Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Michigan, Again.

Sunset Along The Eastern Shores Of Lake Michigan
Many times I have left this state in search of greener pastures. Although admittedly, not in many years. Wife, children, and property ownership tend to settle a man down, anchor him in one place. Not that I'm complaining. In fact this 'domestication' over the last several years has tempered some of the, shall we say, rougher aspects of my personality.

Being here of late is a kind of continuous de-javu. See, when I was just a little Philo, stealing my Dad's beer's off the picknick table and running the streets of the trailer park, things were much like they are now. There was no work. No one had any money. Mom's worked gardens, and Dad's, well Dad's were often gone for six months or more out of state for work. I don't know if the houses were empty, but the trailers sure as hell weren't. There's little mobility for people who can't afford to keep the propane tank full.

Looking around this small slice Earth that I can call my own, I'm saddened by the realization that my children are growing up in a similar environment, (economically that is) that I did. We have lot's of neighbors where Dad's out of state for months at a time working. The food banks have long run dry. Even the churches have stopped their weekly advertisements for food and clothing. But we survive. We look out for each other. And life isn't so bad for us as it is for many.

Still, I listen for some inspiring speech, or ad, heralding the arrival of just the right kind of leader. "It's morning in America..." That gave me goosebumps even as a kid. I didn't know the Republic from a roll of quarters, but I knew, I felt, that it was right and good and that there was hope, if we just held the line a little longer.

I don't hear that now. Maybe I don't have the right kind of ears to hear it anymore. Maybe it's just not true anymore. Maybe the time just isn't right.  And that has planted a seed in my head. A thought that's been churning there all day. Maybe it's a quote from some text long forgotten. Maybe it's a revelation. Maybe it's just a truth that anyone who's willing to be honest with themselves can see:

"Of the Republic's greatness,
There can be no doubt.
But whom here can truly say,
It is her sunrise at which we marvel,
And not her sunset?"


1 comment:

  1. Say not the Struggle Naught availeth

    SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
    The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.

    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
    Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

    For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

    And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
    In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
    But westward, look, the land is bright!

    Arthur Hugh Clough