I like Dave. He's one of those calm and observant kinda guys that you wish you were like after you've opened your mouth and revealed your lack of class. Dave has class. When everyone else in the room is waiting for the guy who's currently owning the conversation to take a breath so we can jump in and say something brilliant, Dave is sitting on the side, but not too far away, listening and well, just listening. He's smart. He's an attorney. I'm sure you have to be smart to be an attorney, but that's not why I think he's smart. For the record, I know some pretty stupid attorneys. I think Dave is smart because he listens more than he talks. It could be because he has nothing to say. But that doesn't keep me or most of my other friends from saying something. If we were smart we'd do more listening. Dave is smart. Today is his birthday. He's asked anyone who intended to get him a gift to make their present buying money payable instead to the Lexington Senior Citizen's Center. He's smart AND kind. Happy birthday Dave.


From my journal...

How can you not be moved? I'll ask you again later.

You are safe at home in your bed. The rain is falling, but that is on the outside. You are comfortable. You are dry. You are warm. You are safe. As a matter of fact, you feel sorta giddy because you've finally reached that soft spot you've been inching toward for hours. It may not be on your task list, but you know that resting your head and closing your eyes at the end of the day is a sweet reward for all you've dealt with since your last laid here.

You rest well as the day's events play through your mind. You're satisfied you've accomplished so much, or you try and bury the undone things under happier thoughts at least until morning. The children are well, only steps away, resting just as safely - just as warm.

Suddenly, a very loud and angry crash is at your door. Being startled and a bit dazed, you wonder what causes such a terrible commotion? Now voices - angry, loud incoherent voices screaming words you can't understand. They near your retreat. Your heart is pounding. Your mind is racing. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they here?

Your children scream.

Protecting yourself is an afterthought now. You have to stand for your children. You are their protector. No one is going to harm, to violate your children. You won't let it happen. Your love is stronger than your fear, but before you can reach them, they are gone, and you will be too very soon. Your peace is shattered. You are broken. You have no voice. The intruders are in control.

Still lots of questions. Still no answers. Moments ago you were warm. The once distant rain now chills the clothes you only intended to rest in. You shiver in the wet nightime cold.

Only moments ago these streets were quiet. Being led through them now, you realize you are no longer safe, and as far as your invaders are concerned, not completely human. Who could treat another human like this? You can't ignore the screams of close and friendly neighbors pleading for their own lives and the lives of their children. But you can do nothing to help them either. You know their fear - their sense of helplessness. You want to grieve for them. But you sense that the worst is yet to be realized. The "cleansing" continues through the night.

How can you not be moved?

If you lived today in Darfur, Sudan, or in too many other places on our planet this would not be a movie script sort of story. Closer to home, if you were black, and lived right here as recently as a few years ago in the country we are so very proud of, the same scenario could be played out in your own neighborhood, on your own street. If you were Jewish, in Europe, it was just a generation ago.

"In a sense, we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have a dream..."
Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC August 28, 1963



Today is Anthony Roberts' birthday. He's a good friend who I enjoy hanging out with. Not that we need an occasion to gather and eat, but a bunch of our group will meet up for dinner at PF Chang's tonight to help him celebrate. It's always crowded there but evidently someone in our group knows someone important in the Chinese food business. We don't usually have to wait too long. I'll be bloated on rice by the end of the night and I'll be nearly miserable trying to keep my belly in. I'll do my best to look good or die trying. The cards are always good for a few minutes of entertainment.


auld lang syne

I'm a singer. I also write music and lyrics. I pay attention to the science and measure of a song, and depending on my mood, I either tear a bad song to pieces (usually in my own mind, or even out loud if no one is around to hear my rants) or wish I'd thought of it myself. Sometimes it is the inspiration that I envy. Most of the songs that I think are the most motivating, inspiring, thought provoking pieces of musical art ever, really aren't considered Christian or even religious. Although I do think they are pretty spiritual. (see "I Hope You Dance.")

One of those songs is from the Broadway musical RENT. Jonathan Larson found some great inspiration in the middle of this sorta sad tale. When most of us divide our lives into the memorable good and bad times and forget most everything in between, he breaks it out further and sees more moments than most of us realized were available. We think of seasons as in three months of days and nights with little movement on the thermometer. JL must've known how we were limiting ourselves. I like his way better. "Five hundred twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes... Cups of coffee, daylight, laughter, strife, inches, miles, smiles, tears, love ... Five hundred twenty five thousand Seasons of love..."

And for the good times of yesterday, not just the 2007 ones, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne. We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne." For the good times...