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Mon Jul 20, 2020, 10:31 AM

Afterbirth of a Nation [View all]

"This world and yonder world are incessantly giving birth: every cause is a mother, its effect the child.
"When the effect is born, it too becomes a cause and gives birth to wonderous effects.
"These causes are generation on generation, but it needs a very well lighted eye to see the links in their chain."
-- Jalal-as-din Rumi; Persian Sufi poet; 1207 - 1273 ad.

My daughter called me from Boston today. We haven't seen each other since the corona crisis started, though we communicate by internet or telephone frequently. She will be coming to stay with me for a week at the beginning of August.

She had just got through putting in a few hours at the law office where she is employed. Today was particularly stressful for her. She had been writing a legal brief for one of the immigration cases she works on. "This is hard enough," she said, "without having the Trump administration trying to make it impossible." It has been particularly hard for immigrants since the shut-sown began.

For a little over two hours, I mainly listened as she talked about a wide variety of social and economic crises that good people are attempting to at least deal with, if not resolve. After visiting here, she will begin working for the president of the Boston City Council, doing outreach to the poor and marginalized people in Boston. I've been telling her that is an important job, with some rewards .....but that it will often be stressful and frustrating, and has a high rate of burn-out.

We talked a little more about two of her friends going through break-ups of long-term relationships. One is a friend from early childhood. My daughter was giving her some feedback, and said, "This is all things Dad has said to me. Maybe you'd want to talk to him." Her friend had her ask if it was okay to call me, which obviously is. I find it nice that various friends of both of my daughters, some of whom had no father figure, like to talk with me about issues that life throws in their paths.

My daughter also asked about one of my uncles, one of two of my late father's thirteen siblings that is still alive. He has been one of the people I've been closest to throughout my life. When my father died, he stepped in as my daughters' grandfather. And, like my father, he opted to avoid medical attention when he knew he was seriously ill, and is now dying of the same cancer that took my father.

After getting off the phone, I looked at a picture of my grandfather's family when they came to the US in 1879. I look like my great grandfather, my uncle like his father, and other living relatives look like my great grandmother or other of my grandfather's siblings. They had their turns, I always told my children, and lived life to the fullest extent possible. Make the most of your turn on this living planet Eart that we call home.

Then I take my son's puppy, a female Treeing Walker Raccoon Hound, out for a walk. I feed the mother cat and her kittens (best friends with the dog), then the chickens and Guinea hens, and then go to the pond to feed the birds and fish. The puppy still gets anxious when the enormous koi come over to eat. She jumps straight up in the air and runs a few feet away. After that, we walkback towards the house, and stop to look at a huge, very old white pine that had fallen while I was on the phone with my daughter. My younger son is eager to chop it up with his ax for firewood for the sweat lodge.

In the house, I noticed a film of Trump's interview with Chris Wallace was on the television. I think of Rumi's poem, and then about Newton's third law that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There are more than a few clues and hints that this includes in human behavior; for example, President Obama's being followed by the foul Donald Trump.

I hear Trump's voice from the next room: "We won two beautiful world wars." I could fucking puke. There was nothing beautiful in either war. Both had profound effects on the generations of Americans who lived through each war. Vietnam was central to my generation. A younger generation experienced Afghanistan and Iraq, and soon it will be the following generation of kids in the military's.

I think about my daughters and their friends. They've been through 9/11, the yellow cake lies, are fully aware of the threat of climate change, and now Trump, corona virus, and other horrors. They know that there are not "very good people on both sides." They are effect of the good people who have been fighting the Good Fight for generations. Their effect is their response to the Trump-related threats, including groups like Black Lives Matter as well as individuals in every town and city in the country.

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Reply Afterbirth of a Nation [View all]
H2O Man Jul 2020 OP
Voltaire2 Jul 2020 #1
H2O Man Jul 2020 #2
kentuck Jul 2020 #3
H2O Man Jul 2020 #4