Our skies were smoky due to fires out west, and the high haze had none of the beauty of high clouds. There were no high sky rainbows, no sun-dogs or halos. It was just a gray smudge that robbed sunlight of its vividness. I found it depressing. It seemed symbolic of the political gloom robbing our nation of its beauty.
What is beautiful about the United States? I think it is that we are all equal; a poor man has the same single vote as a billionaire, in theory at least. In theory we respect differing views, which involves the quality of our character and not the color of our skin. We love our neighbors and even our enemies, which allows conservatives and liberals to co-exist, and supreme court justices as opposed as Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to develop deep friendships. This can only occur when there is a sense that we are all looking at a single Truth, albeit from differing angles. We are one people and one nation “indivisible”. United we stand; divided we fall.
What seems so gloomy about the current political situation in the United States is that we are seemingly being successfully divided by those who dislike our foundational ideas, (basically an utopian hypothesis), as laid out by our Founding Fathers. This attack utilizes the ancient concept of “divide and conquer” seen as far back as the Assyrian conquest of Babylonia, and verbalized by Julius Caesar, and codified in its most insidious form in the writings of Karl Marx. In essence our ideals, based on unity, are facing ideals based on division.
One thing I have noticed among the “politically correct” is that they have a hard time hearing differences of opinion. They like to use the word “polarizing”, as if you are attacking unity by simply pointing out things look differently from a different angle. In effect they at times use a mere slight as “grounds for divorce.” One needs to walk on eggs when bringing up even the slightest disagreement, and at some point one starts to wonder who is the divisive one. Is it the one supplying the “grounds for divorce”, or is it the one ignoring the marriage vow to stick together “for better or worse”? Such wondering results in confusion and skies of gray. We are confronted by a divided reality that challenges our pledge to be “Indivisible.” When faced with the discouraging frailty of humanity, I try to look above the gray sky and to turn to the only One worthy of trust.
You alone can cleanse our befouled heavens
For You alone are perfect purity.
No rot rots; no rust rusts; no yeast leavens;
No shade shades; nothing tops Infinity.
We roll snake eyes; You roll sevens, so we
Turn to You each time we make a great mess
Because You alone have eyes able to see
Our way out. To be honest, I confess
We make You the whole wide world’s janitor.
(Hell of a way to treat the Almighty!)
We are feeble; to make us be fitter
Perhaps You drill us, school us, make us see
We wouldn’t be losers, and might be winning
If we obeyed You from the beginning.
A rather cool coincidence occurred just after I wrote the above sonnet. A blast of clean Canadian air came south and swept the smoke from our skies.
To be honest, satellite imagery showed the entire west was still smoky, and the smoke in the east was only driven south to North Carolina. Also the air that came south was bitterly cold and held a killing frost weeks before we usually get one. The wind was a scouring wind, wiping out my vegetable garden. However, to continue being honest, I didn’t care about cucumbers as much as I was glad the sky was clean. Sometimes a scouring is worth it.
The fumes of Mordor are swept from high sky
By a great blast of Canadian chill,
Bringing the first cruel frost, but I won’t cry
Though tomatoes die and icy spears kill
My cantaloupes. I’m done with gardening
And tire of weeding. I need a long break
From everyone needing my pardoning.
Just what sort of harvest is it to ache
Every day, rolling pumpkins punks will smash?
What sort of gratitude is it to gain
Sisyphus’s heights? Thirty bits of cash
Is poor pay, but such slim harvests of grain
Is all punks get paid for betraying Christ.
Fresh breeze is better, as I see things sliced.