“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” –David Lloyd George
“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.” –C. P. Snow
“A man of courage never needs weapons … but he may need bail.” –Lewis Mumford
“Even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.” –Aung San Suu Kyi
I’ve been thinking lately. [Okay, I heard you smart-asses say “about damn time” under your breath, — so cut me some slack … it could happen! Theoretically, at least.]
What’s on my mind? It’s funny, when Facebook asks that question, my brain goes blank … and I hate to volunteer a thing to those blood-sucking bastards anyway. But this is different, I hope. There may even be real live human beings reading it! If I don’t piss them off first. Well … I’ll try.
Leap Day is almost here. Way back whenever, I was in school with kids born on February 29, which seemed really cool, unless they only got presents and parties once every four years. These days, that sounds like the best part of being a leap child. I also know a couple who will celebrate their “15th” anniversary tomorrow. Hallmark says watches are the proper modern gift for this … but why bother, they have cell phones.
Tacking an extra day onto the calendar every fourth year just to keep things tidy seems kind of odd, really. Can’t we simply invent one that needs no such cumbersom corrections? Certainly we could. But then how would we deal with a fractional day, or with getting out of synch with day and night? So far, leap year is a reasonable way to reconcile our conflicting needs for timekeeping accuracy with human convenience. I wish we’d hurry up and find some comparable means of resolving our antithetical drives for freedom and security. Preferrably without needing popes or emperors to impose solutions on us all. Those guys always seem to have their own agendas, so we’d better work something out for ourselves. The sooner the better!
[‘Jump’ – Van Halen]
And spring is also on the doorstep, if you can say we’ve even had a winter here in Ohio this year … I’m not sure the damn grass ever stopped growing. Which reminds me … I still need to find a better ground cover for my mother’s steep front bank. It’s already well-covered, but to Mom it’s all weeds. Maybe “god-damned weeds”, when she thinks I can’t hear her say it. I like English ivy, but Mom doesn’t, and she hates creeping phlox. I think she’s afraid snakes will hide in it, and ambush her while she’s retrieving her newspaper. Pachysandra perhaps? What’s the nurserymen’s adage? … the first year pachysandra sleeps; the second year it creeps; and the third year it leaps!
I’m not so sure Mom will last three more years, though she’s proved to be pretty tough in many ways. Tougher than I am, I’m beginning to think. Facing death is one thing. I’m not much bothered by that idea. But facing pain, and dealing with increasing disability and dependence for an unknown length of time? That takes guts. And patience, something my mother and I are not much good at. Screw it — maybe I’ll just see if kudzu is hardy here.
Then again, maybe not — that shit can grow a foot a day! If no one’s made a kudzu horror movie, they’ve missed a winner. Now, try to sleep after this … try hard. Then tomorrow, go out and make the most of our bonus day … maybe by working toward that next giant leap for humankind!
[‘Leap Frog’ – Les Brown]
“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” –Rollo May
“One man with courage is a majority.” –Thomas Jefferson
“Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice.” –George Jackson
“Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” –Don Marquis