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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Uvalde's Mirror

And so the finger-pointing goes on.

Too many guns!
Not enough armed teachers!
Red flags ignored!
Slow response!

I won't debate any of the above, here, rhetorically, or in comments.

First, I'm not qualified, and second, like Melville's Bartleby, I would prefer not to.

I will say this, that no-one is talking about the root cause of the problem... alienation, and a carefully nurtured cult of individualism, and non-belonging, watered with angst and fertilized with anger.

Was it Benjamin Franklin who said that we've got to hang together, or we'll surely hang separately?

I think he would have found wry irony in our fashioning our own noose.

For further reading, I'd like to suggest Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone , which looks at the deterioration of the American social fabric through the lens of decreasing participation in bowling leagues. First published in book form in 2000, before the almost complete fracturing of community by the Internet, it's all the more relevant today.

Barb added her thoughts, that there is really very little disciplining of children in these years; a spanking is considered by the government to be tantamount to child abuse, and I have heard tell of kids going unpunished after physically assaulting teachers.

We've got troubles; it's up to us, and not our elected officials, to solve them.

Oh, right. The sonnet.

Our nation's fabric has been rent
way past social distance,
for we've gone where we always went,
the path of least resistance.
Once we had bowling and bridge,
a BBQ for all the block,
but now it's Netflix and the fridge;
front door's got a double lock.
We might wave to our neighbours,
but have we heard their heart's?
We claim to have a Saviour,
but still we keep apart
from His edict; we resist,
"Two or more, I'm in your midst."

The only music I can think of for this is Ed Ames' Who Will Answer?

Please give it a listen. It's really a song for our time, and he's got a lovely voice.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is HEAL.

You can't heal by making rules,
you can't heal in public speeches.
Better to be rum-soaked fools
lolling on Caribbean beaches.
You can't heal by written word,
or by heartfelt YouTube talk.
You can't heal with sharpened sword,
but only if you walk the walk
and use your life as an instruction
of danger we won't face, but see
of convenience as destruction
of what should be community,
so put aside the screen and start
a healing with in-person heart.

Sylvia approves this, and...she sez: "Be doggy, be part of a pack, but I'm NOT sharing my ice cream!"



  1. Alienation coupled with anger is an interesting insight to ponder, Andrew. Ed Ames' Who Will Answer? was an interesting 'look and listen' from the 1960's.

    1. Lisa, thank you for this. The disaster...and I have no milder word... that's overtaking our country does not have a simple solution.

      I know a bit about very advanced mathematics, and can confidently say that complex and multivariable (or multifaceted) solutions are not only the norm, but the ones which produce a valid and rigorous solution.

    2. I'm not sure why I'm sharing this, Andrew, but here are three great books on Forgiveness. The first two have audiobooks if you prefer to listen while resting, the third is a short kindle book. Forgiven – The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace. By Terri Roberts and Jeanette Windle. Narrated by Pamela Klein. Total Forgiveness – When Everything in you wants to Hold a Grudge, Point a Finger and Remember the Pain, God wants you to lay it Aside. Written and narrated by R.T. Kendall. Finding Forgiveness! Written by Ken Dornhecker.

  2. Yes, i agree, ailienation, isolation and lack of community structure play a big part in not nurturing troubled people.
    But sin! It all boils down to sin, individual and corporate.

  3. I bowled in a league for years until ... sadly, the alleys all closed. There was no greater fun than my weekly group. Like you, I do not have a solution, and I can't argue about it. And so all I can do is pray for the Lord to protect our children, teachers, and schools. I pray for the Lord to give our leaders wisdom to make the right decisions for us all.

    1. Joanne, I miss league play, too. It was always something to which I looked forward.

      And prayers are absolutely vital.

    2. Truer words have not been written with either of your sonnets.

    3. Duane, thank you for this.

  4. I agree, so many causes and contributors to the tragedies, but the root is sin. And the starting place to find any solutions and healing must be in prayer. We never bowled in a league, but it's always been a fun family activity. Used to be almost every week, then every month, now every once in awhile and we wonder why we don't go more often.
    Visiting from FMF#35

    1. Kym, you're so right. Prayers are the answer here.

  5. As a teacher 's wife, these tragedies and the aftermath conversations hit very close to home...

  6. Excellent thoughts, Andrew-so much alienation and very little true, human contact. A host of sadness with no where to go, bursts forth in anger and hatred. So many long to be known, heard; only to make statements such as we've seen.

    1. Donna, yes...so much hatred with nowhere to go, and so much sadness that needs to be offered to God.

  7. sometimes all we can do is weep with those who weep ...

    1. Linda, so true, and we must weep with them.