Fifteen years….

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Tragic events which leave deep emotional scars on those left behind tend to soften as time passes.  But not always.  Not even after fifteen years when, on that beautiful September morning, each of our lives was severely impacted by the willful, destructive ideology of radical extremists.

 

As I sat and watched the yearly 9/11/01 ceremony in New York City, it seemed to hit harder than in previous years.  It was almost as if it had just taken place for the first time.  The incredible pain of watching innocent lives disappearing as two majestic icons collapsed into clouds of smoke and twisted metal was…overwhelming. 

 

My personal reaction might have been due to recently spending time at both the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Museum with my family.  The footprint of the North Tower had us walking on what I deemed sacred ground; there was a sense that many who had perished were watching over each visitor, perhaps looking for a familiar loved one, waiting to send some spiritual comfort to those left behind.

 

Today, I again watched, and listened, as names were read by family members.  Their tears gently fell as they spoke about the losses they suffered, each vowing to never forget.  Brave families, with such unimaginable voids in their lives, who took time to share sweet stories and express their love as they looked to the heavens.

 

Fifteen years have passed; many more will follow.  Ceremonies and observances will continue.   One day, the 9/11/01 tragedy will become a chapter in history for generations that follow.  That is, until those generations walk on hallowed ground and learn…to never forget.

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Princely colors…

Like most of us, I’ve grown weary of constant political diatribes and other nonsense on the news of late.  This morning, I tapped through the selection of favorite channels on the screen of my car radio, trying to find some songful distraction until I gave up and started listening to the music on my iPhone.   One of the first songs that came blaring through the speakers (yes, I like my music loud) was Little Red Corvette, by Prince, and the tune was perfect for cruising along the parkway on a sunny Spring morning.   The song finished and I scrolled through the next few songs to Raspberry Beret, thinking to myself about how several of Prince’s songs were wrapped in color.   Oddly enough, after just a few more selections, When Doves Cry came on as I rolled into work, the opening rhythm made me want to dance in my seat so I decided to sit in the parking lot until the song ended, rocking along with Prince’s lyrics.

 

The usual pile of paperwork was waiting on my desk and I logged onto Facebook to look into the social media window on my world.  Suddenly, a friend posted “Is it true?! Prince?” and I sat, just staring at the screen for a few moments until a few news bulletin alerts started popping-up, stating that this music legend had died.    Sadly, it was all very true and all I could think was that doves were truly crying over his passing.

 

The first months of this year brought the  loss of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Patty Duke and more.   Extraordinary people, each who shared their passion and graced us by leaving their talented mark in our lives through their artistry.  And yes, I know, this is all part of life’s cycle as we each face our inevitable mortality.  I was reminded of this in the lyrics from Let’s Go Crazy.….

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s ’cause
We’re all gonna die

And when we do 
What’s it all for 
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

A comment on the web caught my eye…..“Driving that Little Red Corvette off into the sunset wearing a Raspberry Beret to keep the Purple Rain away.”  

You definitely colored our world with your music, Prince Rogers Nelson.  Two thousand zero zero never turned out to be the Armageddon we feared but we’ll party like it’s 1999 for as long as we can hear the music playing.

 Thank you!

 

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Historical…or destructive?

Days are passing quickly as various politicians campaign in our country, often stumbling,  in their quest to become respective party nominees for the office of President.   To date, the verbal warfare involved has been, at times, derisive and downright ugly, a sad demonstration of textbook politicking at its very worst.  The rhetoric is quickly becoming stale and fingers poised to direct one accusation after another are becoming tired.  The banter spewed out various debates or town hall gatherings has sounded more like a schoolyard brawl involving bullies, not supposedly intelligent adults.  Of course, the sometimes patronizing speeches from both Democrats and Republicans have focused on how each will bring forth desperately-needed change to America.  Then, the dialogue quickly spins out-of-control into a reprehensible whirlwind of slurs and guttural insults hurled in every direction.   Depending on where people stand politically, all will agree to disagree, and much like recent local elections here where I live, most people will be left with the dreadful choice of choosing just who will be the lesser of two evils, this time for a new White House resident in November.

That is where I stand at this very moment and will remain in the troubled months ahead.  Writing and sharing my thoughts here seems to be the best approach while I avoid any deep discussion with friends. Doing so either in person or on social media finds many acquaintances taking adversarial stands and I’m attempting not to lose friendships during this explosive political process.  Emotions are running high, fueled by the twisted media’s daily reporting of facts both pertinent and purely opinionated.  

But, me being me, I will step over any acceptable line and state my personal criticism of our current President and his visit to Cuba, the first one of an American leader since 1928.  Was this trip really necessary?   What is honestly to be gained by this visit?  What will the Cuban regime give to the United States in return?  Let me think…maybe the possible extradition of Joanne Chesimard aka/Assata Shakur, a highly dangerous, murderous, fugitive granted political asylum since 1984? Highly unlikely. Cuba has existed under a blanket of Socialism since the late 1950’s and regardless of the lifting of any travel or trade sanctions, the overall attitude from Cuba’s leaders and people living there will not magically welcome any change from the United States.   There will be no change for the better where human rights are concerned, no rescue of those imprisoned in Cuba.  Life, as it has been since the overthrow of Fulgencio Battista, will continue under communistic rule and Cubans so deeply indoctrinated into this political theory will sadly never emerge from its hold.  

In my husband’s extended family, several moved from Italy to Cuba in the 1930’s, establishing themselves as successful business and land owners until Castro and his rebels came into power.  The Castro revolution rapidly seized everything owned by thousands of island residents,  leaving them nothing but each other and the shirts on their backs when they fled Cuba. They were the lucky ones, having escaped years of imprisonment or execution from Castro’s guerrillas.  Now, as the world looks on and remarks at this “historical” visit to Cuba by an American President, I wonder if it will be better remembered more as a “destructive” event as our history unfolds.  It remains to be seen.

 

There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.   Robert Kennedy

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