Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence

The images of devastation coming out of the Carolinas are powerful.

Along with the flooded and crumbled homes and bodies, come the tears of the living. Sometimes they come in sobs, sometimes in wails of disbelief. The old cry for the loss of memories, hoping for the strength to start again. The very young cry not fully understanding what loss is they  just know something is wrong.

There is worry from all, especially from the children whose bed and toys vanished in the winds and rain of Florence.  Parents do what they can to comfort the little ones, but the eyes of worry mirror the heart.

Right now, North and South Carolina are states that scream, you can feel it, as victims search in the puzzle of rubble and find yesterday’s peace is tomorrow’s uncertainty.

As we hear the stories of those in need, as we become numbed by the statistics of loss, we cannot feel secure because we have normalcy, because we have shelter or we have food, or because it didn’t happen here.

Real security, only comes from giving.  Instantaneous response to need defines true service so that others know they have not been forgotten by the collective healing spirit of what we call community. What we call America.

LIFE as ONE

I had the pleasure to kayak in a river near my home. It was an eight miles run as the crow flies, but probably about ten miles with the winds and bends of the river in a point to point paddle.

It was peaceful, calm, mostly quiet and deeply spiritual. The weather was perfect, a zephyr or two here and there, but mostly sunny with a few puffy clouds festooning the blue dream of sky.

In the serene glide of still water, I watched the life that lives on the flotsam of the surface. Insects marooned on leaves and on pieces of bark and wood will flow for miles to a damn and a falls. What their fate will be I know not, but in the meantime their float was gentle.

Water spiders skated across the smooth glassy surface and often exceeded my paddled glide as I conversed with friends and enjoyed the companionship and the natural external balance of the river. In some ways, the river is an insulator between the gravity of the earth and the minds freedom to soar into places of magic and realms unknown.

At one point I thought about all the life that lives in places we rarely think about. On the leaves and debris I just mentioned, but also the bacteria in and on our bodies, the living organisms that we breathe in and out with every breath, the microbes beneath the sea and the ones that sail on the particles of dust in the high atmosphere.

Life is everywhere, and if you accept that premise, then so is love. All we have to do is be aware and acknowledge that each is connected to the other in the sustainment of all life. It is never the singular life of the other; it is always the collective life of us ONE.

Rain Drops

Today I spent some time away from the acclaim and the disdain of news and sitting outside I watched the rain come down. I was protected only from the wet.  I felt the rain’s sibilant sounds, the damp, and the constant mesmeric rhythm of nature’s symphony. I felt the divine singularity of a timpani drip and the clap of drops on leaf. It enveloped my whole body with a splash of wonder, and I watched the forest cleansing from the detritus dust of humankind.

What a glorious moment to a dark day to open the poetic muse.

Rain Drops

© 2018 /Rolland G, Smith

The drops, the mist, the pour of rain

In drizzle’s damp and wet refrain

Become the crystal ball of thought

And set a web where dreams are caught.

 

To watch a drop move down a leaf

And catch a limb with some relief,

Then move, with patience, to the source

As man should do with no remorse.

 

And once the drop is on the ground

It sinks below without a sound.

To feed the roots of growth above

For me, I call it, Nature’s love.

 

 

Recuring Thoughts

I’m wondering where we are going as a society these days and even as a global humanity.

 It seems to me there are more deceptions, disagreements, and more contentions within our common exchanges of thought and action. Daily transactions often end in arguments over innocuous issues. Negotiations over important issues in the chambers of government and corporate boardrooms lack conversational courtesy and completion.

 What has happened to us? Are we so cemented in blind opinion that we refuse to consider another thought or idea as valid? Are we so busy, so tied to the construct of time, that we cannot read a little more, research a little more and even change the channel once in awhile to hear another viewpoint?

 My career as a reporter, writer, and producer in broadcast television began and was sustained in the era of fairness and strict rules. There were and are always more than two sides to every story and you were not a good reporter unless you sought out and checked all conceivable sides to the story and reported only the facts as you discovered them. If you didn’t, there was always a solid, experienced senior editor who demanded you verify your facts and eliminate conclusions or the story did not run.

 These old editors were not just sticklers on facts and fairness, they were curmudgeons on grammar and spelling. Find that today in the television newsrooms of America.

 A great writer-reporter friend of mine once told me about a time an editor said to him after submitting a story.

 “All A’s” It’s all A’s.”

 My friend was thrilled, he was new at the job and he knew the old editor didn’t give out compliments.

 As my friend started to walk away from the editors desk, glowing in the compliment, the editor said, “When you spell Manhattan, it has all “a’s” in it.

 I see more opinions in news stories today than ever would have been allowed in my era and should not be allowed today.

 Opinion should be left to the certified experts and not to the reader or reporter of the story. We, as free citizens, have the responsibility to inform ourselves by listening, reading and watching widely. To listen to only one station, read one newspaper, or read one magazine you are narrowly informed about as much as a flashlight bean lights the whole darkness.

 How do we as a society, with a multitude of informational choices, get back to informational accuracy and fairness and back to social and intellectual civility?

 I think if society embraces courtesy and civility first, the media will have no choice, but to follow. The media today is a reflection of all social mores.

 Perhaps it will take an individual change of heart! Perhaps it is the ascension of a conscious and benevolent choice of our hearts into the mind choices of life and remembering the “do unto” ethic that is a tenant of all beliefs.

 We hear a lot about unconditional love these days. Maybe combined with our heart’s authentication and authorization that’ll work. I hope so.

 Unconditional love is unencumbered, undefiled by emotion.