Judge Frank (Francis) Vogt

Frank Vogt died the other day. He was 85. Most of you won’t know him. That’s the way it is in life. You know some, you meet some, you stay in touch and you get to hang out together for a moment or two. We each have the opportunities in our lives to touch a little piece of another’s life and if we’re lucky it resonates with our own and something called friendship results.

We come into the glorious existence called life to live a little, cry a little, laugh a little, love a little and then we pass, leaving a shadow of memory for family and a few friends and acquaintances who linger in this density for only a little while longer till we too move into the beyond of corporal understanding.

I knew Frank Vogt in a very small way, but it was a big knowing for his credentials in life’s work amplified the personal persona that he shared with friends and colleagues. I knew of him as a former FBI agent, I knew he was a District Attorney, a judge, and those accomplishments were part of his professional life. I knew he was a father and a husband and a friend to many. I knew that he laughed easily and could turn a phrase with wit. What I really knew of Frank Vogt was that he was an intelligent conversationalist, a fun partner in golf, an elegant competitor and a man who always remembered the little things that mattered to me and I suspect in private personal conversations also to others.

When a body dies, when a soul passes to other realms, it is truly a time to rejoice for the soul has finished what it came here to do. All endings should have a celebration. Our earthly farewell to Frank should be as glorious as his welcome home in that other place we all deeply know exists, but are too often hesitant, and too timid to acknowledge as the truth of being.

Goodbye Frank, we’ll all see you soon and thanks for all your courtesies. The eternal light is now brighter.

Check The Facts!

When I started writing this Blog and in fact when I started writing commentaries a number of years ago, I decided that I would not critique, but I would offer an alternative view of looking at a situation, an issue, an action, or a belief.

While I still try and sometimes fail to hold to that personal and specific ethic, it is often difficult to do so when those in authority, when those in leadership positions, when those who are acknowledged partisans, and especially when those who are ordinary, everyday, common citizens choose ignorance over intelligence. Unfortunately it happens everyday and everywhere because opinionated righteousness demands, not only a personal validation, but a vindication from suspicion of being wrong. To me facts demand validation and so few today, who are immersed in their political or spiritual beliefs, seek the confirmation attainable in common sense or astute research. Too many prefer the invalid verification of blind faith or blind allegiance by the acclamation of cheers and applause from others who are just as uninformed for it gives momentary strength to an empty belief.

A colleague recently sent me an email saying if I buy a six volt battery and pry off the top I’d have umpteen double A batteries for a lot less money. Then he sent me an email saying, “Whoops” it wasn’t true. He doesn’t do this in his political emails attacking his opponents with the untruths he believes to be true. Untruths never matter when the result brings about what you politically desire. To me a logical and even fair motto for all of us, is don’t send junk out until you personally check it. Too many people today are willing to stand for what they think is true, not for what is true, and they are lazy for checking facts and conclusions requires some effort and then maybe even a change of mind.

Where is “Away”?

I’ve wondered now for quite awhile
Where is this place we call “away”?
It must be big and vastly vile,
Perhaps the hell from old Dante.

Each day we throw away our trash
That no one wants. We let it go.
There’s paper, cans and blackened ash
Just junk and trash that’s tossed heave-ho.

Immense the piles of useless stuff
In bins and carts and plastic bags.
We hold and store more than enough,
And oft’ we toss good clothes as rags.

Someday there may be no more space
To put the stuff we throw away.
What then of us, the Human Race,
Do we get tossed as our doomsday?

Global Pain and Tragedy

Here it is Monday night in the Western Hemisphere. In the last 24 hours people have died from the tornadoes ravaging the Southeastern United States. It is a sad and tragic time for the American’s whose loved one’s have died and we should do everything we can to comfort them, because they are our national family. Now take that awareness and comfort to China and to the reports that so far, at least 10-thousand have died in the latest quake to strike China.

As I sit here in my comfortable home in the USA, I try to fathom what ten-thousand deaths mean to China, what it means to the world and even what it means to me for all of us are spiritually interconnected. How many Beethoven’s, Edison’s, Einstein’s and Gandhi’s have passed without the manifestation of their talents being amplified in reality for the collective good of human kind.

I keep trying to understand what one death means, not only to the world, but to the individual families who cope with the singular grief that no one can share. Only they know the potential lost.

Like most of you, I have had death invade the family codex and it is a lasting sadness. When massive death from nature’s earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards invade the earth’s regional civilizations and death results, individual sadness remains, but a collective shock enters as a pall.

Shock is always the surprise of massive tragedy. How did it happen! Why did it happen. Can we blame something or someone? We ask the questions, but we know there are no answers. Surprisingly shock passes more quickly than sadness. I don’t know why, accept perhaps the mind cannot embrace such loss without feeling a subtle responsibility for not unconditionally acknowledging the interconnection between all living beings and even things.

There is an arcane suggestion that says we create our own environment by our thoughts and subsequently our actions. If that is true, we as a human race need to “think” differently, not only to end the ethnic hatreds that have lasted for centuries, but to end the current wars that exist in actuality and the ones that are being formed in the minds of global prejudice. Perhaps then “Nature” will emulate the peace we are.

The only answer I can come up with, and it’s an old worn out one, that seems passe, too passive, and impossible. “Love one another”! I wonder, have we, as a human race, truly ever tried it on a global scale?