“Oh every night a baby dies,
And every night a mama cries,
What makes those men do what they do,
To make that person black and blue,” ~ Chris Rea, lyrics from – Tell Me There’s A Heaven
As I work through the editing process and accept, or reject, my editor’s recommendations for my forthcoming novel, 5th&Hope, I typically take a break and run my angst off on a treadmill.
If you have ever been to Houston on a summer day, you’ll realize I run indoors because outside you’ll have a vague notion how hot hell might be, because the Texas heat seems hotter than the surface of the sun. Or at least my perception of how hot the sun is, or was, as sunlight is about 8 minutes old, and the corresponding heat is actually much older.
I don’t want to find out how hot hell is, but make no mistake, I do believe there is an evil in this world, and if there is evil, it has to come from hell, not the sun. So the responsible party must be the Devil. But if there is the Devil, an entity I don’t want to tangle with, there must be the polar opposite, a good, a pure love, and therefore, there must be a God in heaven.
Even today in mid-October, it’s near 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside, but a raging fire burns in my heart. Simply stated, I’m disgusted, and I am tired of being manipulated. I suspect there are millions of other Americans that feel the same way I feel, right now. I’ll come back to this… and then those pictures I shared will make sense.
The treadmills quietly wait for me at an air-conditioned workout facility, where they have been set in front of a long line of wide-screen televisions bolted to the steel ceiling joists. I run anonymously with a panalapy of other like minded humans with the hope to extend our days with the most valuable thing on the earth that cannot be purchased, our good health. I am thankful to have been, for the most part, genetically lucky.
There are a few things that I have learned to love, and running, or plodding to more accurate, is one ritual that allows me to maintain my physical fitness. But the exertion also opens windows within my mind that clarify, that hone, that reflect, and that cause me to think deeply. I guess it’s my way of singing in the shower and having an ‘Aha!!’
Those aha thoughts emerge that silently, patiently float within my subconscious that wait for me to hear, and those thoughts are followed by the words I write, born from God’s whispered recommendation for me to see and to feel the truth.
If there is one common thread through my novels, all my characters have been emotionally harmed. I think every person at some level has been emotionally scarred, so in a way, I simply write about how I feel, and how I wonder how other people feel.
After all, if you don’t have the courage to feel the truth, you’re already dead. And yes, sometimes the truth hurts.
As I’ve grown older, I pray I have become a wiser person, a kinder person, a tolerant person, and a respectful person of another human beings point of view. It’s a skill I’ve had to learn, and I work at it daily.
I have a very simple goal with all my stories, that after I’ve reached room temperature, then my carbon based carcass has been placed in temporary cold storage, and later burned to ashes, that the words I wrote while alive might help someone realize they are not alone, that they are unique, special and loved. And most of all, that the love they feel comes from the inside first, and then it should be shared with the outside.
Unfortunately, as I run on the treadmill of my choice, I see the television screens with images that don’t share news, but images that encourage hate, division, and the worst elements from humanity. I thinks its purposeful, I think it is intended for profit, and William Randolph Hearst must be grinning ear to ear in his grave, after all, he invented the term, “yellow journalism”.
Fortunately, I grew up when a man named, Walter Cronkite. He shared the news every weekday evening. He had such class, and journalistic integrity that his viewers had no idea which direction his political leanings.
If Mr. Cronkite told us something was wrong, we knew without question, he was telling us the truth.
I don’t see any Walter Cronkite’s on the television these days.
If you take a hard look at the picture of that chair, you’ll notice it’s also in the picture of a painting by Howard Chandler Christy depicting the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Independence Hall. The chair is called, The Rising Sun Chair, because as the story goes, Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I… know that it is a rising…sun.”
That chair is the only original piece of furniture in Independence Hall.
Many years ago, I stood staring at that chair realizing what that chair represented, what it witnessed, and the person that sat on that chair, President George Washington. For some odd reason, I cried. My wife was so moved, a few years later, she had an exact copy made of the chair that she gave me for my birthday.
I never sit on the chair.
I don’t see any George Washington’s running for public office these days.
In closing, I’ll let President Washington make my point. I’ll trust Wikisource for the below quote, it comes from President Washington’s farewell address. He was reflecting on a two-party system.
22 “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
23 Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
24 It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
I made my point.
I will get off my soap box.