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Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:38 PM

Fire in the Ice

In 1980, the Onondaga Nation's Faithkeeper Oren Lyons spoke to a group in Binghamton, NY. What I remember most from Oren's speech to the non-Indian audience is when he said that, in a relatively short time, a significant percentage of people in the US would experience some of those same harsh problems that his people have endured for centuries.

I think of that while listening to the news about people suffering in Texas. I think of it when I read from one of this forum's members who I have the utmost respect for, as his daughter and he survive inside their vehicle, desperate for warmth. And I think of it while I walk out to my pond on the frigid moonless night.

Though inpenetrable by way of deep slush in the afternoon, my driveway has become solid ice by midnight. The crust holds my (over-) weight as I venture slowly across my lawn, down the hill to the woods, and across the froozen swamp. There are dozens of oval depressions in the snow -- not crop circles made by unidentified life forms, but by the six deer that inhabit my property. It is so frigid out that I know they will be nesting in the pine trees tonight, and so I avoid them.

Through the darkness, the outdoor light from my neighbor's house provides me direction. Their young son recently died from an overdose of heroin. I think of 17-year old poet John Lennon's line about a pain so deep it hardly became known to him. I have made it to the pond, where various animal tracks lead directly to where the spring supplies water that flows even in this bitter cold. My body is numb, yet I feel everything.

I had gotten word, shortly before midnight, that two relatives rushed to the hospital on Sunday were stable. My oldest brother died recently, his body not being found for several days. This following the death of an aunt, an uncle, a close friend of 40+ years, a neighbor. In hard times, I always try to identify what important lessons are to be learned .....because if one does not learn from suffering, I would suggest they have missed an important opportunity.

I know what I will do when I get back inside my house. I've communicated with a number of young adults, all graduates of the school district where I had served on the board of education over the past 72 hours. This is the village where,as I reported here this past summer, a student-led Black Lives Matter rally was confronted by aggressive, violent, and armed Trump supporters. Over the weekend, a guidance counselor posted a racist meme on the internet, attempting a "joke" about President Biden slipping on the banana peels that VP Harris drops on the White House floor.

The young people I've talked with include some who have contacted the school superintendent. They have heard back from him, and are satisfied -- for now -- that the school will recognize there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I have contacted two school officials, but have not heard back from either. So when I get inside, I will begin my message to members of the school board. I'd like to know, for example, how the school will deal with students of color needing access to a guidance counselor. Perhaps put a "whites only" water faucet outside this woman's door?

A rodent scurries from near my chicken coup as I get on my lawn. It had been attempting to dig through the ice and froozen ground to get a meal. So I bring a cup of cracked corn from the garage to the far edge of my lawn, confident it will find it once I'm inside. It's far from where the cats might be tonight, and it is so bitter cold that I haven't heard a single coyote.

I can't help the suffering people from Texas right now. But I know that if we all do that which we are capable of doing well, we will be okay. Now that includes not believing the lies we were told in our childhood and youth, by the type of adults who tell banana peel jokes. We are capable. It is 1 am/est now. I figure that I've got a good four hours to invest, before laying down and watching a Watergate documentary.

H2O Man

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fire in the Ice (Original post)
H2O Man Feb 17 OP
Me. Feb 17 #1
H2O Man Feb 17 #2
panader0 Feb 17 #3
H2O Man Feb 17 #4
coeur_de_lion Feb 17 #5
H2O Man Feb 17 #6
coeur_de_lion Feb 17 #7
H2O Man Feb 17 #8
coeur_de_lion Feb 17 #9
H2O Man Feb 17 #10

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 04:01 PM

1. Good Piece

I am shocked at the blatant racism our esteemed vice president is being subjected to. And the targeting from that enabler of monsters and others suffering from necrotic corruption, Lindsey Graham.

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Response to Me. (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 04:39 PM

2. Thank you!

The first young lady who contacted me calls me "Uncle." She is Asian-American, currently a university student, soon to be a doctor just like both of her parents. The second is a regional BLM leader, well respected in central NY, who was quiet as a church mouse in school, but who has found her powerful voice. The third is a young lady who, among other things, is doing grant-writing for Boston U for a program to confront racism on campus. She calls me "Dad."

Plenty more!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 04:53 PM

3. Like so many of your posts, you took me somewhere.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 05:52 PM

4. Thanks!

Last November's election victories were huge. They were, among other things, the direct result of millions upon millions of "average" citizens taking a stance. Saying, "No more!" The response of the Trump cult's attempted coup makes clear that our struggle goes on. The second impeachment and trial gave evidence that we have a strong team in DC.

So it's important that we keep up the Good Fight. That in the state, county, and local politics, we remain active participants. We need to be there for kids in schools. Obviously, the terrible violence that makes the news all too often. And the psychological violence, such as having an openly racist guidance counselor post such shit.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:41 PM

5. I love when you take us on a trip around your property

Someday I swear we're going to visit you there. Sit in the sweat lodge and feed the deer. Seems like an ideal, relaxing existence.

I'm thrilled that we won the the White House, the House and the Senate. Thrilled.

Now I want us to act as if we won. That's my only gripe.

Right now I am watching video of the wonderful Jennifer Psaki give her daily press conference, and I feel a tremendous gratitude for our accomplishment.

No we're not done yet. But all of us should give thanks daily that we have a government again.

I can see that I might disagree with President Biden from time to time. But just disagreement, no disrespect.

I am devastated to hear that someone on your school board was making ugly bigoted remarks about the VP. I started seeing that kind of hideous rhetoric when Obama was president. A huge part of the work ahead of us is to re-educate a large portion of the population. Is that even possible?

My brother who against my best instincts I still love, was a huge Rush Limbaugh fan, and old Rush died today. I'm happy that he's dead but there are many like him now. So his leaving just provided a job opening for another of those bigots.

So, so much more work to do.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 08:21 PM

6. When I think about

the passing of Rush, while I take no pleasure in any person's death, the old saying, "Let the dead bury their dead" is most appropriate. While the most I ever saw of him was brief clips on the television, and I have admittedly limited insight on his message, he never struck me as particularly interesting. I do know several people who liked him, though. I'm friends with them, but on a different level than the one that allows for meaningful political discussion or debate.

There are a heck of a lot of people seeking to quickly re-new the license to hate that the Trump years gifted them with. They say the darnedest things, to paraphrase Art Linkletter -- who certainly focused more positive attention on young people than, say, a racist guidance counslor could.

I truly enjoy watching Jennifer Psaki. Young people like her give me hope for the future.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 08:35 PM

7. License to hate

Is probably the most accurate and succinct description of the effect 45 had on his followers.

Iím stealing that one.

I only listened to Rush one time. He was so toxic I never wanted to repeat that experience.

Iím glad heís dead. But the damage he did to my brother, and to millions of men like my brother may never go away or be healed.

I have asked myself a million times what inside my brother could have attracted him to people like rush and 45. I just donít know. But I sure would like to have my brother back.

You make a mighty fine brother surrogate. 🇨🇮

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 09:50 PM

8. We never know

when a mentally-dead person might arise. But we are perhaps better prepared for that possibility if we have a correct understanding of some of the ancient teachings, than if we mistake them for literal events.

In Rush's case, however, it appears too late. He was never given the sight or hearing that allowed for such miracles.

DNA. Birth order. Environment. These are the primary factors that one most closely associates with what attracts some to the Rush-types.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 09:58 PM

9. Can't be DNA -- or I would be an asshole too :-)

He's the youngest of 6. And probably got in with a bad crowd some time in his thirties.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:48 PM

10. Actually, no.

First, your DNA is not exact. Second, it has to do with that DNA in the specific context I noted. And birth order creates very different experiences and understanding of the dynamics of what, on the surface, appears to be the exact same environment. Same parents, same siblings, same school, etc. But it is not the same. It is, of course, connected, though often in ways that are hard to understand. I knew a Hurricane who often noted that to actually see a picture, you have to be outside of the frame.

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