Sunday Morning

Sunday morning and we’re in Denver, catching up with Kaia and Leina and their parents. They are busy, what with school and athletics and music lessons and playdates and lord knows what else.

Denver is an okay city, with a lot of the good stuff that only a large population can support. But I wouldn’t live there. Traffic is bad, the air quality is poor, and living costs are high. There are just too many tradeoffs you have to make for that occasional visit to a museum or concert or trendy part of town.

Of course a Denverite would look at our lives here in Paradise and say the same thing in reverse. What a backward village Montrose is, they’d say. A population with way too many yahoos in it, gun-toting would-be heroes packing their iron into the churches on mornings like this one.

Sure, the air is fresh, but why bother to breathe at all if there is nothing to do but look at rabbitbrush all day?

Ah me, to each their own.

But one thing Denver does have is an REI store, a dream factory if there ever was one. More great tools than you could use in several lifetimes, and all designed to take you outdoors into whatever adventure you feel has your name on it. I know … we came for the kids, but would it hurt to go shopping for a minute or two?

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This morning Willow is curled up in my lap, a thing that she does only early in the morning, and only when she wants to. Try to pick her up and plonk her there is way more likely to get you a growl than a lap-companion, and you might even come away with a scratch or two.

She is very much her own creature, and does not suffer fools well.

I admire that quality in her, showing me how close she is to the wild, and how thin the layer of civilization really is in her case. If she could state her feelings, I fancy this would be what she’d say:

I like the trappings that come with living with humans – warm rooms, shelter from the wind, safe places to sleep, food when I am feeling too lazy to catch my own. I am even fond of the particular humans who share this space with me, as long as they behave themselves. But I am not their ornament or plaything. I have my own life to live, as do they. Things work out best when we all remember this.

(Anthropomorphizing is one of my deepest and most persistent traits.)

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Love it when I find a story like this, the tale of Bill Fay. Where the musician records a couple of albums as young man, they don’t sell, he then makes his way at unglamorous jobs, but never stops writing new songs. Then thirty years later someone “discovers” him and brings in the world’s attention.

But the guy is so grounded … he has long ago realized that it is only the music that is real, and fame is ephemeral. Read the story, from the NYTimes.

If you’re interested, here’s a couple of examples of what he’s written. The second song, Filled With Wonder … , is from his latest album, which releases later this week.

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A word from Mr. Guy Fawkes
I don’t know what you may have already read about me, but I imagine it is composed of equal parts falsehoods, innuendos, and claptrap.

To set the record straight, I was arrested while guarding a number of barrels full of gunpowder located in a room directly beneath the House of Lords. The authorities took this all very badly and they quickly scheduled a day and time for my soul to be released from my body in a public and uncomfortable manner. But that’s another story.

Since then I have languished, without any application for my fervent spirit, so I am happy to be promised occasional opportunities to express myself in this column.

For today just let me say that I sense that there is a revolutionary mood alive in the land. But I realize that my old methods may not be applicable to the times, and where would one find big barrels of gunpowder anyway in 2020?

Perhaps there are other, less explosive ways to achieve the same goals, eh? So I’ve taken over the “Fighting the Good Fight Department” section while renaming it. And this makes it easy to skip if you’re tired of these topics. You’ve gotta know that if it were up to me, this whole blog would be about these articles or op-ed pieces.

But then, I’m a detonative sorta guy. It’s in my nature.

GUY FAWKES DEPARTMENT
Why Does America Hate Its Children? by Paul Krugman. (The problem is that children don’t run for office to represent themselves. And the adults that are supposed to do that never adequately stand up for them)
Trump’s Evil Is Contagious by Timothy Egan. (The lesson here is that if you stand too close to a manure pile you will still stink if you step away)
Senate Republicans Are Bathed In Shame by Frank Bruni. (These people are exploring new depths of dishonor and degradation- lower than you ever thought possible on such a large scale)

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The story of Evelyn Yang makes me nauseous in so many ways. It is a tale of betrayal in every way possible as she sought justice for herself and other women. It involves:

  • The physician who abused her and dozens of other women who is no more than a serial predator deserving of much harsher punishment.
  • The Columbia University staff who worked hard at hushing the matter up rather than at helping the victims.
  • The state attorney general who decided that taking a plea deal was the best way to go and then was surprised that the victims felt betrayed is a clueless individual indeed.

Personally, the most visceral response for me comes from reading about the doctor who violated his oath and the law. There are many things that physicians owe to our patients, but providing for their safety while in our care is the minimum they have the right to expect from our profession.

The absolute minimum.

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