Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cutting my Shin: a Memory Comes Flooding Back

It was in the early 1980s - I was 10 or 11 years old. Our new house was under construction. Mom, Dad, my sister, and my friend, Joy D., went to check on the progress.

Joy and I were playing on the front porch. There was a piece of aluminum sheet metal nearby. I pretended to stumble over it -- except that I cut it too close, and really stumbled over it.

I looked down at my left shin. There was a 1.5 inch slice in my shin, and the taut skin had pulled open into a surprise-mouth shape. Blood streamed down my leg.

The next few minutes were a blur. I remember Mom rushing me to the doctor's office. She worked for Dr. Brooks and must have put in a quick call. I remember sitting in the front seat of the car, applying pressure to the wound. There was a towel.

Then I remember being in the doctor's office, crying and wailing, lying on my back on a cushioned patient table. Dr. Brooks began to quickly sew up the wound. Ms. Donna, a lovely, young nurse, came over to hold me, to keep me from squirming.
I was really squirming and crying.

Ms. Donna leaned over my upper body, almost in a hug. Her long, layered dark hair was soft and perfume-scented. The weight of her, her gentle words, her soft hair...they soothed me. The memory is as vivid as if it happened yesterday.

We should remember that there are key moments in a life, moments that have a lasting impact and are not forgotten. Ms. Donna's simple gesture of kindness and compassion meant the world to a terrified child in that moment.

I'll never forget it, for as long as I live.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Capitol Dome Tonight

I jogged around the Capitol grounds tonight. I passed others:

- A man with a tripod, intensely focused on a "blue light" sunset photo, with a female companion looking on, her arms crossed to ward off the spring chill;

- A young athlete, jogging, iPod strapped to his bicep;

- A woman in her 20s, passing by quickly, the words, "affirmative action," trailing behind her;

- A young man of 25ish in a suit strolled past, his swinging suitcase in one hand, an illuminated Blackberry in the other; and

- A white-haired, comb-over'ed man, in his 50s, in a tan trench coat, clinking house keys.

"Oh! It's so beautiful!" I heard, as the Capitol Dome glowed in a backdrop of soft yellow and clear blue.

The tourist-like exclamation, with voice full of wonder, was mine.

*Photo credit: Big Mike NYC

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saffron Spring

Daffodils in bloom,

DC blushes bright yellow;

Forsythia's next!

*Photo by tlindenbaum

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Politically Incorrect

Overheard, said by one Congressional staffer to another, while walking through Rayburn:

"Hmf. Smells like Tourists."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Letter from my Father

"I knew you when...

You blew puffballs.

I changed your diapers, ughh!
We walked in the deep

Woods and found lucky buckeyes.

Mom terrified you by

Telling you to sweat.

Bonnie bit you.

You finally put your head

Under water at the pool.

You won the beauty contest.

We prayed together every night.

You danced the Nutcracker

In your pink tutu.

You picked peas in the pea patch.

You played with beagle puppies...

I knew you when, and the dreams
Will never end as long as Love

Endures and the soul ascends.

I watched you grow up

And knew that you and I were

The dreamers in our family.

All of my dreams did not

Come true, but you are one

That did. As a father, I am
Proud of you and will always love

And cherish you, daughter of my dreams.

And if you live your life on

Earth, full of love and forgiveness,

We will dream together with Him,

According to God's promises.

Mom and I will always love you

Because you are a part of our
Hearts, our happy dream, our joy.

(1 Corinthians 13)

happy birthday,


Friday, March 13, 2009

Mid-March Snow

It is snowing at our nation's Capitol! I watch flakes float by outside my fifth-floor window in nearby vicinity.

The daffodils, crocuses, and pansies will be toughing it out. The sky is a bright glare, as the sun shines behind the cirrus clouds.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Emperor's New Clothes are Made from Clean Coal

- Energy derived from coal is terrible for the environment. The coal must be mined, which is bad for the miners who must obtain it and often is strip mined.  Burning it emits more greenhouse gases than any other source, not to mention the soot in the air.  Greenhouse gases have led to global warming, which will be devastating within the next century.

- There is no such thing as "clean coal."

- The idea of long term storage of carbon dioxide in underground geological formatuons is absolutely ludicrous. Very "Emperor's New Clothes.". What happens if there is an earthquake or meteor hit?

- Members of Congress with a lot of coal in their districts should avoid self-interests from trumping good science and energy policy.

- It is wrong to pollute the air, emit tons of greenhouse gases, and stip-mine the land because it is "good business."

The American people deserve so much better.



"Be bald and proud."

Unsolicited advice from a staffer, sitting in a committe lounge and looking at today's front cover of The Hill newspaper.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Song that Sums It

From "Train Wreck"
- Sarah McLachlan

Your love in all its finery
Tear up the darkness all around me
Until I can breathe again
Until I believe again

But your eyes like midnight fireflies
Light up the trenches where my heart lies
Until I can see again
Find my way back again

From your mouth, it's all that I wish
Mercy of your lips, just one kiss
Until I can breathe again
Until I can sing again

Cause I'm a train wreck
Waiting to happen
Waiting for someone to come pick me up off the tracks
A wild fire born of frustration
born of the one love that gets me so high

I've no fear at all
To fall so deep into you
Loose myself completely
In your sweet embrace
All my pain's erased

Saturday, March 7, 2009

32 Bus, East Side

Overheard cell phone conversation:

"So, is that a birthmark, or is it that... uh uh...that thang you told me about, that's spreadin'?"

The joys of adulthood.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Health care reform

"Everyone's at the table b/c no one wants to be on the menu."

- Michael Cannon of Cato Institute, regarding health care reform

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

To Reflect

I was just looking at some pictures from 2005. Contemplated on friends I had then, relatives I visited, houses I stayed in, places that were familiar and dear to me.

Things are so very different now. It just amazes me how much can happen in four years.

Relationships have developed and waned. Weight has been lost and gained. Hobbies have come and gone. Jobs have changed. Loves have been found and lost. Some folks are engaged – or with significant others who weren’t in the picture back then. Others have had their hearts broken, picked up the pieces, and learned lessons. Or not.

Change. It’s the only thing that we can count on.