The only term paper I was asked to write in high school was an assignment to write about a "historical figure you admire". I chose Martin Luther King, Jr. I had always felt a pull towards him because among my earliest memories were news reports of the civil rights movement. My parents taught me early on not to judge someone by their skin color.
And I was taught that my mere existence was a matter of controversy. My Dad is a white man. My Mother is a Hispanic woman. I heard the stories of the tough prejudice and discrimination my mother suffered at the hands of white people in the small farm town in Colorado where she grew up. And I knew that when my parents married in 1958 that not every one was happy with a "mixed marriage".
So Dr. King was a hero to me from early on.................and when he was assassinated in 1968, I remember the grief that this eight year old felt and saw reflected in the eyes of my parents.
So along with others today, I reflected on that historic day, 50 years ago, when the eyes of the nation and the world watched a young, black minister of the Gospel speak these words.
Much has been said, in recent years, about the failings of this man. Who knows what is and isn't true? And who among us could cast the first stone, no matter what his failings may have been. Instead I choose to listen to his words.
When I logged in to post this.................I found the following email from my Dad, and I don't think he'd mind my sharing it with you.
"1963: 50 years ago, you were having dreams of a 5 year old. I was 27 and
a dream by making trips to Cape Canaveral. But a "34" year old Black
was changing the face of America. He wasn't an athlete or a performer
but the World listened to a Christian Minister and freedom and liberty began to
move in a new direction with non-violence."
On Fridays, if I'm stuck in the office I try and make myself remember to listen to music most of the day, as a way to transition to a weekend. And for me (and I know I'm not alone) music can be a real attitude adjuster. Mostly always a good adjustment, though there is music that makes me want to run my head into a wall (e.g. electronic dance). I'm a fan of both LastFM and Pandora. There are good and bad about both. But it's usually LastFM in the office.........and of course you can spy on me in the right panel of this blog, and see what I've been listening to...............a confusing jumble of styles that could be construed as a timeline of my moods.....................Hint.............the mellower the music, the more stressful a day I've had.............a counter balance thing...............
I digress. Sometimes you hear a song a thousand times, and in this case, I've loved this one forever it seems......but last Friday it knocked me over, like I was hearing it for the first time.
Each of our furry friends have a unique personality, and I guess unless you're the owner of one of these magnificent creatures, you wouldn't know that. And I do believe they are magnificent creatures. I was thinking about that this morning before heading to the salt mine.
Because my girl, Bessy will lay perfectly still and stare at me, for as long as I can think of things to say to her. It's as if she's hanging on every word I say............transfixed. And it matters not what I say, only that the tone is right. Yes, I know, we project human emotions onto an animal. You bet I do. But when she looks at me like this........................
What is she thinking?
So one of Bessy's little quirks is her penchant for Outside Water. She has a full bowl of water inside next to her food dish. We keep it clean and full so she's never without. But open up the back door and her first stop is nearly always the banged up, plastic bowl with dirty, dusty, bug laced, Outside Water. She doesn't care if there's spent geranium flowers in it, or a few gnats, or even bits of mulch from the flower beds. She wants her Outside Water. I've watched her as she leaves my bedroom, trots down the hall, down the stairs, across the family room, where I hear her nails clicking as she crosses the floor, hear that creaky screen door open and shut. Then.......................lap, lap, lap. Yum. Outside Water.Then she comes back in and finds me.
If you go outside and the plastic bowl is empty, she looks at it, at you, and sits. I can haz Outside Water? I believe she's been caught drinking water out of the folds of the BBQ grill cover after a rainstorm.
Maybe her days as a stray gave her a taste for dirty water she found where she could. Maybe there's trace minerals she wants. Maybe she fondly remembers her life "on the lam", though I doubt it. Who knows?
A new series around here, because I have a catalog of photos I take because I can't help myself. I see some weird things in my 90 minutes of commuting a day. Because I seldom get on the highway, I have the time to really look at interesting things. So here's a shot I took last year, at an intersection. Sometimes it's tricky to be subtle when you take a pic, and in this case I certainly WANTED to be subtle. Know what I mean?