Shake the Dust off of your Wings
I am home from daily walks on a farm road in the Hudson River Valley,
to the windy wet beaches of Haines.
A highlight of the trip was my Aunt's 90th birthday party. She is nimble minded, lives on her own, and stands up straight (as my yoga teacher says, one key to aging well is "sternum up.") My cousin, who leads a Toastmasters club, gave a thoughtful speech in which he said her words of wisdom to him as a child, assuring him everything will be okay when he was frightened in the night, had helped him weather many storms, and he suggested that attitude may have lead to her longevity. Aunt Jeanne credited red wine. (She is French.) The down side is she doesn't drink more than one glass a day, and the news lately, as Annie Lamott so famously said, is enough to make Jesus (and me) drink gin out of the cat dish.
This morning as I pedaled my bike in the upstairs hallway, the reports of the bombs, and the president's previously ugly and dishonest talk and tweets about the recipients of those packages, made me ride harder.
Is it just me, or are you on edge too?
When a local interview with the new school superintendent, Roy Getchell, came on, I slowed down. Thankfully, he brimmed with good humor and good news about our school, the volleyball and wrestling teams, and the honor music program. He said he loved hearing the students singing and practicing on their horns in the hallways. He invited parents to attend an important talk on Oct. 29 at 6:30 in the school library by social media expert Frederick Lane on digital citizenship. Roy and the host, Amanda, discussed cyber bullying, and the need for teaching children discretion and civility on the internet and how so much of it seems to bring out the worst in people.
Tweeting things like You low IQ, horse faced, dummy dope, wife of a perv sleeze bag, low class slob, lightweight spoiled brat without a functioning brain has not made anyone's heart softer or mind wiser.
On the plane home from New York I watched a documentary on Fred "Mr." Rogers and his TV show. During a horrible time in our nation's history, when public swimming pools were being integrated and the nightly news broadcast clips of black children getting chased out of pools by white adults dumping nasty chemicals in the water, so no one could swim rather than share the facilities, he produced a skit that began by him inviting the black police officer character on the show to share the little wading pool he had just filled. They took off their shoes and socks, rolled up their pants, set their feet in the water, and then sat next to each other, hip to hip and knee to knee, and talked about how nice cool water felt on a hot day. Then for a long, quiet moment the only image on the screen were two black feet and two white feet in the clear blue pool.
This afternoon I'm volunteering at my grandchildren's swim team practice. Then I'm going to choir practice (6-7 at the museum), and on Sunday I'm attending a-get-out-the-vote house party and phone bank for public school advocate Alyse Galvin for congress.
Sternum up, wings out, better angels prepare for take off.