I’m Out of Here for Five Days

I’m taking off for five days of taking care of my nearly two year old grandson. When I did this last year, it turned out to be a hightlight for the year. So, I’m really looking forward to the next five days.

If it turns out like last year, though, I doubt that I will have much time to access a computer, much less spend time reading or contemplating what I might have to say.

That’s okay, living in the moment is where it really it is at, at least for five days

No No No

Counting the Mad

This one was put in a jacket,

This one was sent home,

This one was given bread and meat

But would eat none,

And this one cried No No No No

All day long.

This one looked at the window

As though it were a wall,

This one saw things that were not there,

And this one cried No No No No

All day long.

This one thought himself a bird,

This one a dog,

And this one thought himself a man,

An ordinary man,

And cried and cried No No No No

All day long.
Donald Justice in Understanding Poetry


That’s me, the one crying no, no, no all night long, crying no as our government does their best to convince me that their view, and only their view, of the world is "real," crying no as the mainsteam media create hysteria over bio-terrorism while simultaneously telling us that we are hysterical and should remain calm, crying no as the alternative media tell me that it’s really Americaâs own fault and that we should do nothing more to enrage our many enemies.

As I look at the television, the mediaâs window on our world, I feel exactly like I’m looking at a wall, unable to see anything in it that resembles reality. Other times I think I see things that are not there, things our government and the media would like us to believe but really arenât there, arenât true.

Between government spin, Taliban spin, and media spin, little wonder that I feel dazed and disoriented, having little idea what really is the truth.

And damn right I’m mad, mad, mad. I’m mad at the terrorists that caused such mindless destruction. I’m mad at our country for mindlessly dropping bombs that will undoubtedly save a few American soldiers lives, but only at the cost of many more innocent Afghan lives, a cost we may well have to repay with interest at a later time.

I’m especially mad that when people hear me saying no, no, no, they suggest that I’m unpatriotic, that I really don’t understand the danger our country is in, that, perhaps, I am crazy.

It’s hard for me, an ordinary man, to understand why the whole world isn’t crying no, no, no.

Too Good of a Day

Today was one of those lucky days in fall when the weather is just too nice to spend the day thinking or worrying, and the extended weather report calls for five days of rain, plenty of time to spend philosophizing.

Not one to waste sunshine, I started the day by taking a long bike ride with Leslie. It was a bright, brisk day, the perfect day for a long ride. Although the trail was crowded because of the sunshine, people’s friendliness and cheerfulness more than made up for any inconvenience.

After spending a few hours rushing around the yard trying to get everything possible done before the rains descend, I watched the Mariners defeat the Cleveland Indians in the fifth game of the division series. The victory seemed all the sweeter after the demoralizing 17-2 loss Saturday.

I finished the perfect day by picking some fresh corn and artichokes from the garden for dinner. This is the first year I’ve ever gotten artichokes from the garden, so they seemed especially good. It’s hard to imagine a better ending to a nearly perfect day.

Those storm clouds appearing in the West can wait until tomorrow; it’s too good a day to worry about what might be and what will be.

The Power of Sports

For a few hours tonight all was right with the universe as the Seattle Mariners crushed the Texas Rangers 16-1, winning their 114th game this year.

The Mariner’s dream season seemed to be unraveling after the attack on the WTC. A team that hadn’t had a major injury all year suddenly seemed jinxed. The day after the attack, David Bell pulled an abdominal muscle in batting practice and has been out since. Al Martin strained a tendon in his throwing arm and hasnât played for weeks. The versatile Mark McLemore injured his knee and was out for nearly a week. Worst of all, shortstop Carlos Guillen contracted tuberculosis and is questionable for the rest of the season.

Right after the season resumed the Mariners lost three straight games to Oakland, the first time they had lost three games in a row all year and the first time they lost an away series this year.

Tonight, perhaps for the first time since the WTC disaster, the Mariners seemed to regain their form, and nothing could go wrong. Jay Buhner hit his first home run of the year since coming back from a major injury. In winning their 114th game, the Mariners tied the AL record of the 1998 Yankees for most wins in single year, with three more games to go.

How wonderful, and perhaps silly, that a game can raise your spirits so high for a brief moment and make time stand still.