Once in a while you win

It was a clear warm early fall day in Vermont almost 50 years ago. Was walking with my wife to be through the mixed fields and scrub trees struggling to reclaim the once tended pastures, following or climbing over the old stone walls that marked forgotten boundaries, a few miles from the nearest farms, drawn on to finding “the right place” as in “you will know it when you see it”, in no hurry. The nights had been cold enough to color the trees, brief flame before browning and dropping for the fast approaching freeze. After an hour or two we stopped to soak up the early afternoon sun, warm our bones, and bask in the stillness, so different than our life in Boston a hundred miles away. Here we were silent too, a prayer to the beauty, a revery to a different distant time. We were blissed and blessed.

After a spell a loud clumsy crashing noise, the breaking of small downed branches, interrupted our meditations. It was quite dry, even the grasses crackled. First thoughts a drunken bear or moose, drunk or shot. The noise went on for some minutes, seemed longer, and finally a figure emerged from the scrub to the east, a 30 something guy all decked out in the latest brand new dark green forest camo carrying a shiny compound bow and broadheads, a pack, and bedroll, standing out in the dry yellow grasses. We had not moved or spoken. He stood stock still when he finally saw us sitting there about 50 feet away.

I decided to break into the silence that descended when he stopped. “What are you doing?” “Oh, huntin’ deer, seen any?” He was a coupla days unshaven, so trying to size him up a little more I asked how long he had been at it. “This is the third day” he said as he came closer. So not letting my eyes leave his, not wanting anyone unknown near us with a silent quite deadly weapon, i replied that we had seen a couple yesterday down in the shallow draw about a mile to the west. He thanked me and continued on toward the west, finally crashing and crackling his way out of earshot. There wasn’t a breath of wind. Amazing how far sound travels in silence.

Turning to my gal i said “must be lost and blind too, out of his element”, and nodded in the direction of the two young does with their spotted fawns that were bedded down for the afternoon about 20 feet away to the north, heads up watching us for a few seconds before curling back up and closing their eyes again.

When Your Day Starts with a #$%*^$% Ballistic Missile Alert

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to feel.

About an hour and a half ago, as I was making a pot of tea after doing the morning chores, my cell phone starting blaring the way it does when there is a civil defense message.  Usually these are flood warnings but it was a bright and sunny morning in the middle of a drought so I was a bit puzzled.

I picked up my phone and there was the message BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. TAKE IMMEDIATE SHELTER.  THIS IS NOT A DRILL.  Yeah. Nice. Fuck.  Continue reading “When Your Day Starts with a #$%*^$% Ballistic Missile Alert”

Confronting Extremism

A recent conversation with a fundamentalist Christian has left me  wondering why it seems we fail to recognize the dangers of extremism?  Americans expect Muslims to call out radical Islamic extremists, but we seem unable or unwilling to do the same in the case of Christian extremists.  Christians who deny the reality of climate change, who believe that humans have a God-given right to exploit the earth no matter the consequences pose a danger to society.  I think it’s time we talk about that.

Continue reading “Confronting Extremism”

Eve Asherah

The Tree

My daughter brought home her art projects at the end of the semester last year.   For her final Illustration class project she had drawn a poster of a great tree spreading its limbs into the upper reaches of the page. Stacked beneath the roots of the tree were a pile of rectangular books. Continue reading “Eve Asherah”