American Heroes……


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

Yesterday, here in Jackson County, WV, the tragic deaths of two American Heroes was narrowly avoided.

Just after 4:30 am, a tractor trailer driver, bringing potatoes to hungry citizens, jack knifed on I-77.

This was followed immediately by another tractor trailer, carrying beans to the people, T-boning the first truck.

Both drivers suffered only minor injuries.

Hero?“, you may ask.  ” How are truck drivers heroes?”

I’ll tell ya–Congress is fighting over whether or not to invest in the infrastructure of this country.  Meanwhile, roads and bridges get worse every year.  In addition, the ultra-wealthy are paying less taxes and typical-income Americans are getting poorer and poorer.

No more Steak and Lobster for dinner.  Many Americans are made to live on simple staples like potatoes and beans.

And, as the roads get worse, it is the unsung heroes, working long hours, under grueling conditions, paying exorbitant prices for fuel to fatten the coffers of oil and gas companies, bringing us our potatoes and beans, that allow Americans to eat.

How can anyone question the heroism of our truck drivers?  Better yet, how can anyone question the heroic nature of all working class Americans, working or looking for work, that keep this country going, for the wealthy and poor alike. 

LaVerna and Tom Vickers

 

 

 

‘Bama Bound-Feast of the East…


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

We’re headed to Cheaha State Park near Delta, Alabama this weekend for the Native American “Feast of the South”. This is a feast to celebrate women drummers. This is the last of a series of “Feasts” held in the cardinal compass points. They have been held in California, New England, West Virginia, Alabama and other locations.

Like all cultures, there has been a bit of resistance to women drumming. For the uninitiated, Native Drummers don’t just drum, they sing. And, its no easy task to learn traditional Native songs in a bazillion different indigenous languages, apply the harmonies and keep the drum’s heartbeat singing. It takes great heart and skill to accomplish this.

In point of fact, in many Pre-Columbian Native cultures, it was common for women to “drum” the hunters or warriors back into camp. The early Indians learned, after the Europeans arrived, that this invited an invasion to the camp filled only with elders, women and children. We welcome the return of women to their traditional place at the drum.

So, if you’re anywhere near Cheaha State Park this weekend, please treat yourself and stop by.

Tom and LaVerna Vickers 

 

Of Good and Evil…


Hello Gentle Readers,

We are said to be truly doing good when we do not notice we are doing so. When we forget about ourselves, and live for the interests of others. Is this so? I’m not sure. The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of animals, asks us to, “To love rather than be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds”. I’m not sure I totally buy this concept though, perhaps I’m just not as spiritually aware as I could be. I tend to believe that the reward for doing good is the positive emotion I feel when I do so. Almost a “Pavlov’s dog” reaction, if you like. Nevertheless, I believe that doing for others, regardless of the motive, makes for a better life and a better world.

Often I’ve heard people ask, “why is there evil in the world?” Is evil an entity unto itself? Is there such a thing as “pure evil”? I don’t know. Perhaps evil comes within us. I know that many believe that evil exists outside of human thought and behavior; such as Satan, the boogeymen and a host of supposedly bad entities. Maybe they’re right. I happen to think, for the most part, that evil exists in the human heart. It, like goodness, is probably a choice we make.

People often, when angry, depressed or irritated, revel in their state. It reminds me of a person sitting on a horse galloping down a steep hill; instead of trying to stop the horse, he lets go the reins and whips the horse to make it go faster. When evil gets on a roll, it grows. The inverse is also true. When “good” gets momentum it accelerates.

In any event, I can only live in this very moment. Time, outside of this instant, does not exist. In this very moment in which I’m living, I will choose “good”! How about you?

Tom and LaVerna Vickers

Got Milk?…


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

Well, with Time Magazine showing a teenager breastfeeding (OK, not a teenager), I guess lactation is fair game for a blog.

As this little nipper shows, even Smithsonian statues aren’t immune from this most natural urge. The 3-year old shown breastfeeding on the cover of Time may not feel at home doing so in America, but it is not uncommon at all in the emerging nations. In some of the poorer nations, this is a sure source of food and may well secure their survival.

Tom and LaVerna Vickers 

Labor Pains…


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

Yes folks, I just heard a marvelous rumor!  Jesus is coming to our neck of the woods really soon.  So is Muhammad, Kalki, the White Buffalo Calf Woman, The Buddha and all of them great Spiritual Leaders of ages past.

When exactly?  I’m not certain of the date and time, but I do know it must be awfully soon.

How do I know?

With all the Bad Gunky going on around the world– wars, phenomenal greed, hatred, bigotry, sexism, fanaticism and all the other yucky business going on, it must be the death throes of the old age of Dogma and Intolerance, and the birth of a New Age of Peace and Love.

New Age, you ask?

Look at the polarization of the “Old Power” folks and how hard they are fighting to keep the old ways alive.

Is this the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius?  It sure looks like it!  And boy, am I ready!

LaVerna and Tom Vickers

Pretty Please….


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

Two house cats were wandering in the woods. Patches was an ordinary feline. Nothing fancy, ordinary looking in appearance, but obviously a well-loved companion to her humans.

Guinivere’s appearance was straight from a piece of Egyptian artwork. Sleek, elegant, not overly thin, and having the grace and carriage that definitely makes heads turn, both feline and human.

Now, alongside the woods, some human, apparently having just cleaned out their cupboards, had left a small feast of tuna and canned salmon, for whatever four-legged may happen to come about.

The first cat to find the morsels walked up to them and began to indulge in the lovely find. Shortly, the second cat approached and, upon doing so, the first cat raised her head and began purring, twitched her tail with all sincerity and friendliness and attempted to rub noses with the second cat.

There was plenty of food for both, and the first cat was delighted to have company with which to share the feast.

The second cat bristled its fur, glared at the first cat, and hissed.

Now, does it come as a surprise that the first cat was, indeed, Guinivere?

Perhaps, pretty isn’t always only on the outside.

LaVerna and Tom Vickers

Beauty?…


HELLO GENTLE READERS,

Sometimes a question will lay on my mind for days or, even weeks. This used to frustrate me but, I have learned, over the years, to just let it be until the fullness of thought manifests itself. Either my thoughts will crystallize on their own or I’ll read, see or hear something to clarify them. Lately, that subject has been physical beauty. More specifically, pretty people. I tried to write my way towards clarity in the post, “The Eye of the Beholder“, but, still the thoughts persisted. I just finished reading a friend’s elegant blog, Pretty Please!, but, I’m still not at a point of resolution on the subject. My behavior is not completely consistent with my philosophy.

Webster defines beauty as “pleasing to the eye”. The ancient Greeks formalized the “golden mean”; an arithmetic formula of proportion still used to design buildings, automobiles and even interstate signs. Psychology has recently indicated that the Greek’s proportionality math also applies to the human form. The eyes spaced apart at such and such a ratio to the length of the nose, both in proper proportion to the width and breadth of the face and, so on. Similar ratios apply to the body as a whole. All well and good, but what is beauty? Is physical beauty a function of ratios? Perhaps.

Anthropologists tell us, correct or not, that we human beings are drawn toward “beautiful” members of the opposite sex because regularity of features indicates good health. That handsome men are seen to be more likely to sire healthy children and pretty women to bear them. By the way, the same motives seem to apply in the animal kingdom. Even chickens will choose a “pretty” partner when given a choice. Is physical beauty a matter of procreation. Perhaps.

Judy Collins, a singer popular years ago, was not a “drop-dead” beauty. Attractive enough, but, not a “fox”. I remember going to a concert of hers and thinking, she’s really quite average looking. Then she stepped up to the mike and the voice of an angel soared throughout the concert hall. All of a sudden, she was a butterfly!

Tom and LaVerna Vickers