Part 2: The Gathering
Thursday, November 4
After uneventful flights from Raleigh-Durham to Sky Harbor, I felt like a rube on her first trip to the big city as I attempted to exit the airport and find my ride. Several text messages with increasingly specific directions about identifying my location finally afforded me the opportunity to embrace my dear friend Pam and meet her husband, Greg. Our hearts were full as we talked nonstop and passed each in its turn the familiar sights on the always magnificent drive from Phoenix to Globe—the Superstition Mountains, Superior, Devil’s Canyon, Top of the World, the Pinto Creek Bridge, the saguaros, the tailings and slag dumps, and the view of town from G Hill, each with its own unique grandeur.
Posted in Arizona, friendship, Globe, healing, love, memories, people
Tagged Arizona, Class reunion, Globe, healing, identity, memories, Reunion
Note: I began this meditation on November 28, the first Sunday of Advent. Some of the frenzy described herein actually prevented me from finishing it until a full week and another day of relative rest later. Given that context, it seemed appropriate to finish and post today, the second Sunday of Advent. Coincidentally, the photo below was taken only last night–the final day to light only one Advent candle–because we didn’t find the Advent wreath until Friday.
Twenty-five years and a few weeks ago, I threw myself down on my knees and cried out in desperation, “Teach me how to live!” I was fumbling my way through a difficult marriage, searching for a job, and rearing a hyperactive four-year-old step-grandchild who had been deposited on my doorstep—a doorstep no child had ever crossed before. Continue reading
This is the photo from the Facebook post that inspired today’s quasi-patriotic musings.
Yesterday, I read in a news article shared on Facebook that Disney has decided to change the opening announcement at its Magic Kingdom fireworks show. The original greeting began, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dreamers of all ages.” The new, more “inclusive” line has been reduced to “Good evening, dreamers of all ages.” Continue reading
Posted in America, Bill of Rights, critical thinking, culture, current events, divisiveness, education, free speech, freedom, history, hope, language, politics
Tagged America, First Amendment, Fourth of July, free speech, history, hope, identity, Independence Day, language, politics
. . . but not during the Paschal celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ–at least in the Episcopal Church.
Posted in church, COVID-19, Easter, faith, music, politics, religion, totalitarianism
Tagged COVID-19, Easter, music, politics, religion
George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), 1903-1950
Every semester, staff and instructors at FTCC are allowed to take one class free of charge, and I almost always try to take advantage of that wonderful opportunity. This semester I am taking a class in critical thinking offered by the humanities department. Since learning to think critically is essential to the process of persuasive writing, I chose this class as part of my annual professional development to assist me in improving my English composition classes.
I wrote the material below in response to one a homework assignment in that class. After completing an assessment of our individual learning styles (no surprise: mine was verbal/linguistic, with musical as a close second), we had to answer questions in which we discussed and analyzed our specific results. The final question for the assignment read as follows: List no less [sic] than five reasons why a hot dog in a bun is not a sandwich. Explain your answers. This is my response:
This is a game I won’t play. Continue reading
Posted in critical thinking, education, freedom, language, literature, politics, totalitarianism, word, writing
Tagged definition, language, literature, mot juste, Orwell, politics, word, writing
“Thanksgiving lessons jettison pilgrim hats, welcome truth”
This headline from the Associated Press exploded inside my skull when I saw it three days ago, and in the dust that settled, I read an important lesson about what has been lost as the enemies of American culture have whittled away at the stories that once united us in the effort to make us hate ourselves and apologize for our glorious history. Please have patience, and follow me as I trace the path by which I reached some fresh but troubling insights into our current moment. Continue reading
Posted in culture, current events, divisiveness, education, freedom, history, language, literature, narrative, politics, story
Tagged culture, education, history, identity, language, literature, narrative, story
The day was Friday, November 13. The time was 1:15 p.m. The occasion was my online-scheduled, social-distanced, not-so-express pickupped iPhone 12 Pro Max. With the alternating frenzy and lethargy of the last two weeks, I was uncharacteristically and unapologetically eager to let myself go and have a real treat. And so it was. Below, I am sharing a few carefully curated photos from an afternoon of fun with my new phone–and with Pavel’s version of fun, a few brewskis.
Click on the photos below to witness some of the features of this new marvel of technology and art all in one:
Waiting at the Apple Store, Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh
Hmmm . . . What does “Do I Do” mean?
NOW I understand! Pavel and I have to stand one dumbbell apart.
I certainly understand this one.
Apple employees awaiting the call for the next order.
Yes, I finally got my phone. Those people in the winding queue behind me may still be waiting!
Despite the glorious, almost too-warm temperatures for a day six weeks into autumn, I took off for my late-morning walk with a heavy heart. I was depressed, outraged, and frightened over lost hopes for a return to American values, a stolen election, and Soviet-style intrusions into the lives of patriots only one day after the election has been called. I remain so after my return. However, the catharsis of a brisk walk, the dark tale of The Idiot that I listened to on my AirPods, and unique sights of autumn on Old Beulah Road gave me a needed reminder of my own smallness in this magnificent universe. I realized–nay, I experienced–that there are still moments of startling beauty on the Earth, that there are minute ideas to be examined closely, and voluminous philosophies to be pondered endlessly.
I am posting this photo gallery, largely unedited–the day presented raw–to remind myself and to reassure my readers of the important lessons in our tempestuous times. Continue reading