July 2008 Archives

To Dwell or Not to Dwell that is the Question…

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Wow, has it really come to this? Is the state of our economy at a place where single 30, 40, 50 even 60 year old male and female alike college degree bearing, solid career having, pension holding individuals are forced to take up co-habitation with other just as successful persons of no relation. No, I’m not talking about a spouse that you no longer like or some other type of significant other. What I’m speaking of, shall I dare say the words, or is there a way that I can say them without making the person labeled as such sound totally juvenile, or immature lacking some of the luster and validity that we all expected our adult lives to be.

How do you explain your life’s story in America if you’ve lived here in this country for 350 years, are white, straight, Protestant, and hard-working, and still remain pretty much working class? Back in the 1960’s, my pipe fitter father starting working on our family tree. Active anti-war leftist that I was back then, looking to the past seemed like a waste of time at best when there was a whole new future being born. Given how eccentric the old man was, I just added genealogy to his list of wacko topics.

Growing up in a small New England town in the 50’s and 60’s had its benefits for a rambunctious white kid like me. You could ride to the beach on your bike and get in for free, everyone’s favorite son. Walk to your elementary school two blocks away, worrying only about the chow dogs up the street who barked just a little too much. Early evenings at the local library, trying to read a book for social studies without staring at the strange white straps appearing beneath girls’ blouses. Horse chestnuts in the Fall, snow in the fort all winter, spring and summer breezes off the Thames River, beckoning, always beckoning to try, just once, to fly. Seemed like a good life to a twelve year-old.

Senator Obama’s comments about Black fathers got me thinking about my own father, a descendent of the Dutch West Indies traders of the 1600’s whose own father at the turn of the 20th century chose to homestead in Washington state over dreaded work in a New England mill. Entering the job market at the height of the Depression, Dad landed not with the engineering job he felt he deserved but as a pipefitter, a job he was embarrassed by all his life.

I remember, when I was a teenager, in my village, when there were problems or new rules for the village, my uncle whose name is SAMBA used to call all the elders to attend a meeting; we can call it "a get-together" in order to gather people to discuss problems, to find solutions or settle new rules. We used to gather for Open Space sitting on the dirt around a Baobab tree or else.

Open Space is attended very often in African rural areas and it is a good traditional useful way to solve most problems without having recourse to city authorities or governments.

Here is a picture to show what it looks like in Africa.
Fode Sanokho from Dakar


Barack Obama's Father's Day speech critiquing Black fathers for not taking up their family responsibilities got me to thinking about the fathers -- all of them white -- whom I knew growing up in a once-small New England town back in the '50's. My brother and sister and I grew up on a tree-lined street with grassy lawns in the back where kids played ball in the day and hide n'seek in the evenings. For someone driving by, it would have seemed just about perfect, rosy as a summer peach, a "Jack 'N Jill" cover come to life.

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus

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This was written after a very heated,5 day discussion over the all important life altering issue of - Sanding verses Buffing - The repair of the hard wood floors in my new apartment.
Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  A never ending battle of the sexes that seems to have been going on since the beginning of time, has this battle changed either party's way of thinking?  Has it eased up just a little bit?  Has one single solitary issue been solved? Nope, not at all!

A very close friend of mine (a wise women she is) said it best: "men see what they call the overall big picture, so to speak, as we women pay attention to the little details."  Wow! That small statement speaks volumes.  Just think of the last female VS male argument you were a part of (or not a part maybe jus t a spectator or a confidant for either party).  What was the true basis of that argument? BINGO! The solution or answer that he saw was cut & dry, plain & simple, right there in plain sight- in his eyes that is in black and white.  Meanwhile there was a little voice in your head screaming or maybe not so much in your head as it was out loud- YOU JUST DON'T GET IT! It's not that simple, how could you be so oblivious to the obvious?  Which takes us right back to my friends statement - "He just sees a picture while we pay close attention to the details."

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Archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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