Endless Embers

You can blow out a candle, but you can’t blow out a fire

Once the flames begin to spread, the wind will blow it higher

P. Gabriel, “Biko”
Source: Globe Post/AFP

It seems there is an inferno everywhere at the moment. Flames are destroying land and property up and down the west coast, as it moves across hillsides and valleys. Blazes are also lighting up our cities and urban areas.

Our country is literally on fire.

We’re also in a period now when established science — both medical and physical — is second-guessed and scorned by those who find collective responsibility to be an annoyance.

That meteorological events can be directly linked to an over-heated earth; that medical specialists and local health departments, all recommend easy practices to help contain a further spread of the virus; yet much of this continues to be disparaged by a significant portion of the population. You watch your news, I’ll watch mine.

All the while, emotions remain red hot amongst us.

I continue to watch with disbelief as videos graphically show law enforcement either killing citizens using brutal tactics, or apprehending others while driving unmarked vehicles and wearing unidentifiable uniforms. I worry endlessly as First and Fourth Amendment guarantees are selectively administered under an over-reaching umbrella of “law and order.”

That Mr. Floyd cried out for his mother during the last moments of his life, as an officer’s knee squished far into his neck and severely inhibited his ability to breathe; can any reasonable being with caring emotions not be affected by witnessing such an act? Is it any wonder that citizens take to the streets in protest?

Northern California Coast 9/9/2020
Source: SF Chronicle/Brian Feulner

Throughout all of this, I am straining to find a moderating voice at the very top reaches of our government; someone who will acknowledge the toll that such extremism is taking. But all I hear in response is a bloated sense of self-justification: Mock the distancing and the masks, downplay the virus, rake the western forests, defend the young man donning a semi-automatic weapon in the streets of Kenosha, and by all means never drink that Kool-Aid.

All the while, those fires continue to rage around us.

There are 54 days till election day, and 113 days till New Years. Both can’t get here soon enough.

Until next time…

31 thoughts on “Endless Embers

  1. HI, Marty – I have no words for the horrors surrounding us all. I used to say, with confidence, ‘bring on November 2020’. Now that confidence is incredibly weary. The New Year and a new way can’t get here fast enough.
    Thank you for brilliantly articulating this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart goes out to my American friends, now more than ever. There is a virus infecting many world governments right now and it ain’t COVID. It’s Fascism 2.0. There are politicians in Canada using it as I write, to sow seeds of division and fear amongst my countrymen and I just HATE IT. This is not what my country is about, either.
    Praying for a return to reason and kindness for you all, come November.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. So well put, Deb. The rise of nationalism and fascist fervor is not just contained to one country or region. I think what troubles me is the total lack of decency and decorum at the moment. For the love of G-d, since when do we greet public health officials with hostility? I pray for a return to reason and civility too. Many thanks for sharing your very on-point thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your cri de cœur for your country and beyond is shared by so many. Much of what is apparently considered acceptable or at least forgivable behaviour by enabling politicians and a surprising proportion of the population is simply beyond the pale. The list of jaw-dropping actions (and lack thereof in some instances) grows by the day. All Americans who care about the future of their country need to get out and vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My fingers are crossed for a sane outcome on Nov. 3rd (or however long it will take to count all the votes). I am worried, though, about how the current administration (I can’t even say his name anymore) will react to a loss. Scary times.

    We are away from most of the fires (one is burning east of us, but we are safe) but my brother lives east of San Francisco and send pictures of the orange skies they are experiencing. I understand that there has been absolutely no response on a federal level from the a-hole (yes, I said that).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a permanent constitutional crisis, isn’t it? As you suggest, I’m afraid it’ll be that way until the very last moments, should things go our way later this year.

      Good to hear that you are currently away from any fires. I hope it stays that way. And, yes, since you are in a blue state, there will be no federal help coming your way. Sigh.


  5. You are right – American is on fire. I think we can all vote in a few weeks, but I’m not sure we’re going to see many changes that will allow us to be “…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I pray for all of us, and I dig in the soil to maintain my sanity. Thanks, Marty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a wonderful post Marty. I just don’t understand why people are so deaf, dumb and blind. Speaking of…I’ll show my ignorance. What exactly does this thing about “drinking the Kool-Aid mean?” I keep hearing it, but I have no idea what it’s about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laurel. You know, I try to make this blog an extension of my silly (juvenile!) personality. But the current times don’t always allow for that, and I can’t say that lately I’m much in the mood for smiling. Lest I always appear immune to what’s happening out there, I think I have a need occasionally to comment on it — for better or worse, I guess.

      Re: Kool Aid. It’s use in slang jargon refers back to the Jim Jones tragedy back in 1978 in Guyana. Jones was a charismatic cult leader who tragically led his followers to drink poison that was mixed with Kool Aid. Since then, it’s used as a rhetorical device that alludes to partaking in something negative or dissatisfactory. https://www.businessinsider.com/drinking-the-kool-aid-meaning-jonestown-massacre-2018-11

      My using the term here relates to Trump mocking an interviewer (Bob Woodward), who asked him if he doesn’t perhaps appreciate what underprivileged people have experienced as a result of his own privileged (i.e. rich) upbringing. Trump responded by mocking Woodward and saying, “Boy, you really drank from that Kool Aid, haven’t you?” So I guess the answer then is, no, he doesn’t really understand what underprivileged people experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG! I had no idea what that meant, but I did hear that exchange between Trump and Bob Woodward. You know, I never comment on politics. It’s so volatile and virtually impossible to debate ignorance I had one friend here…but after she said that she thought all Democrats needed to be hung, I um…..well, let’s just say she’s no longer my “friend.”
        I tried to forgive her question when I mentioned how sad it was when Stephen Hawking died. “Was he one of your neighbors?” Yep…that’s what she said. Oh well.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. As soon as I saw your title, Marty, my heart skipped a beat. I always remember the movie “Backdraft.” I learned a great deal about how fires have a life of their own.


    The other scary phrase “…disparaged by a significant portion of the population.”

    Tears. No words.


    Until next time…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Marty, I hope by now the fires are under control. I do wonder how much elections change the face of things (cynic uprising) as I’ve long been a believer that bureaucracies run out countries and by the time any well-intentioned pollie has a chance to save us we’ve grown tired of nothing having changed and voted for some other hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Linda. I really do get your drift here. A more eloquent way of expressing Pete Townsend’s, “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss” refrain. The past four years, however, have been inexplicably confounding. To quote a more precise refrain, “A change is going to come.” Our lives literally depend on it.


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