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Monday, March 26, 2012

Moderation

My friend John Miller recommended an excellent book: Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy B. Tyson. Tyson, a historian and professor at University of Wisconsin in Madison, was the ten-year-old son of a white Methodist minister in Oxford, North Carolina in 1970 when an African-American young man was murdered.  Tyson spent years seeking reasons and looking at the effects of the crime.  His true story captures very well the times, and probably speaks again to us as we look at the emotions surrounding the Trayvon Martin death last month.  Tyson's comments about moderation are a warning. "We cannot address the place we find ourselves because we cannot acknowledge the road that brought us here." 

We congratulate ourselves that own views are moderate, but maybe we need to be more willing to understand the views of "The Other." They think they are moderate, too.


"In politics, eveyone regards themselves as a moderate, because they know some other sumbitch who's twice as crazy as they are.  The man who blockades abortion clinics considers himself a model of restraint because he does not bomb them; the fellow who bombs them after hours thinks he's a moderate because he didn't bomb them at rush hour like his cousin Elmer wanted to do; the White Citizens Council member who assassinated Medgar Evers in Mississippi undoubtedly regarded himself as a moderate, since he didn't kill the whole family. Nixon felt that a lesser man might have used atomic weapons on North Vietnam, but he displayed the statesmanlike restraint to use only conventional ordnance--albiet by the time Nixon signed a ceasefire agreement in 1973, America had dropped three time the tonnage unleashed on Europe, Africa, and Asia during World Warr II--all of it on a country the size of Texas. And in the fire of the black freedom struggle, there were always people on both sides who were willing to crank it up another notch, claiming moral authority over the cowards who wouldn't go that far, and thinking of themselves as "moderate" for not taking it still further."  p. 205-206
 --Timothy B. Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name, NY, Three Rivers Press,2004.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Novel-to-be has a New Name

I have been calling my novel-in-progress "Nothing Left Unsaid", but the other day I had a brilliant idea that it should be called instead

Too Much Left Unsaid

There is a large cast of characters, mostly from two extended families, and often, in the course of their lives they are faced with events they cannot understand.
  • Why did Daddy die?
  • Why did Mother leave?
  • Why didn't you tell me that this might happen?
My plan is that you, my blogging friends, will be able to read my novel before the year is out.  In the meantime, follow my blog and let me know that you are curious about the things

left unsaid

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saving Daylight

One year when daylight saving time was still scheduled for the first Sunday in April, the day to switch the clocks fell on my older son's birthday, April 5.  Russ was a young man who kept score on things: whose turn it was to chose the movie, pass out presents or do the dishes.

"They're stealing an hour right out of my birthday!" Russ exclaimed to no one in particular. It was one of a multitude of injustices inflicted on him, though the remark was made half in jest.

"Don't worry, son," his father said.  "Next October, when they add an hour, we'll declare that hour as part of your birthday--if you don't mind celebrating at two in the morning."

Russ has been dead for ten years this April, and his father has been dead for sixteen.  They are very much missed, but I smile at this time of year remembering the banter that the two exchanged.

Yesterday there were a host of people who had an hour stolen out of their birthdays. I wonder how many of them noticed it in quite the same way.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

This is the day the Lord has made. 
 I will rejoice and be glad in it.


Today I am grateful for every year I have lived, even the difficult ones. No special reason that this is on my mind today--except that we have crocuses blooming in our yard and spring really feels like it is settling in.

Never mind that we may still be in for a winter storm or more. Never mind that I need to meet some deadlines and work at bringing order to my surroundings.

I am thinking about growing old and for right now it doesn't seem too bad an option.  I prefer it to the alternative.


  • Youth is wasted on the young.
  • We get too soon old and too late smart.
  • I'm old enough to know better.
  • I'm not getting older, I'm getting better.
  • Grow old along with me.
Today I am thankful that my kneecap is healing and my rehab therapist has brought my walking almost back to normal.

Today I am thankful for everything!

I do hope you are, too.