Children ripped from their families

I am appalled. I am ashamed of my country. I am angry at a policy that is inhumane and an affront to the sacredness of family. I am alarmed that the United States of America cleaves children from their parents who cross our borders to seek a better life.

In plain and simple words. It is wrong. It is cruel. It must stop.

Where is the once sturdy backbone of America? Where is the outrage? Where is the indignation? Where is the ethic of compassion? Where is Congress?

This policy is a putrid blot on the history of America. There are other ways, so let us find them.

The Stars and Strips

There was a time in our history when our flag was empty of experience. It had the symbolism of a united people and the expectation of greatness, but we were a young country and as yet had little collective history.

The United States wasn’t even a year old when Continental Congress adopted the flag design on June 14th, 1777. Now as we celebrate Flag Day this week, we remember that our flag is much more than red and white cloth stripes and symbolic stars in blue.

The flag was never political. Death takes that option away.

Our flag is everything that’s ever happened to our country and everything we’ve ever done. It’s victory and defeat. It’s protests and pageantry. It’s honor with humility and shame with remorse. It’s living with principle and dying for it.

Above all our flag is the waving symbol for all to see our passion for liberty, our sustaining belief in the democratic ideal, and our willingness to spend life and treasure for freedom for all.

Life’s Squalls

A couple of weeks ago.

It was gray, then dark and darker still as a squall line approached my small river valley. It spilled over a distant ridge with flashes of light and the rumbled echoes of thunder.

The wind and rain started intermittently and slowly increased in intensity. The cherry blossoms outside my window felt the rain first. Each bloom bounced and shook as raindrops hit them from above. The droplets pounced and plundered pushing the pink petals from their blossom home. Each flower a pink faucet in a dripping surreal painting that Dali could have painted.

Within minutes it ended and behold the sun popped out from underneath the passing line of clouds. Golden light sparkled through the diamond drops that lingered on the blossoms, leaves, and grasses. Each drop, a value of several karats of refracted light; a Tiffany of brilliance.

The refraction stayed for awhile, then slowly came dusk. It’s was like opening a decorated and colorfully wrapped package to see a dark gray box below. Dusk is an apt name for the light of the settings sun. It could be called dimming, or waning or leaving, but dusk works as the light fades below the horizon.

Finally a red fire sky, only for a moment or two, and then dusk to dark. Part of me wanted to rage against the dimming of the light, as the poet suggested, but that’s another light for another time. This light will be back in just a few hours to start all over again.

Perhaps each squall line of life is a lesson of the light beyond it if we choose to see it.

Singapore Summit

I am watching the surreal theatre from Singapore where the President of the United States and the so-called supreme leader of North Korea are meeting for the first time. Each leader has a public agenda shared to the global media and also another one unknown to the other.

I say theatre because in many ways the audience, we, the rest of the world are held captive as an unwitting audience and also players in the global drama that potentially climaxes with death and destruction in a last act of a nuclear war.

Part of me wants to say this is good that the bellicose protagonists are meeting and maybe something positive may result and another part of me is skeptical that neither one of these men care whether a permanent peace is a conclusion; they care that the play emblazes their individual stardom locally and globally.

It is inconceivable to me that these two men of dubious character hold in their ego’s and countries power the future of the human race. How or why do we allow that to happen? The only answer I can embrace is that we, in a subliminal way, are participants, as play- writes in this drama, in order for all of us to grow and to learn that love is the only answer to hate, prejudice, and regional nationalism.

If prayer helps, I’ll do it.