Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Safety and Risk!

I drove by the Middle School today and on the sign is this:

Thank you, Mill Valley. Have a great summer. Stay safe.

I wonder if this is why we're having so many problems in this country right now. "Stay safe."


Is safety what life is all about? Is that how we became a free nation and went to the moon?

Perhaps that is why we struggle with health care reform. Those who have it are fine. Those who don't probably don't have the energy to fight for it, and so we continue with a mantra of "Why change? Stay safe."

Jon Carroll has this to say about politics and the Democrats:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/12/DDB9196K45.DTL

And maybe this poem with its last line shows how complex this leaning from the humanness of duality into the spiritual unity of peace.



Quaker Meeting, The Sixties

by Robin Becker

Seeing my friend’s son in his broad-brimmed hat
and suspenders, I think of the Quakers
who lectured us on nonviolent social action
every week when I was a child. In the classrooms
we listened to those who would not take up arms,
who objected, who had accepted alternative
service in distant work camps and showed
slides of hospitals they helped to build.
On Wednesdays, in Meeting for Worship,
when someone rose to speak,
all the energy in the room
flew inside her mouth, empowering her to tell
what she had seen on her brief
encounter with the divine: sometimes, a parable,
a riddle, a kindness. The fall that we were seventeen,
we scuffed our loafers on the gravelly path
from the Meetinghouse, while maple and elm
leaves sailed around our shoulders
like tiny envelopes, our futures sealed inside.
Despite the war in Vietnam, I felt safer
than I ever would again. Perhaps
those aged, protective trees had cast a spell
on us, or maybe the nonviolent Quaker God
had set up a kingdom right there—
suburban Philadelphia. Looking back, I see how
good deeds and thoughts climbed with us to the attic
room for Latin, descended to the gym for sports,
where we hung from the praiseworthy scaffolds
of righteous behavior. We prepared to leave
for college, armed with the language of the American
Friends and the memories of Thanksgiving
dinners we’d cooked for the unfortunates:
borrowing our parents’ cars to drive
downtown to the drop-off point, racing back
to play our last field hockey match. Grim center forwards
shook hands before the whistle, the half-backs’
knee-pads strapped on tight; one varsity team vanquished another.


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