Up There

etva

The gloom began to fade as early morning sunlight filtered into the underground station.  It crouched on the far side of the tracks and waited for the first of today’s crowd to come streaming down the moving walkway.  It liked watching the crowd, the constant flow of shapes and sizes and colors.  It liked listening to the drone of the crowd’s constant chattering and muttering.

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Trees and Wisdom

When I woke up this morning and first saw the news about the mass shooting here in Orlando, I was both shocked and disheartened. I’ve spent most of the day following the story on-line. And finding myself more and more disheartened. It’s bad enough that so many people lost their lives leaving behind so many grieving family members and friends. It’s tragic enough.

But adding to a situation that is already tragic enough, there is a constant hum of rhetoric telling me that we may still not find the sense to deal with the hate and gun violence in this country. What I’m hearing today is that we don’t need to talk about the hate routinely directed toward the LGBTQ community by many of our fellow citizens because “ISIS”. We don’t need to talk about our ridiculous gun laws that make purchasing an assault rifle legal because “ISIS”. What I’m hearing today is that the whole tragedy could have been avoided if everyone else in the bar had been armed and prepared to shoot. So unless we see some major, unexpected change among those who create and maintain our laws, it seems that we will continue to arm more citizens with fewer regulations and that we will continue to promote legislation that aims to discriminate against and validate the hate displayed toward the LGBTQ community.

All of this has led me to conclude once again that human beings, as a species, are too often very bad at developing the qualities of compassion and tolerance that we so badly need if we want a good future for the generations that come after us, if we want a future for our species at all.

So I decided to go ahead and post these images of trees, many of which have been alive longer than many of us. I tend to believe that trees are wise beyond human understanding. Perhaps if we spend more time contemplating them, we can learn something new about wisdom and peace.

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I DUNNO Movement Gathers for Rally in DC

I Dunno

When Homer Jackson hung the I DUNNO sign in the window of his diner, Homer’s Haven, he never thought it would spark a nationwide movement in support of ignorance. “All I was trying to do,” he says, “is to get people to stop asking me what I thought. Truth is, I don’t think much about anything. Long as business is okay and I have some free time to hang out with the guys, I don’t much care about anything else. Why should I waste my friggin’ time trying to learn about all that other stuff people are always squawking about? I don’t know and I don’t care.” But Mr. Jackson’s small protest struck a chord with many of his customers. Business at Homer’s Haven doubled within a few months. He soon found himself selling I DUNNO buttons and bumper stickers along with plain old food. Pictures of his sign hit the web and went viral. A movement was born.

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Bagging It

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“I have all these bags,” she says. “From all these places.”

We are sitting in the courtyard outside the Zenlight Coffee Shop, enjoying the morning sun and sipping our coffee drinks. Mine is an Americano, hot water and espresso. Hers is fancier, flavored syrup with espresso and lots of swirly whipped cream on top. The courtyard is set back from the street, bordered by planters filled with the burgeoning foliage that our subtropical climate nurtures everywhere. Through the open metal work of the round table top, I can see a small lizard clinging to one of the curved legs.

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