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Freedom, and justice are vanishing entities in our province and our nation.


Comments on equality & justice.... by Edward Kennedy & like minded individuals


softer

December 19, 2016

Christmas has a way of making the regular highs in life higher, but the regular lows, much lower....

Sitting in church yesterday morning listening to one of the best ministers I have ever known, he made a key statement as he always does in each sermon. If any of you do not realize it, I am the biggest criticizer of what I call disorganized religion ever, and would not be found listening to/making notes from a sermon preached by what Jesus called "hirelings" in reference to phony clerics. This minister, like few others, is genuine. In fact, I received a comment from a young woman about the individual, last night, saying " _________ is such a good speaker. Wowser" Yes he is, his examination and exposition of topics are accurate, true, and spiritual.

I get comments on this minister from others who all are favorable towards him and the speakers he has`who take his place when he is absent the odd time.

The statement he made yesterday which even the most hardened individual cannot deny in its truth was "Christmas has a way of making the regular highs in life higher, but the regular lows, much lower." It is true.

Consider the street people, and especially the ones who are there not of their own choosing. Ponder the feelings and thoughts of a man or woman, destitute and sitting in an alley thinking about the days when they were young, secure in the love and safety of caring parents and sibblings. The music they hear at Christmas time piped out on loudspeakers to people walking outside sweeps those people, as well as the rest of us back to earlier days and Christmas times filled with happy thoughts, though it can and does take some back to times of tragedy and grief as well.

Consider the men and women estranged by their former spouses, cut off from their children, as they struggle through the thoughts of yesteryear when it was not so. There has to be millions of people in that boat, and multiple millions of dollars spent on the elixirs of forgetfulness we know as alcohol and illicit drugs, in vain attempts to assuage those feelings of hurt.

Consider the widowed man or woman whose lifelong mate was taken in the past year, as they face the memories of the Christmas of the previous year/years when they were not alone. To be deprived by death of someone they lived with, faced the challenges of life with, raised children with, and struggled through difficulties has to be a devastating thing. I am reminded of a woman I called one time who answered crying, saying she missed her husband who had died some time before. The memories though had not, and will not until death claims her.

Consider the sibblings of a child who in his/her innocence was taken either by criminal act or medical malady the past year and who now awaken Christmas morning wishing that they could have their brothers or sisters back. I am told by a funeral director that the hardest thing in the "death" business is to themselves go through the process of overseeing and performing the services required in the death of an innocent child.

Again, consider the parents and especially the mother who carried that child for 9 months, birthed, nourished, cared and loved that child for years, or months, or even for a few days, in her grief that I feel has to be the purest form of mental suffering and anguish known to man.

Consider the men, women and children of every age in terminal wards who lie staring at the ceilings of their hospital rooms knowing somehow that this will be their last Christmas in this temporal existence.

On my trips alone, all across the USA, I meet many people every year, some quite noteworthy, who have become close friends. One such occasion last year in a mountain town of Colorado, I parked my rig at a recreation area outside a mountain town, and walked out to a trail that took me around a lake, which on one side had been cleared of snow, with many people skating, especially young families of children with their parents. I stood transfixed, on that cold day, watching, as my mind converted the seemingly short passage of time back to when I was a parent with four young children skating with them and then back further decades to when I was a child myself skating in such a venue.

I looked away down the trail, and saw a sight I had never seen but in movies. A man with full face beard, stout staff, wool hat, old wool coat down to his ankles and serious demeanor approaching me to pass as we met, but glancing back and forth to the scenes of yesteryear for me, of children and their young parents skating. As he came within hearing distance I decided I wanted to meet this mountain of a man who dwarfed me in size. I spoke out when he was several feet away the words, "Where did the time go?"

He stopped, stamped his staff, looked at me carefully, and then approached me, stopping short, hovering over me and saying in returning with interest, "That was just what I was thinking." That started a conversation that identified to each the other we were of one mind on many things, and in the lengthy discourse, we created the beginning of what I expect to see develop from being acquaintances to a close friendship. I learned that my area of interests and opinions were shared by him and he shortly invited me to follow him to his place and plug my rig in, to stay as long as I wanted. He was the same age as I and had lived his whole life in the mountains, just recently having lost his wife. He offered to show me places I could park, fish, hunt, and be alone without being bothered, even by park rangers. This was what I always seek, and interacting with such a man casually and thoroughly familiar with the wilderness, learning about the area, enjoying its solitude, and conversations beside the fireplace of his "hideaway" are right up my alley. Such a man is one I could learn a lot from, a veritable treasure of resource and information on the area he lived/lives in.

I was awed by his knowledge and asked his sources, looking for links, but he laughed and told me he had always had shortwave radio and listened to programs on different frequencies like "Free America."

I declined to deviate from my trip plan, and told him I do not sponge off people, but am self contained in my rig, with shower, stove, oven, toilet, thermostat controlled solid state furnace, fridge and the capacity to defend myself if need be from four and two legged animals. He nodded in appreciation and taking out a piece of paper, proceeded to write his name, and number, giving it to me, and instructing me the next time I am back, to call his number and tell him that the caller is "Canuckistani Eddie." He was serious.

Once again I digress but not far. I said all that to say this. I can well imagine him sitting alone this Christmas Eve by his fireplace, all alone, surrounded by the majesty and solitude of mountain peaks, with thoughts of Christmas, interwoven with sorrows missing his wife.

On my trips, I find it beneficient to walk through old abandoned silver town graveyards looking at old tombstones and considering the hard life men and women lived in the eighteen hundreds. Yet I note a difference between then and now relative to the graveyards. Instead of carved toys left by children on the graves of their brothers and/or sisters taken by the plagues and diseases that are now rendered non fatal, one finds Tonka toys, dolls, and pieces of paper with drawings, weathered and washed by the rain, that will eventually disintegrate into dust as will the physical bodies these graves hold.

There is one common denominator, if one cares to willfully abandon the superficial way we tend to deal emotionally with the deaths of strangers as we casually consider them. That is to "enter into the fellowship of the sufferings" of the fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends by coming out from behind our protective walls and placing ourselves for a few moments emotionally in their places and feeling how they felt. For a few moments, imagine that the grave is the grave of one of your children, or close relative/friend. The toys there are for your child, be it son of daughter, spouse, etc

This exercise is unpleasant but instructive, for we all must face and even embrace the deaths of others close to us, suffer the emotional upheavals and pain, and in the end, suffer the same process by whatever means befalls us. The exercise is also beneficient in making compassionate people more compassionate, ignorant people more learned, and in cases such as mine, activate in hard people that accessible part of character that at times can and does trigger an agape care and concern for people, that is buried within but not dead, in each and every one of us. At the strangest times, those feelings flow through and over even the most hardened individual in existence.

So Christmas brings deeper happiness but deeper sorrow, acting as a catalyst to either emotion. I guess to some of the categories of people I mentioned above, "There is no greater sorrow than to recall a time of happiness in misery." (Dante Alighieri) Christmas though, awakens sorrows that are asleep, but where there is sorrow, there is indeed holy ground (Oscar Wilde) and as I have indicated, `sorrow is knowledge, a fact professed and stated by non less than Lord Byron.

Yet my question is, while death is inescapable, why does humanity in and of itself, create so much AVOIDABLE sorrow, in fact, ALL sorrow is authored by humanity in its ignorance, cruelty and sin. Innumerable Christmases have come and gone, yet the path of humanity always seeks the rough, inhospitable journey through the lands of sorrow, brought by our own hands!


softer



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