Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catching up...

So much has happened. So much is going on. Nationally. Locally. Personally. There has been a lot to write about and yet I have been resisting. It’s not writer’s block - the words are there. It’s a resistance to putting them out there… I am not sure why. Regardless, I am now - finally - sufficiently compelled to clear out some of the backlog. Where to start? I really don’t know, but I guess I don’t have to…

Writing has proven to be so much more to me than just what the words say. I used to be driven by reaction to them. I needed to be read. Now it is the actual process of their creation that gives me the greatest reward. Indeed, I am not compelled to produce for the sake of publication, but rather for the sake of creation. Not everything I write, of late, gets placed in some place of prominence. It’s not on my blog, not in the paper and not really intended for public consumption - some of it. But sometimes it is only by releasing these thoughts to the universe that I get any return from them. I do believe I have hit that place.

I attended a memorial service yesterday. My friend lost his son to leukemia. He was only 22 years old. My three sons are about the same age and I cannot imagine what pain he must be feeling. I’m not even sure what I feel. Gratitude? That seems abjectly selfish. Compassion? Of course. Empathy? No, I cannot identify with what he feels - I only know it’s bad. It does give me renewed perspective on the fragility of life and, hopefully, the motivation to embrace it more than before.

That’s part of the personal, but not all. There has been happy stuff too. The increase in the price of gasoline, for instance, has had me on my motorcycle much more frequently. It has appeared to motivate others to do the same. In fact, there seems to be a greater awareness among drivers that we are there. But I didn’t come here to talk about drivers. Motorcycles… yes. Besides saving a bunch of money on gas, riding still holds a freedom I have yet to experience anywhere else. Dangerous? Sure, but lots of things are dangerous. I have been riding to work and it’s been leaving me oddly refreshed when I get there.

Then there’s gay marriage. How about gay marriage? It’s now legal here in California. I don’t understand the uproar. Those opposed to it should just get honest. If they would just say what they mean, I would have so much more respect for them. Their opposition has nothing to do with the “sanctity” of marriage. It has nothing to do with reproduction and it has absolutely nothing to do with family values. No, you’re just a bunch of homophobes. Yup, you’re scared, and you don’t even know what of. But please, let me just knock some of your “objections” down.

The institution of marriage has been corrupt for a very long time. Adultery, divorce and the casual nature of the commitment generally have left the institution on very shaky ground. If you were really committed to the institution, you would be protesting all the real threats to it, not gay marriage. Reproduction? Please! Too many marriages would be null and void if that was a criterion. Finally we have family values. No hypocrites there, uh? Quit protesting and get a job so you can pay your damn child support. Why don’t we just do away with marriage all together… with a failure rate of more than 50 percent, there is a compelling argument that marriage doesn’t work - hetero, homo or otherwise.

We have a black Democratic presidential nominee. Get over it. Our nation is on a collision course with disaster and we need someone - anyone - to put us back on track. McCain ain’t it. Obama is our best hope and I don’t care what color he is. The fear mongers who think he is some kind of Muslim time bomb, please step back into reality. Really, it is very nice over here. No U.S. flag lapel pin? Oh, that’s right! He must be some kind of anti-American whacko. You are the same people who believe those urban legends that keep finding their way into my email box, aren’t you? You know, the ones that say Bill Gates wants to give you all his money…

Tim Russert died. Dropped dead of a heart attack. He was just 58. The eulogies were pretty much non-stop all weekend. I was busy and didn’t get a chance to catch up on it all until Sunday afternoon - on Father’s Day. I liked Russert. I’m sad he died and I feel for his family. Although that’s enough for me, I was surprised, a little, at what he has accomplished and how his colleagues viewed him. I only hope I will be viewed as favorably. I know my dad will be - he already is.

That’s enough out of me.

7 comments:

Mark G. said...

Once again, well said Michael! Hi props for your ideals and compassion for those around you!!

Kristi Mantoni said...

I must say I agree 100%! With everything, gay marriage and Obama.

I use Dave Barry's line about gay marriage when people I know are against it; "It's not mandatory!"

I'm running out of things to say to people who are against Obama just because he's black. I've decided to work on getting those people not to vote at all.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm sure our gas will be up to $4.50 soon. I'm lucky to live within walking distance to work.

lynne braninburg said...

Thank you Michael, I feel so much a part of when like minded people can find each other.

To all the objectors and rabble rousers...if you have a better idea or a better candidate...show up or shut up.

Thank you again!

Mar said...

So sorry to hear about your friend's son. Mine is 20 ... can't imagine the pain.
I don't understand the uproar about gay marriage either. Divorce rate has gone back in the past 12 years in Spain due to the financial crisis! that's keeping couples together, ha!

Thanks for the visit via Michele's. Luckily I have a visual memory. And knew exactly under which month to find my pic! happy weekend!

Canadian Mark said...

Sorry for your friends lose. So young...

I enjoyed your post in it's entirety and agree wholeheartedly on your views regarding the sanctity of marriage. Well put.

Here from Michele's

Shephard said...

Beautifully said. It's very comforting to hear so many people echoing all of the above.

(and I'm laughing at Kristi quoting Dave Barry)

Michele says hello today!
~S

Carmi said...

I've long believed that parents should not outlive their children. When a family in our community lost two children in rapid succession to a rare form of genetically-linked cancer, I found myself completely unable to put such a monumental loss into context. How their parents went on afterward is beyond me...they certainly have a level of courage that I know I'd completely lack.

Your thoughts on words and writing struck home - as your thoughts often do. I am energized by the process of creating. I used to hang so much more weight on the responses of others. Today? Not so much. I enjoy simply being a part of it, of seeing something go from nothing to something beautifully formed simply through the shapings of my mind.

How glad I am to have been struck by this form of lightning at such a young age.

Good to e-see you again, my friend. It's been a bit of a nutty period in my life, and blogging's had to lie fallow for a bit. It's good to reconnect.