Monday, November 10, 2008

November Monday

The homeless woman who lives on the riverbank opposite my office window has brought in more junk--cardboard boxes and plastic sheets--probably to get ready for winter. The space is just big enough to scrunch into and lie down in and it's right on the mud that tops the pilings. I can't imagine anyone sleeping there, but this woman does and has for a long time. Apparently, the police come in and roust her out occasionally, but she always comes back again, and they have better things to do than to keep an eye on her. Sometimes she appears to have roommates, as it were, and I picture them all sleeping head to toe to head to toe.

It's an odd scene in the middle of urban renewal and picturesque coastline. Yuppies jog by in their running gear unaware, and cars park in the neighboring lot at $35 each. Meanwhile, here on the sixth floor I look out the window at the pelicans and the seagulls wheeling by.

Post-Election Thoughts

Well, Obama's won, and I'm hugely relieved. I'm even proud. Proud of all the Americans who voted for integrity and sanity and intelligence, for judgment and prudence in a multicultural package. It is like the dawn of a new age, a more accurate reflection of the America we've become. At least I hope so. Heaven knows Mr. Obama has his work cut out for him. The economy is in shambles and so is the infrastructure. I find myself wanting to ask him to tell us what he needs from us, how we can help him with the monumental task he is undertaking. He has the potential to be a remarkable president.

The country heaved a huge sigh of relief when he won; I swear you could almost hear it, and certainly you could feel it, a lifting of shame and helplessness and a new feeling of pride and hope. I am looking forward to Michelle Obama, too, as an unusually articulate, confident, and educated first lady, and I think those little girls will enliven the White House and all of us. It is good to be able to look forward to what's coming next. It's been a long time since I've had that feeling in any national sense.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pre-election Thoughts

It's presidential election season, and we're currently in between debates. We're also in the middle of watching our economy, and the world's generally, crash and burn. It seems that George Bush finally found a way to empty the rest of the treasury on his way out of office.

I wanted Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic presidential nominee, but the Republicans played chess far too well to allow that to happen. There was scarcely a murmer out of them about Obama throughout the entire campaign--until Obama won the nomination.

Why would I choose a relatively untried candidate over an extremely experienced war hero? Simple. Obama's values are in the right place, and while he is inexperienced, he is eminently teachable. I believe he will surround himself with sane people who will inform him sufficiently for him to lead according to our common values.

McCain, on the other hand, used to be a war hero, but it's a long time behind him. I am old enough to know that none of us is who we were thirty years ago. The McCain I see before me now has nothing current to say about the world's mighty dilemmas, not the least of which are global warming and the economy, to say nothing of the health care crisis. I am tired of hearing McCain dredge up his ancient laurels as though he possesses now the qualities he perhaps had then. Now, he is 72, extremely wealthy, and patently ignorant about economics for the middle and working classes. Nor does he seem teachable. Finally, his choice of an unqualified, rabidly rightwing vice-presidential candidate seems to me the last straw. It is unlikely that McCain will live through eight years of presidency. Who does he propose to leave the country to? An ex-beauty queen with little else to recommend her and values that make every ecologist's hair stand on end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chauncey's Birthday

It seems appropriate to begin this blog on the birthday of my main character, Sir Chauncey, who is (technically) 46 today. His character, however, is five and always will be. That's the advantage of living in literature. Chauncey's birthday is fraught with his worry that no one else will remember it. To find out how it turns out, you'd have to read "Big Day," which is a story all about the events of Chauncey's day. Not published yet, but I hope it will be forthcoming soon.

Da Capo

Summer. A good time to begin something new. Hence this blog, a place to share thoughts, the occasional poem, the odd flash fiction piece as it hurries through my mind.