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Wednesday, November 20, 2002

When one day runs into another as they tend to do lately, it's tempting to turn to outside subject matter. I could start deploring things again, I guess, like the way the U.S. government is operating. It's not that I think everything has already been said about that topic, just that I'm all out of new insights.

You know and I know that individual liberties are under attack, but we just had an election that proves most of the public wants it that way. Apparently we're willing to surrender our rights if it means we can be sure that the bad guys will be found and stopped before they can do any more damage.

So there's no use talking about that. The majority has decided that this is the way it's going to be. If you protest, you're marginalized. If you protest loudly enough, you're institutionalized. It's not out of fear that I have nothing to say about this situation, though. I still deplore, but I'm resigned to the fact that I can deplore till I'm blue in the face, and all I get is a blue face.

With short days and cold nights, it's a good time of year to withdraw. Between sleeping late and plowing through a day's work, there's hardly enough time to wring my hands over the state of the world. Since I've already proved that to be a useless exercise anyway, it's just as well. Let me just make a cup of cocoa and watch Spirit for the third time, or read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets again, or listen to Nickel Creek sing and play their punk bluegrass music.

It's a way out for me as an individual, rattling around a big house all by myself. Having the arts to turn to is a personal comfort, but it's also a good sign for the world as a whole. People are still being creative, even in the face of war and pestilence. The most depressed areas of society often produce some of the sweetest music. If they can hope, I guess I can't let myself sink into despair.

It's a fine line to walk, though, and we don't want to let the distractions turn into obsessions. It takes a clear head to hear about Michael Jackson's dangling baby and Madonna's missing purse and not think those are the most important things happening in the world these days. At least we have the relief of knowing we're probably not going to be bombarded by killer asteroids.


Trees and clouds across the fields to the east.

It was much too warm and sunny to spend the whole day indoors working, but that's what I did today. At least it was nice enough to have the door open beside me, so that I could gaze out at the jays and sparrows in the garden. And I did get out of the house twice, because as usual the time cards were late getting to me so I had to make an extra trip to the post office this afternoon to mail off the payroll checks.

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