Here’s an Idea…

Instead of uniting behind a symbol, why don’t we unite behind what the symbol represents? Justice, equality, freedom.

two eagles in tree this one

Photo of eagles by Karen Molenaar Terrell, Skagit County, WA.

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Stealing Integrity

So you want to force people to stand for the anthem
whether they want to or not?
You want to force them to pretend to believe
what you believe?
You believe you can force respect from others
by stealing their integrity?
How do you see this happening, exactly?
All the players standing in a coerced line,
hands super-glued over their hearts?
Simons says. Puppets on a string.
With no right to disagree or question
or protest what they feel is wrong?
And how is this going to help anyone?
Or make anything better?
Wouldn’t it be better if we fixed the system,
healed the hurts, so everyone wanted
to honor the symbols that represent freedom?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

Protecting and Defending the Constitution

Here is the oath the President takes when he gets sworn into office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

When a President bullies those who are practicing their First Amendment rights and says they should be “fired” from their jobs, he is neither protecting nor defending the Constitution of the United States. He is, figuratively, pissing on it. And HE should be fired for not carrying out his oath of office.

A Political Vent (you might want to skip this one)

I voted for Hillary Clinton in November 2016. Because Trump.

But I wanted Bernie.

Hillary Clinton is telling us now that the lack of respect from Bernie and his supporters “hurt.” But the manner in which the Democratic party (under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz) ignored Bernie Sanders, ignored the huge rallies and the enthusiasm of his supporters, “hurts.” Clinton’s narrow-visioned, egocentric take on the presidential election is proof to me that she should never have won the Democratic nomination for President. I wished then, and I wish now, that Clinton would have stepped aside when she saw the wave of enthusiasm that Bernie had behind him. He would have won the presidency and we wouldn’t be dealing with what we’re dealing with now.

I remember thinking “big deal” when Clinton won all those states in the south in her race to win the Democratic nomination. I knew those southern states weren’t going to vote for Clinton in the general election. Winning those southern states meant nothing. I could see that it was the northern states, the Pacific states, the states in the northeast – the blue states – that mattered in the race for the Democratic nomination. The southern states were going to vote Republican in the end. They were not going to vote for Clinton in November.

If Clinton had really had the best interests of the country at heart, rather than her own single-minded, blind, dogged determination to be the first woman President, she would have seen that, too. But she didn’t. The fact that she STILL doesn’t see it is testament to me that she should never have been the nominee for President.

Clinton did a terrible disservice to our nation by not stepping aside and letting Bernie Sanders lead the charge. To feel “hurt” because he didn’t drop out of the race right away has me shaking my head. The presidency of the United States is not some prize to be won by the biggest ego. Neither is it supposed to be a job promotion to whoever gives the most money and time to her (his) political party. The President of the United States is supposed to represent ALL Americans – not just Democrats, not just Republicans, and not just the wealthy and powerful.

And for those of you who are posting a defense of Clinton and telling your readers they aren’t allowed to respond to your post in a negative way: tough bananas. This is still America and I am still allowed to openly disagree with you.

Please can we have a viable candidate in 2020?

 

A Time of Innocence

It was a time of innocence, wasn’t it?
The before times.
There are moments I wish
we could go back to those days –
I see the before-movies
with the towers in the background –
Working Girl, The Thomas Crown Affair –
from a time when the chief concern
was winning.

We were there a month before –
smiling and laughing with our
fellow tourists, and the people of
New York, walking the same streets
as the best-of-the-best writers, actors,
business people, artists – the energy
and rhythm of the city filling us with
ambition, and possibilities.

Before we left I gave my unused subway
tickets to a businessman – I think he said
he worked in the Towers – he thanked me.
And a month later we watched
the towers fall, looked at our souvenir
mugs with the skyline emblazoned
on them – and knew the world had changed.

We returned two years later, wondering
what we’d find. Would our New York friends
be beaten down, lost, defeated?
No. We found resolve. We found generosity.
We found people who’d been tested
and come through with more than
“winning” on their minds.
We found nobility on the streets
of New York. We can’t go back.
But we can honor those who died
that day by living our lives
in a way that brings peace
and healing to New York,
to our planet.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Brush of Angel Wings

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Magic!

Yesterday I stopped by my folks’ former home, an assisted living place, to see if there was any old mail to pick up. When I got there I realized the annual silent art auction for Alzheimer’s was going on. I sauntered around, looking at paintings – and one, in particular caught my eye. It was bright and vibrant – a painting of houses and boats reflected in water – and the artist – the signature read “Kelly Anderson” – used a technique of blocking in sections with different shades that was really cool. This painting called to me.  I didn’t bid on it then – I thought if I was still thinking about it the next day (today) I would come back in and make a bid.

Today I was still thinking about it. So I drove back to the assisted living place to take a look at the painting again, and put in a bid. But once I got there I discovered the auction was already over and the paintings were all gone.  I was disappointed, but figured it just wasn’t meant to be.

As I was getting ready to leave I saw one of Moz and Dad’s old friends walking by and re-introduced myself to her. She seemed happy to see me and we gave each other a hug. I told her that I’d come in to bid on a painting, but it looked like the auction had ended yesterday. Yes, she said, it had – she’d actually won the bids on two paintings which had been delivered to her room that morning. She said she’d also been given one of my Dad’s paintings which had been found in a rummage sale – but it hadn’t been signed by Dad. I told her I could ask Dad to sign it for her. Her eyes lit up at the idea of that, and we headed up to her room to retrieve Dad’s painting.

Dad’s painting was leaning against the wall on top of a soffit.  It was too high up for me to reach so I started looking around for a chair that I could maybe stand on to get the painting. When my eyes scanned past the couch, I did a double-take. Sitting on the couch was the painting that I’d seen yesterday and that I’d been hoping to bid on! “That’s the painting I wanted to bid on!” I told my friend. She told me that was one of the paintings she’d won in the auction. “We have good taste,” I told her, smiling.

She said she’d give me this painting in exchange for Dad’s autograph on his painting. But I asked her how much she’d paid for the auctioned piece, and then gave her a check for $10 more than she’d bid. I was so excited to be re-united with that picture!

We didn’t find a chair for me to stand on, but my friend used the painting I’d just bought from her to nudge Dad’s painting closer to me until it dropped into my arms.

She was so pleased to use the one painting to get the other, and I was so pleased to have the painting I’d set my eyes on yesterday. What were the odds?! “Magic!” I told her, and she nodded her head in happy agreement.

Kelly Anderson Foss painting