September 16, 2014

America the Beautiful

October can be an uneasy time for me. Anniversary syndrome seems to be hitting me harder this year, the undertow of the past seeking to pull me deeper than usual into its grasp. Memories claw inside my head, crying to be let out. So I do what any American would do. I get in my car, crank up the Stones and hit the road ... because I'm in need of some restraint, so if you meet me have some courtesy. Clouds hurried along by the breeze, fields turning yellow under an autumnal sun, mountains rising up to kiss the sky.This is America the beautiful. This is a country that's all about breathing room, about second chances, about taking chances. It's what we are all about. Well, it's what we used to be about. Too often lately, the America I see and hear is fearful and timid, frozen up inside. When did we get so fearful that we have to arm ourselves to the teeth? What in the name of God are so many people so afraid of? When did our dreams become so crabbed and pinched that we can't share them with anyone else? When did we stop being risk-takers unafraid to lose everything and start embracing any politician who merely promises to let us keep the crumbs left behind by the rich? When did we forget about being a land of second chances, a land where stranger helps stranger, a land that embraces challenges not runs away from them? The land of Roosevelt and Kennedy and yes, Reagan? When did morning in America become the twilight of the Gods?

On the Road

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