Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just a late fall day

Had our first snow almost a month ago, it's melted both times. Maybe next time it'll be here to stay for months, varies from year to year.

It's Saturday, no school up at the University a half block up the hill, so it's usually quiet. More so today, it's warm, 58 outside, so I have the front door open for maybe the last time this year.

My two mountain ash have shed all the leaves, a few seed pods remain. The view, up and down the street:

Quiet, peaceful. Perhaps it's what people in Aleppo, or Madaya might call American privilege. Sort of what's been termed 'white privilege' in common political terms, on a broader scale. The privilege of peace. Of freedom from organized violence, repression.

On a quiet Saturday afternoon I sit in peace in my living room, looking at a mountain, seeing the occasional deer. I don't see approaching helicopters, tanks, troops. I talked to all my kids, I don't wonder if they are alive, or where they are. I think about having leftover pasta ala carbonara, and a salad. I don't wonder if I have enough rice to feed my kids. 

Is this our birthright in some way? Is 'American Exceptionalism' extend to us always having enough to eat, schools for our kids, ability to travel, move where we want? If so, what have we done to deserve it? Is it something handed down to us by the 'Greatest Generation'? Is it like Trump's wealth, inherited from his father, without which he'd be a used car salesman? 

I know a few of my readers, god knows why they stay, have experienced or are experiencing a form of poverty; not having enough to get by month to month. Most of us though have led lives of privilege. Why?

For your consideration I'd like to suggest we've had this to some extent on the back of the other peoples of the world. The farmers in Mexico who grow our vegs, our coffee in Central America, our clothes in China and Thailand. Who work for enough to feed their family rice and beans. 

This will change someday, perhaps soon. No imbalance lasts, laws of physics tell us that. 

Just some idle thoughts on a Saturday afternoon, in peaceful Montana. 



  1. It's probably because everyone in the United States is armed. I'm worried about the remaining days until November 8th and the days after it.

  2. We have what we have because we took it with bloody hands. And we continue to do so. Peace, on the other hand, is a privilege and we better work on that.

  3. Beautiful and sensitive reflections. I suspect we tend to take so much for granted, across the board. I would offer that a sense of commonweal, a belief in the power of unity that once was a prevalent American attitude, contributed to the quality of life you reflect on upon. Of course it was never fully balanced and apportioned and in some cases it was more promise than fact, but there was also a time when our body politic worked to make amends and extend liberty. That attitude is under attack and so too is the idea of a common unity. Commonweal has been replaced by an age of selfishness-"I've got mine. You get yours." Commercialism and materialism have become personal and mass motivators. Thus, a few moments of quiet contemplation, as you have shared, can give us pause.