“What’s Going On?”

I’ve got nothing to say. So I’ll let my fingers do the talking. Now, isn’t that a bit passive-aggressive?

So many swirling dervishes, spinning hearts out of control. Soaked emotional ballasts thrown over the edge of reason. To try to right a ship that is surely sinking seems futile. News cycles peddling faster and faster and still unable to keep up. Pundits and prognosticators sweeping up the glass in the street looking for some coherence underneath.

Facts:

-George Floyd was murdered by a police officer, watched by other police officers, video rolling from body cams and bystanders’ phones.

-A bottom up/top down investigation ensued. All levels and departments of government on it.

-Protests justly formed.

-Riots are not protests.

-Violence is not peaceful.

Many more facts to add, but these slipped through my filter first.

I loathe going political. Honestly, fear gets the better of me and I would rather run silent to avoid push back.

I’d rather our sight be color-blind than color-coded. Since when is skin tone equal to tone of voice? When did we forget Dr. King’s dreams of mountain top perspectives and the long contemplative walk to Selma? I thought we were all just trying to get along. Rodney King and Dr. King sought to bring peace and reason to the fore, and yet we forget.

Trying times are not the time to stop trying.

If it weren’t for the masks at the protests and rioting, we might have totally misplaced a pandemic. Justifiable identity suppression while looting. A masquerade party involving drinks of a Molotov drunkenness. The piece of peaceful protests, (Our constitutional right, by the way.) thrown by the side of the road, and into crowds.

“What’s going on?” Marvin Gaye

What brought a cop to the point of kneeling on the neck of George Flyod with his hand in his pocket like la de dah, Whistling Dixie as it were? Why were bystanders just standing there? What would I have done in that moment? What happened to “Everyone stand back, let’s give him some air?” The arrest was over counterfeit money. No matter why the cuffs were put on him, an officer isn’t prosecutor, judge, or jury. On the side of every police cruiser are the words “To Serve and Protect”.  These officers redefined those terms and now all officers are lumped into a police state of mind. I don’t buy it.

I still believe law enforcement is part of our judicial system. You know, Law and Order and all that. The buck doesn’t stop with Officer Krupke or Jerry Orbach. Laws run uphill until justice is served. Equal justice under the law dispensed by a blind folded lady holding scales. The system isn’t perfect because people of influence aren’t perfect. Sometimes justice is underserved, mis-served, or deliberately maligned. We have to give it a chance, before we take the law into our own hands, don’t you think? Or would it be better to slice the system and dole out slivers into each and every ‘We the People’ and see how justice is served?

If that happened I’d be on the Barney Fife end of the spectrum. Empty pistol. One bullet in my pocket nestled near my heart. Or maybe Andy Griffith, handing out the benefit-of-the- doubt more than reaching for the handcuffs. In short, I drive a brown truck for a living, not a black and white.

Black and white…isn’t that the issue here? The thing is the issue isn’t black and white, clear-cookie-cutter solutions. The problem is some people can’t see beyond the colors to the content of the character. I’m not saying that character is all about grey matter. Grey matter is only the beginning. The eighteen inch trip from mind to heart is the path toward healing.

There were and are peaceful protests. There were and are candles and prayers. There were and are civil ways to air sadness, frustration, and anger. But those avenues take heart and aren’t easy roads on which to walk forward. On the contrary, it seems The Road Less Traveled is blocked by difficulty. The first line of the book is meant to be crossed, not a detour.

“Life is difficult.” M. Scott Peck

Let’s say our prayers and incite peace. These are matters of the heart. God help us all.

The Maker of the Universe, Lyrics. By Phil Keaggy

Still my favorite Easter song.

Gerald the Writer

The maker of the universe,

as man for man was made a curse.

The claims of law which he had made,

unto the uttermost he had paid.

His holy fingers made the bow

that grew the thorns which crowned his brow.

The nails that pierced his hand were mined

in secret places he designed.

He made the forest whence it sprung

the tree on which his body hung.

He died upon a cross of wood

yet made the hill on which it stood.

The sky that darkened ore his head

by him above the earth was spread.

The sun that hid from him its face

be his decree was poised in space.

The spear which spilled his precious blood

was tempered in the fires of God.

The grave in which his form was laid

was human wrought his hands had made.

The throne on which he now appears

was his…

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/

Ah, the in between. Hope differed.

Gerald the Writer

Leaning toward Sunday,

Tilting away from Friday,

Today is a back-slash.

A hyphen won’t suffice.

An and/or proposal,

Crux of a both/and scenario.

This end of a Holy Week,

Feels likes an ellipsis…

This Saturday,

Post back lash,

pre punctuation scars.

This in-between

where faith hyper ventilates

and doubt choke holds.

Where a stone weights

the wounds of the world.

Friday/Sunday

Before/After

Death/Resurrection

Both/And.

/

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Stationary

Gerald the Writer

Waiting at the station,

the platform held me at attention.

The iron lines lie parallel

and secure with rusty spikes.

Underneath were white stones

large enough to kill someone.

Twin rails, identical, dependent

like a yoke to carry a burden.

Similar tracks would guide

into Auschwitz–Birkenau.

Underneath were white stones

large enough to kill someone.

I stood, head down, hands behind

my back without cuffs.

Thoughts of freedom ring

like scraping of iron on iron.

Underneath were white stones

large enough to kill someone.

There were stations of crossover.

Humans standing, gazing

on the Via Delarosa,

their eyes like two rails.

Underneath were white stones

large enough to kill someone.

It is a Good Friday to stand in a nave.

To look on the One who bore

the railroad ties in juxtaposition.

The oxidized nails set.

Underneath were white stones

large enough to kill someone.

Stationary, I am to remember…

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Why Two Days Changed My Fussbudgetness.

I read this again. Wow. That was a rough go. God is good.

G. Allen Barrett Poet. Writer.

Lucy, from the comic strip Peanuts, was often referred to as a fussbudget. Over the past few years I have become a fussbudget, my heart traipsing around the landscape of complaint, unbelief, and fear. Recently I described it to someone as brooding. I can’t seem to nail down a solid description of my state of mind. Needless to say, my silent grump grump aint helpful to those in my proximity.

Then two days, one right after the other, a couple of weeks ago, shook me out of my inward sourpuss self. May 17th two of my children decided to take a giant leap…out of an airplane. Be honest, what do you think of first when skydiving come to mind? Exactly. What if the chute doesn’t open? I don’t see this thought as pessimistic, but realistic. Planes have wings to keep humans up there in the wild blue yonder, unless…

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Pressing On

I can’t describe the journey and faith of Bill and Mary Sweeney, but here’s a post to read for yourself. So encouraging.

Unshakable Hope

Happy New Year!

I believe 2020 will be a great year.

Regular readers of my blog know that I’ve had ALS for twenty-three years. I’ve been on hospice for the last fifteen months, and in that time, I’ve had three close encounters with death. I don’t mean to make light of this, but I think you could say that I have one foot in the grave, and the other is on a banana peel. Knowing this, and reading that I’ve declared that 2020 is going to be a great year, you might be questioning the state of my mental health. I get it, but please hear me out.

I’ll admit that my mental health is not as good as it once was. I recently watched a movie for twenty minutes before realizing I’d seen it before. I don’t know if this is related to the ALS or just getting old…

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Monday Morning

Monday Morning

 

Coffee and creamed,

truth and grace,

or so it seemed.

 

That mixture of

strong and soft,

and how oft

 

I wanted to slip

into a week,

geeked and tweaked.

 

But it’s Monday.

A do over day,

to pray, play, slay.

 

Another new mercy say.

although nothing new,

but everything.

 

“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,

            the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.

I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—

            the feeling of hitting the bottom.

But there’s one other thing I remember,

            And remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

 

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,

            his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.

They’re created new every morning. (Even Monday morning)

            How great your faithfulness!

I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).

            He’s all I’ve got left.

                        Lamentations 3