Back from vacation… (2013)

I had the company of three congenial adults last week, as I took  my first out of town trip in two years. We went to Emerald Isle, North Carolina, one of our famous barrier islands.

Rather than the crashing tumult of the Atlantic, our cottage faced the Bogue Sound, a calmer body of water. This led to a tranquil mood among the four of us. My navy veteran father spent seeming hours behind his binoculars, examining sailboats, power boats, egrets, and seagulls.

The other three of us (two brothers and a female friend) also looked to varying degrees. We saved much of our energy for card-playing (Uno and Skip-Bo) and watching DVD’s For the latter, the connection of our TV, the cable system, and the DVD was so complex and so poorly mapped we had to call maintenance to explain it to us.

Really, the best entertainment was the cards. Dad likes to dramatize his shifting fortunes with extravagant gestures and proclamations. He also gave us two impromptu concerts of folk favorites on the guitar, achieving an impressive result despite his protestations of lack of practice.

More adventures of the family Bliss to follow…


A long time ago (2013)

A very long time ago the prophet Habakkuk said:

“Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble?

Destruction and violence are before me;

strife and contention arise.

So the law becomes slack and justice never prevails.

The wicked surround the righteous–

therefore judgment comes forth perverted.”

–Habakkuk 1:2-4

You don’t suppose he means us, do you?

We are we are (2013)

A few years ago while flipping TV channels I came across a rap song, “Youth of a Nation” by a group called P.O.D. It really grabbed me, mostly because of its guitar work, a stern, steely echo. I was intrigued by its refrain: “We are we are, the youth of a nation”.

At the time, I didn’t seek out the song. Busy with other online things, I guess. But it crossed my memory again yesterday and I looked it up on YouTube.

Wow. This time I listened to all the lyrics. This time it was quite an emotional experience, as I listened to vignettes of urban tragedy. The lead verse assumes the character of a young man killed in a drive-by. “Instead of taking the test, I took two in the chest.”

Later lyrics described the plight of a young girl who made wrong choices about men, and a sky kid who commits suicide.

So many wasted young lives, in our gun-worshipping nation. So many children told they are no good unless they emulate promiscuity. So many youth who won’t find the good jobs their forebears had.

My childhood was no bed of roses, but I never had to worry about classmates with guns, or drug dealers in elementary schools.

Today the pundits are talking of the government shutdown. When will we talk about a joy shutdown of an entire generation?