Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Bells of Democracy

I have tried to distance my mind from Washington politics and our current president, BUT things happen, and then things need to be said.

The president was asked yesterday if he would pardon his lawyer Cohen. He responded that that was a stupid question. It may be a premature question since Cohen has not been charged with anything. It's not, however, stupid.

He pardoned Joe Arpaio. He pardoned Scooter Libby without the usual vetting Justice Department process, so the question is not stupid, it is the answer that rude for the office and arrogantly dismissive.

At a state dinner for the President of France, no congressional leadership Democrats were invited. No press invited as is the tradition. A state dinner is an honor from the "state of America" to a visiting dignitary. It should not be partisan gathering as Trump has made it.

I keep writing about the beauty of life and the joy of comforting observations, but every time I find solace in truthful grace, I get drawn back into the lies and distortion of Mr. Trump because I pay attention to what's happening in our nation and our world.

I know that some of you want and need to see the so-called draining of the political swamp. In many ways, I agree with you, but not with the diminution of our democracy.  Not with lies, distortions, and attacks on our sacred institutions. Our republic must be sustained with the clarion bells of truth, honor, tradition, inclusion, compromise, and courtesy. Without these foundations, democracy, as I remember it, loses.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tulips Spring

Have you ever noticed how spring moves North? Somebody once said it comes North about 20-miles a day. I think it’s less than that, but it doesn’t matter. It depends on the jet stream and weather systems.

A few hundred miles to my South it’s already spring. It’s warm and colorful and aromatic. I drove through New Jersey yesterday, and the Forsythia was in bloom; not here yet.

Right now I am waiting for the blossoming of an old friend. It is a single red tulip near my front porch that comes back year after year. The leaves are there, but not the stem. When it blooms, I know its time to plant without worry of frost.

Tulips Touch of Spring
© 2011 Rolland G. Smith

A single Tulip near my porch
Ascends alone as crimson torch
To be the one by teaching all
That it’s alive long past the fall.
I read its thoughts within the red
And vowed to spread the message said:
It matters not where you abide
As long as you subside your pride
And be your blossom on the earth
As blessed by God’s just love and mirth.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Earthday 2018

Yesterday was a special day for each of us to go far within the recesses of thought and then into the canyons of reason that dwell in the vastness of our minds and rest for just a remarkable moment in the secret garden of our knowing.

It was Earth Day. Earthday is the acknowledgment of the elusive link between the illusion of earthy separateness and the reality of spiritual connection to all things.

I am delighted that humanity began the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I was a television reporter in those days, and I remember covering the event and marveling at a positive gathering so different from the Vietnam War protests I’d been reporting.

When you can rest in the secret garden of your spirit, you will feel the inner-connection of all things, and if you stay there for a little while in meditation, you will see all the connections as pulses of soothing light. You will connect to the chlorophyll of plants, the flight of insects and birds, to the awareness of mammals and especially the knowledge of the earth herself.

Note a post by Benjamin Vogt in his blog entitled The Deep Middle about the similarities between blood and chlorophyll:

“…that the hub of every hemoglobin molecule is one atom of iron, while in chlorophyll it is one atom of magnesium.' Just as chlorophyll is green because magnesium absorbs all but the green light spectrum, blood is red because iron absorbs all but the red. Chlorophyll is green blood. It is designed to capture light; blood is intended to capture oxygen."

It is much like the science-fiction movie Avatar and its magnificent story of connections between the Na’vi people and their sentient environment.

Earth Day, if you can do nothing else, just say thank you. Nature will hear you.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Memory of Barbara Bush

I  remember Barbara Bush’s touch and her voice.

Many years ago when her husband was ending his presidency, my wife Ann and I were invited to the White House for a Christmas Party. George H.W. Bush would be leaving the office in a few days when Bill Clinton would be inaugurated.

It was a great experience being there for a holiday party. I had been a White House Correspondent for Metro Media back in the early Nixon presidency, but this was different. I had anchored Mr. Bush in a town-hall kind of televised meeting during the campaign, and he had his staff invited Ann and me to one of the last shindigs at the White House.

The Christmas Party gathering had some broadcast notables invited as were Senators and Congressman and Bush administration cabinet members and administration appointees.

It was a wonderful experience for Ann and me. We did the usual walk-around greetings as we noshed and sipped our way around the festive public areas of the White House.

At one point Ann and I were in the middle of East Room listening to and singing the Christmas Carols the Marine Corp band was playing. It was just the two of us. As we were singing “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” the President and Mrs. Bush joined us from behind. Barbara took my arm and the President linked with Ann’s arm, and the four us sang the Christmas carol.

When it finished, we chatted for a few moments and off they went to work the room, as the saying goes.

Rest in peace Barbara Bush. What I hear now are the Herald angels singing as you come home.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Spirit Farm

Every once in awhile in our earthly travels we come upon a place of peace. It immediately resonates with our spirits, and we stand in awe, not only of what we are seeing but also of what we are feeling.

I visited such a place in Virginia quite a few years ago. It is called, “Finally There” farm.

I will share it with you in a poem.

Finally There Farm
© 2011 Rolland G. Smith

There is a farm called "Finally There."
Where nature spirits come to share
The truth of life where all is free
In new dimensions, few can see.

Soft mountaintops and rolling hills,
Let breezes dance on rocks and rills.
The cattle roam on grass serene
To dot the meadows: black on green.

There's something else 'bout Finally There
That's different and earthly rare.
There's peace and calm - tranquility
From all the places we can see.

Some souls will see a normal farm
Of scenic grace and natural charm.
But inner sight sees spirit's play
Within the valleys light bouquet.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Way Back when!

I wrote this as a blog post back in 2011, long before The Donald was a political name. Maybe I should have been more prescient.

"The Donald"

What is it about our country that encourages and supports, accepts and often actually believes the buffoonery of media hogs like Donald Trump.

There seem to be unfortunate axioms unbound in our land: money breed’s mega egos and celebrity sires megalomania.

Unfortunately, the media, these days, will follow the money and report anything that money says including statements without reason, assertions without fact and pronouncements as phony as the person saying them.

It’s not only The Donald who is saying untruths or promoting imaginary distortions to pander to partisan beliefs for his agenda, but a number of our elected politicians are also doing the same thing.

I think we as a democratic society are better than that. Truth, honesty, fairness, courtesy, compassion and common sense are the values that all of us embrace. These are the only attributes that should get candidates elected.

In the theatre, all drama must have some comic relief. I guess it's the same in the theatre of life.

You're fired Donald!"

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Jobs are jobs! Some are profound.

Sometimes casual conversations provide a lesson in humility.

Some years ago I was a known public figure by being a local television anchorman in a large metropolitan market.

I was on the air delivering the news each weeknight at six o’clock and eleven O’clock and did so for many years.

On weekends, I would choose to get away to the mountains for relaxation in a reclusive environment. Sometimes my family would join me and other times I would go alone.

Late one Friday night after a newscast I drove alone to a mountain cabin, I stopped at a roadside tavern to pick up a six-pack of beer. I ordered the beer and said to the bartender I’d have a short one since I was only a few miles from my destination.

As he poured a small glass of draft with a creamy bead on it, the guy next to me said, “I know who you are.” I introduced myself and said, “thank you for tuning in from time to time.”

He said, “You have an interesting job.” I agreed with him. Then he said, “I do too.”

“What do you do?” I asked.

“I’m a garbage man.” He replied. Before I could say anything, he continued. “ I see more wonders of nature hanging off the back of a garbage truck than most people see in a lifetime.”

I listened with wonder and attention as I sipped my beer.

He said, “You know, there is one spot in all these beautiful mountains where you can see seven mountain tops from one spot. Not very many people know where that is. I’ll show you sometime if you’d like?”

I said, “ I would.”

We never did connect again. I’m sorry we didn’t for I would have liked to have known this fellow a lot better.
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