Inside a Storm (Original Post Sept 1, 2011)
In 1988 hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica with devastating consequences. It was estimated that 45 people died in that storm. I had visited Jamaica the year before the storm and the year after to see my father. The year before on my visit, I had noted that Jamaica smelled different.
One of the delights I looked forward to upon leaving the plane was the grand smell of pimento, coffee and ginger, blending together to make that distinctive Jamaican smell. That pervading aroma of spices was missing in 1987. Instead there was a great wafting of refuge and a rotting stench I had not experienced before. In the fall of 1988 the grand aroma was back. It warmed not only my sense of smell, but put a smile on my face. It reminded of ‘Jamaica Land We Love’.
This small tale is told to mark the importance of storms. They are psychic forces that cleanse the land and renew the spirits of all those who are in there wake. When we are angry and vengeful these motions produce a churning within the atmosphere that express as storms. Our psychic garbage harms the changing earth. The scaring has to be released somehow. The results are storms of one form or another. The gifts from these storms, of which there are many, is to clear the air and allow us to start over. In other words storms grant to humanity the gift of forgiveness. Because we ‘suffer’ when a storm hits, we come together to help one another and regroup.
The recent storm which raced up the eastern portion of the United States cleared out much of the hateful pollution from the recent battles about money. There was a fog over that portion of the country as the vengeful words and thoughts we centered mostly in that region. The storm has granted us a new grace. Let us start over with compassion and love for ourselves, our family, our neighbors and our country. It is not too late.
For the First Time (Original Post Sept 1, 2011)
There has been many firsts since President Obama took office. The first most obvious one is he is the first American of African descent to hold that esteemed office. Some of the first however, is noteworthy but do not redound to high praise for the president or the honor of his opposition.
· For the first time a sitting president was shouted down at a State of the Union address. The offender was a sitting member of congress who did not offer an apology for such rude and antisocial behavior.
· For the first time a sitting Supreme Court judge thought it wise to mouthed his disapproval at that same address.
· For the first time in its history, the United States Postal Service may default because congress is attempting to force the workers to allow their pension to be grouped in with pensions that not are as solvent.
· For the first time in history, a Speaker of the House of Representative refused to allow the president to speak to the nation form the ‘people’s house’.
What is causing all these first time disrespect toward the president and the Presidency? It is by accident that the offending actions were taken by white men. They are comfortable with a white president. There have none other since the founding of the country. The latent racism brewing under the surface of American life can not contain itself. It bubbles up as the rudest behavior toward a president ever.
Now I have some words for those who think the people made a mistake when they elected Barack H. Obama president. They choose correctly for the first time in a decade. The selected the most intelligent and thoughtful person running for the office that year. He is our president. No amount of hate can change that. All the finagling and outright disrespect they can muster will not make any of them as worthy of that high office as he is. His display of dignity and grace under the barrage of all of uncivil actions taken against him makes him one of the finest men ever to occupy that office. For this we thank him. He is showing such that light every should child should want to be ‘just like him’.
So stop it! Stop all the insult and slights. He is not going away; and I am convinced that the people in their wisdom will re-elect this grand and gracious person to a second term giving him the opportunity to help heal the country.
The President's Smile (Original Post September 4, 2012)
He owns a sudden smile and never ever uses it inappropriately. The way he smiles always seems to surprise even when it appeared at the end of one of his jokes. He tells a small and sometimes corny joke, waits for his audience to chuckle, then unveils that wondrous smile, more gum than teeth. Slightly tossing back his head he smiles, showing how truly human he is.
This smile, this pleasure in his own humanity, draws us in and warms us with the love he holds for all of us we who watch that smile respond with our unalloyed enthusiasm, feeling his warmth cradling our hearts, giving us hope. If it were another, sharing a smile with us, we would return the smile and move on awaiting the next line. But we do not do so when basking in the radiance of his smile. We hold tightly to the moment when his smile appeared and warmed us, not wanting to release the moment or the warmth to the everyday.
He moves through tough issues that are often hard to hear by interspersing his with his brilliant smile. Even the stern look he employs when telling some difficult truth is mitigated by the sheer joy of his smile. That look is also notable in that it is a gesture all his own. When he is at his sternest, he rolls his pupils to the right or left corner of his eyes and taps his well-manicured forefinger in the same direction, then crosses his hands at the wrist. Seemingly to be completely at ease and relaxed. This gesture completely disarms the awesome sternness of his words and the look; releasing the tension without letting the listener to forget the total importance of his words.
Those who claim to be expert on speeches or those who deliver them, speak of his brilliance as an orator. The often wax long and breathy about his charisma. For me though, the smile is the engaging factor. Because for me, all else pales in the grandeur of the charm of that smile.