Friday, October 21, 2016

Perspective Adjuster Piece

Somewhere right now there is a shoreline with a sand crab working its way into the wet sand to avoid the gleeful child who keeps picking up double handfuls of soaked sand to watch the sand crabs emerge. The kid always sets them free, but the sand crab doesn’t know that. The seagull does though. Somewhere right now there is an apple on a tree in the sun. There is a dog barking in a yard. There is mailman hopping back onto his truck. There is a musician practicing scales.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Opportunity and Destiny

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade--don't just piss in the water pitcher and cry about how lemonade is a horrible drink.

-just came up with that one today. A little note to the "Bernie or Bust" gang.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Tilting Right and the Teetering Left: A Steady Stride to Sanity

At the DNC--and throughout the rest of the 2016 Presidential campaign--I hope Hillary Clinton continues to describe her policies and details where they lead. I hope she speaks beyond her loyal audience and reaches out to both the tilting right and the teetering left.  

I am not talking about convincing extremists to come to a place of moderation, I am addressing the uncertain. Both the tilting and teetering can come to points of balance in time for the election in November. This is my diagnosis and prescription:

The tilting right are caught in the spell of drumph's* empty bragging points and boasts for "change." Because they have sincere wishes for democracy to function, they're not sure how they'll vote but they're feeling pressure to go along with drumph because he's gotten under their skin. His tactic is to make people think they're dumb if they don't agree with him and it may be working.

But, when drumph he uses the term, "government", he's including the US Constitution and Bill of Rights as part of the problematic system he perceives. When he says "establishment" he's not talking about the 1%, cronyism, US policies in global politics--he's just talking about "government" as a broad and blind generalization.

The tilting right are frustrated about government. Traditionally, the right sees government as something outside themselves. Hillary's challenge to communicate to the tilting right is to finesse a message that invites engagement. We the people are the government. The more people get involved, the better the government reflects the will of the people. If Hillary can empower this group to participate in this democracy they will come to abhor the one man show drumph is offering.

The teetering left are grieving Bernie Sanders' loss of the primary. Much of their complaint has been that they don't like the "establishment" either, and they are talking about the 1%, cronyism, US policies in global politics (and Big Oil, too). They believe the "system" has become corrupt. The ideals they hoped we would all embrace in the form of Bernie have been counterbalanced by voters seeking a different pace or strategy.

The teetering left are the group for whom it's most crucial to find their footing by November. Hillary is prepared and equipped to serve as President of the US.  Bernie's supporters, dislike her though they may, have got to bite the bullet, participate in the election and vote for Hillary.  At the very least, they'll have to cast it simply to counterbalance drumph. Opting out means their votes fall to drumph. If they think they're sad now, how might they feel upon realizing that drumph manipulated their dislike, or even disdain for Hillary into all out paralyzing hatred? drumph's tactic now is to stifle both the teetering left and the tilting right because he really needs that inaction, and he needs it bad!

Hillary's challenge at the DNC is to evoke enthusiasm for democracy, participation and life itself.  We all need to walk straight into this election, eyes open, with a steady stride. We can overcome this scary phase of our nation's development.  And we need to help Hillary Clinton win the US presidency in 2016. Our nation needs us to support her so we need to balance this one together and remember that it takes a village.

*The name drumph is intentionally left uncapitalized.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Appetizers That Tried Too Hard

As a dog
just having had a peanut butter snack
thrusts tongue forward and back and forward again to clear the stickum from behind large molars,
I attempt to remove a taste from my mouth
a mere illusion: inspired by a picture
sardine salad
stuffed into lemons
topped with olives
yet displayed to appear

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

To Lend a Book

To lend a book
is to lend a daydream
to share a world
to imagine what another would like to think about
--what might enrich,
or satisfy.

To lend a book
is an act of trust
that foremost in the mind 
is the notion that the relationship with said book is temporary.
--you may get it back,
might not.

To lend a book
is a risky thing;
Books absorb into minds 
and into shelves.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

We Are All Immigrants. All of Us.

We are all immigrants: not just Americans, Canadians, Australians, but all of us. Even the traces of the oldest ancestor in Africa, as far back as genetics could reach, were found in a man in Asia. Sometimes we migrated for adventure, but usually we migrated because of some kind of external force. What I love about the better qualities of the US is the way we embrace our heritages. We talk about them, show them off, brag about them as if we created them. Except for those who were forced to be here, the rest of us got in because someone, somewhere, held a door open for us. It is ethical then to hold that door open for others, and not only welcome, but show some gratitude for the descendants of those who were forced to be here. We are all immigrants. All of us. Here are some good sources:

Spencer Wells: Journey of Man (video, 2 hrs)

Spencer Wells: A Family Tree for Humanity (video, TED Talk, 20 minutes)

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I Didn't Know Kids Could Still Skip

Walking into work, an ordinary day but it's going to be too hot
and the sun imposing over the top of my sunglasses
I'm all too aware of all the world:
the civil servant who wants to pick and choose which parts of her job she does
the comb over guy with the fish lips shouting and
global struggles and 
cultural tensions and
refugees refugees refugees and
fishery slaves on ships they can't escape and
bear poaching lion poaching and elephants and lost dogs and
yoga class is coming and juicing kale prevents cancer and
look a kitten!
now a new big fat corporate mall is opening in my town.
here she comes
skipping along,
a red-headed girl, maybe nineteen,
a slouchy backpack lifts on the hop
bounce hefts on the slide and
she has a smile on her face
like she knows it's a little silly but so
I imagine
something good just happened
or maybe she is making something good happen
simply by skipping.
How much can I influence?
How much can I influence?
How much can I skip?

jeanosullivan, 2015 September 9