh of, “well, there’s really nothing that can be done.”

This is then accompanied by the news this morning of a particularly disturbing trend in evictions in San Francisco, the murder charge against a university police officer (in the town where I was born) for shooting a man in the head over a missing front license plate. All before coffee, and my morning pause to feed Mimo the cat the little morsel of canned food that I just found out is fished in the seas of SE Asia by slaves who are chained, starved, beaten and killed in a nightmare scenario of maritime  kidnapping, extortion and piracy that rivals anything from the days of Captain Blood… All for profits to Nestle and a satisfied meow from Mimo the cat.

What then must we do?

And then… There’s this… 

What then must we do?

A dear friend of mine is fond of saying, “you can be the pebble in the pond,” and she is both good at being that herself and at doing a wonderful job of telling the stories of others who do it too.

My daughter is amazing at caring and doing for people within her “circle of influence” as well as advocating for those outside that circle.

My friend Erica does this.

What about you? What then must you do?

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I’m ten years burnin’ down the road
Nowhere to run, ain’t got nowhere to go.
~Bruce Springsteen


Ten years ago this morning I wrote my first blog post. It was intended as the beginning of a long tale of adventure into topsy turvy as I prepared to head out from my long time home of Northern California into a new life in New Orleans.

Exactly one month later, my life was turned upside down again when Hurricane Katrina made landfall and I was on the road once more.

And I was one of the lucky ones.

Despite having moved to New Orleans without a car (one of the reasons I picked NOLA was because of a reasonably reliable public transportation system, at least at the time), I had access to a van, and a dog that needed me to evacuate her to safety. That got me far enough away from the chaos. Otherwise I would have been stranded in the heart of what turned into one of the worst disasters in American history. I had a place to stay the night of the storm, I had a place to go to when I couldn’t return, and I had friends who could help when two weeks later I returned to California with my proverbial tail between my legs.

That was ten years ago… and so now… here we are.

Over those ten years I’ve started and ended several blogs, on a widely ranging series of topics, from current life experiences, politics, religious perspectives, food and wine, blues music, and a fortunately short-lived series of rants on anything that happened to come to mind. If you’re bored, or curious, you can dig through them at your leisure. You might even find some things you like.

So much has happened in that time that I want to just sit down and write a long list of everything that has fallen into my lap and flown over my head during the last ten years, but I’ll spare you that, at least for now. Instead, I will try to find the words to explain what I hope to start again here, and why I hope you’ll stick around and join the conversation.

Some of that answer can be found at the original version of this blog. There you’ll find a sort of random exploration of my thoughts on events in the world in combination with the uncertain beatings of my hopeful heart.

In the coming days, weeks, months, and years I am going to seek to give life to ideas I have had roaming around inside my brain for a very long time as well as sudden bursts of things that have only just come to mind. I will take the time to look at events (both significant and mundane) and try to place them in the context of other things and other thoughts from myself and from people who are much bigger thinkers than I am. I plan to point to other people and other places that I find interesting in the hope that you may derive benefit from their perspectives as well, and I plan to express my thoughts and feelings on the things that cross my path as I head into (and through) my seventh decade on the planet.

And I’m hoping we can turn this into a real conversation where people feel free to talk back, give opinions, and point to their own truths along the way.

So… leave a comment, ask a question, point to something you find interesting.

Let’s get this party started!