MLK DAY: Perspectives from a Happy Interlude?

Today there are some parades and some institutions celebrating a national day of service. I know that many people are happy to have the day off of work. I may not do much and I will not have the day off work entirely but I am starting a little slower today. But as I look at the world and the country today I am happier than I have been for a long time — for no other reason than because I am engaged to Clara and my life is better because of her.

Last year we in the United States of America had an opportunity to see the difference between Martin Luther King’s career and the other forces for racial justice and adjustment of ideas and institutions that have been employed in complex modern democracies. MLK worked in an environment and movement shaped by his commitment to nonviolent protest, Civil Disobedience and the combination of tolerating more violent elements of the cause and trying to project a kind of peaceful Christian Idealism to the whole movement and the larger society in which the society existed. We struggle with many challenges as I mark the coming of Martin Luther King (Jr.) Day in 2022. Martin Luther King Day is a day that comes fairly hard on the heels of Christmas and New Year celebrations. I am as I have been before in that I find the issues for which Martin Luther King struggled to be issues to that have a complicated place in the order of ever evolving history in this country. They are also historical issues and ideas that transcend the politics of race, region and rights under the US Constitution as they played out in the struggles in which Martin Luther King Junior actually participated. Despite the recent

Most of this blog was created and written during the Obama Administration. After the Trump Administration and the other factors coinciding with it Obama’s Vice President is now POTUS. So it might seem possible at least that more production on this blog may be coming forth. So I am now ready to discuss what my point of view is now compared to what it was when many parts of this blog were written.

I have never been one to attempt to delete very much from this blog or from much of any other source which is associated with me. As I face the future my expectations for my own wealth, impact and public stature do not much increase over any given period of time. So if it should happen that some readers would return to my blog or come along for the first time then you have a lot of material you can object to on any of a variety of grounds . With my childhood home in Tonga hit by a tsunami and one of the last Tuskegee airmen dying I am aware of what the difference is in my life because of Martin Luther King. The news I watch is not as qualified by color or race as it would have been. I am free to remember all the people and influences in my life regardless of their race in a way my grandparents could not.

We are coming off of the assault on on a synagogue by a single foreign national in which the rabbi and the congregants survived but there is a pattern of antisemitic violence which is seen to be on the rise and one cannot help but wonder if the winds blowing across the political landscape can even be measured or predicted very well these days. the Jewish community and communities in America struggle to live out their way of life in this time when there is a sense of the kinds of forces they have learned to mark as dangerous. Violence against symbols of religion, public life and governance as well as the people associated with each of those things is well established as part of the news cycle. It is not easy for me to think of anyone prominent in the public eye who is occupying the space in behavior of a Martin Luther King Junior in America or Ghandi abroad. In addition, it is the fact that the agenda of each group of terrorists, rioters, freedom fighters, patriots, slightly political thugs and rebels seems to be less coherent than the policies of the groups that they resemble that existed in the past. It is not that things are worse than ever but one wonders what will be the outcome as all these small violent struggles will play out.

The Year Still New 2022

I am looking out at the year 2022 from a new point of view this year. My life is in a place that seemed impossible to me not so long ago and for quite a few years before this. It is not as important to me as it has been to me in recent years to point out all that is wrong and troubling in the world. At the start of this year the the most important and different thing in my life is how much better everything objectively is for me since I have become involved with my my fiancee Clara.

However, life and any love life involving me always have precarious aspects. Aside from the relationship itself, the context of my personal life is not a paradise. Although my equipment and devices are aging and not being replaced with better things there is no real explanation for why my photographic and documentary archive gets less accessible and reliable online. No real explanation for why my newer and most recent phone cannot connect with my main Facebook account at all, why I generally lost access to my Yahoo account for months and/or why for more money every year my technological capacities get worse in almost every possible way. More and more the fact that the power system in my small town was shut down for several days while we were on vacation because unknown parties shut out key equipment with gunfire and the fact that key communications in my life were delayed an lost this year seems very significant as I try to navigate the future. I am still trying to get my car repaired from (hopefully) minor damage from a road hazard on a trip taken half a year ago and all the obstacles I have faced seem to betoken larger problems.

In the trouble of this past year since April 20,2021 when I first asked Clara out and on through all the days and events since she has brought me a lot of joy and happiness as well as a lot of hope and peace. Knowing that is possible, really does change my impressions of the world and my own country.

This year, 2022, I opened my online Social Security account for the first time and the set up and sign in went smoothly. Years ago I used to get the paper reports regularly but in recent years I have just not been involved with it at all. The news about what I have to hope for and deal with as things look now is pretty bad but (as I know from a few of my oldest friends who have lived lives somewhat like mine) it could be worse. Clara and I have been over this and my small and unusual pension from another source which will mature when I turn seventy. We have discussed the fact that I will probably not be able to donate plasma as frequently during those years and all the other reasons why things are likely to be tough. But I am grateful that she is willing to see the other side and although it isn’t much of a bright side compared to many it is something that we can look out at together and hope that we can be together. I do remember that many years ago Joseph Biden threatened to really cut Social Security, I know it is a financially troubled system and I know that life and society as far as I am concerned are always uncertain. It is brought home to me as Clara and I try to plan a life together both how blessed I am that she is even willing to try to make it with me and also how bleak a situation I have been in and may well remain in for the future.

In 2022 I am trying to keep my insurance license active and may soon be posting the name of a company offering to let me work part-time while I do other things. But I know there is a lot of water under the bridge from the days when I was the aspiring salesman with enough triumphs to make some claim at heading for the upper reaches of financial success. But I believe in insurance and hope to do some good and make some money in that field this year and then also to leave the door open to next year. As an insurance person, I cannot help but see the rages of climate change, pandemics, supply chain crises, uncertain geopolitics and the political violence in America throughout 2020 and the incident at the Capitol in early 2021 as joining together to form a new matrix of risk and peril. We are in an environment now where I am not the only one who has trouble breathing easily when they look down the road at the next fifteen to twenty years.

The Omicron Variant seems less deadly and dangerous among those it infects than the last few variants of COVID-19. It is also much more infectious and while it is writing a new chapter early in 2022 we do not know if it is the last chapter. The pandemic still shapes this new year.

My hometown paper is the Abbeville Meridional. I do not currently subscribe but I buy a lot of copies. It recently had a front page story “Abbeville, The Most Humid City in America”. Clara and I have in common, along with other things, that were ae not overly fond of humidity. I look at the shut down rice mill as I drive by it almost every day and the many empty buildings and I try to balance that with the new park facilities, the farmers markets, the improvements to some of the schools (public and private) and the purchase of the old Robie’s supermarket by the well respected local chain Champagne’s. I look at all these things and the host of races on the ballot in this small community in March and I try to guess what the future holds. I have left Abbeville many times before to live elsewhere indefinitely and I might again but Clara and I have been trying to map out our future here and it will always be my hometown. Clara has actually lived away more than I have. But she is a more successful person and has chosen to invest in a life here. I doubt that 2022 will determine or reveal all of Abbeville’s future but it is a year in which factors that will affect its future will continue to reveal themselves.

I am watching the world and the country this year. But I am just hoping to keep my life and relationship on track. Happy New Year still, Happy Carnival Season heading into Mardi Gras. May you find a way to prosper and may I be around with Clara and a more optimistic view to greet you next year — those are my 2022 thoughts.

Happy 79th Dad!

My father celebrates his 79th birthday today.

We have been blessed to have him in our family till now despite numerous serious assaults on his health for many of the years and seasons of the last two decades.

The years have been marked by many events and actions and communications and I have not the time resources or readership which allows for or makes it convenient to post much form that life.

The most I can do is to suggest in a handful of uncaptioned images a bit of shared family times with him. Lovingly, I celebrate those years and this day. I am grateful that Clara and I have traveled with Dad and Mom to several places and he has seen me engaged to the woman I love.

Happiness, Christmas and COVID-19

I tested negative for Covid again on Saturday. But Covid has impacted my life yet again and I am currently concerned about, praying for and trying to support a number of people in my family who are suffering from COVID. It does seem that the Omicron surge is less lethal and likely to lead to serious illness than some of the earlier variants. The almost never-ending surprises and vicissitudes of this pandemic do seem to wear away at any sense of a plan or a certainty about one’s ability to carry on.

I am grateful for a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. I am grateful for the chance to still be trying to navigate this ongoing crisis instead of having been entirely beaten down by it, It has been a good season but at the moment I am very much aware that everything remains wracked by the storm-like forces of the pandemic across our world and lives. I am not sure what the next chapter will be and so I will be possibly posting more for the few who still read this blog. But for now I will just say that I feel very much besieged by the new COVID surge. I also feel very blessed to be with Clara and to have had a wonderful Christmas season.

A Family Vacation

It is time to try to get back to work amid the Covid surge. Clara and I need to set a date. I am wondering what to do with a number of challenges. However, the holidays were good enough that I wish I still had a real readership on this blog to share them with — but God bless you tiny few whoever you are.

I am still very happy to be engaged to marry Clara. She joined us on a family vacation on my side of the family. we had some wonderful Christmas holiday time with both families before we left on the trip. There is a lot of joy in the memories not pictured and lots of pictures better or as good as these that were less accessible as I had a minute to post this. Life is much happier now and I still have many things that make this Christmas season very special. I hope that we can share many more together.

Engaged to Marry Clara

As of Friday December 10, 2021 I asked Clara to marry me and she said yes. I am very happy. We are enjoying being engaged and there is no date for the wedding yet.

Happy Holidays, Keeping it Real and Beautiful.

The Advent wreath pulled out of Clara’s boxes and one lit at church, that is the season and Thanksgiving is the recently passed day. But I am aware of people celebrating Hanukkah, I thought of shopping on Black Friday and know that this is Cyber Monday and Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. At Clara’s house and elsewhere Christmas decorations are out of storage and being examined if not yet put up. the whir of the holidays is upon us and although I feel anxiety as well as joy I feel very blessed to be in love.

Clara and I have had a nice and enjoyable Thanksgiving season but it has been hectic overall with a little rest woven in. Nut much shopping yet for me as I just said. I am focused on getting one particular gift this season to one particular person and if that happens then I will post the news here. Prayers and good wishes are welcome..

I not only hope for my own happiness but I hope all of you are having the best of the seasons. Not much time on Facebook as usual. Happy Hanukkah as well and to those who really do good for themselves and other in the frenzied shopping of these days and manage to keep the Christmas Spirit — best wishes on that as well. Clara made bread pudding and sauces and I did a turkey for my families partial gathering. My turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce joined the sweet potato pone, green bean casserole, pies, other turkey, ham and rice dressing we found at Mom’s nicely decorated home. After a nice visit we came and hosted a good part of her family at her house. There my contribution was mostly the same but she added sweet potato medallions, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, rice dressing, her bread pudding and sauces, salad and other treats. Although I worked Friday and Saturday this is my first day past the Thanksgiving Weekend.

The Next Phase of the Era

The building up of America’s infrastructure is one of the issues on which Donald Trump was elected President. I think that the United States is a wealthy country and a powerful one but its infrastructure is in fact in a good but of a crisis. One may disagree about how severe the crisis is but not deny that the infrastructure need investment. One of Donald Trump’s greatest failures was that he did not have the Congress of the United States pass a major bill funding and planning a great deal of of Federal infrastructure improvement. It appears that Joseph Biden has gotten an infrastructure deal amid the polls showing that 70 percent of Americans feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction. He has found a mix of Republican and Democrat votes in the United States Congress which have created a structure for funding ta better infrastructure during this off year of political defeats of his party that holds office in leadership and the majority of both Houses. I think that is a necessary and useful thing to improve the infrastructure..

I am quite aware that the government of the United States of America has just seen the passage by a majority which is bipartisan of the bill that is largely necessary for the future of the country. I am not sure how much else is not even considered, besides the many real defects that are being remedied by the bill as imagined. But while waterways, coastal erosion, ground water management and a thousand other concerns are barely addressed we still must hope fro the best from this bill and law and plan. I do hope that it will have some long term good effects.

Getting to The Next Stage of Survival

I have been told that I may have some good news forthcoming on a few fronts but I know that even if there are good things coming, I am not the person I once was much less who I once believed that I might be — so I am not only short on resources and opportunities. I am also someone who is deeply aware that my inner resources are less than they once were. I only want to see if I can create a meaningful remainder of my life. I do not want to to pretend it can now be what it could have been if life had turned out differently. This post comes into being in a very tight window of time punctuated over a period of busy and tiring days and weeks. The path of life is more torturous and the rewards are more limited than one would have hoped. I am aware of the lack of resources that I bring to all things, and when (after many years without a solid relationship of love) I look in the eyes of my girlfriend Clara I am aware of how much less I have to offer her than I might like. Nonetheless, I have done some good at work, pursued some long term goals, gotten a paycheck and had some quality time with the woman I love. My life is blessed and although I have little I am surrounded by signs of worse decline and erosion of value than that which affects me personally. My suffering and struggling in vain has been a large portion of my life and I can and do get fixated on the wasted energies some times. But there are fruits and joys I can remember as well, but when compared to the catastrophes that are visited on many who have had to divide their energies between unpopular duties and paying activities in an eroding massive center of the United States.

The Promise of Being Older

The degrees that I have earned are still mine. The publications I have published are often still extant somewhere if faded in significance. The journeys that I have traveled are not only remembered but many are recorded in various ways. I am still in my mother’s two books. I am a still divorced annulled, formerly married and have many relatives who will at least speak to me cordially most of the time. I have not the need to start life from scratch in order to fill out all the form and substance of a human life’s career. The years that remain occur without reference to a sense of not having done much. I feel uncompensated but not as though I have not lived so far.

I am aware of my limitations today. There is nothing much that I can be sure of compared to what one might wish at this point of my life’s journey. I have something to possibly say about the outcome and am hoping for a few things to go my way/ I realize that I have been blessed with the last few months I have shared with a woman I hope will be my companion and partner for the rest of my life. But I admit that we are just finding our way and not even an engagement ring binds us together in the journey so far. There is little security in my life.

News to come.

I hope to post more positive news in weeks to come.

The Ongoing and the Going On

So, this is one of those personal short posts that seeks to connect to the current situation in my life and the world. It has been a while since I did any real blogging or participated in the worldwide debates and discussions in which I was once a small participant. I have been blessed to have found a love in my life with a very special woman who was my classmate when we were in elementary school. We had not spent time together since the last year of middle school until we met again at the small initial planning and mourning funeral of the father of some mutual friends who were siblings. The son invited me and the daughter invited her. We are a few more than a few months into the relationship now. It is the best and most important thing in y life and she is the best and most important person. That is all as it should be.

Beyond that I am trying to make it, trying to do right and finding some satisfaction in some things I do and see. But there are no certainties and without the relationship that I have found the pain, misery and gloom would greatly outweigh any positive elements in my life’s tally. However, while I can be with her life is better than endurable.

I am just as much an unpublished novelist and a many times published writer as I ever was. I am just as interested in the future of space as I ever was. I am just as interested in Cajun history as I ever was. But life drawing to the years where almost everything I have done has been in vain. In the bleak decades remaining with no harvest for the years of clearing, tilling. sowing and weeding I have found someone who is able to give me joy and and share my life and enjoy the tiny rewards I am able to generate from the toxic wasteland in which I live my life. While I can I will focus on the joys and comforts of being with her.

Whether I will be blogging much in the future I am not sure. But I am still acknowledging this blog as part of who I am and have been.