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August 26th, 2003

hope in a time of hidden explosives

"I speak of a tragic optimism, that is, an optimism in the face of tragedy which at its best always allows for: (1) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment; (2) deriving from the guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life's transitoriness the incentive to take responsible action"--Viktor Frankl

When I was a boy, my family had "car driving songs". These songs, common to many families, were old traditionals meant to be sung with children. We implored Daisy to give her answer true, promising her instead of a bridal carriage a sweet ride on a bicycle built for two. A simple rowing expedition revealed that life was but a dream. We had banjos on our knees, amid curious contradictory weather patterns. I remember the news interrupted life in those days to tell us about assasinations. Two Kennedys and Martin Luther King were killed during the years before I reached twenty. Assassins were not politically correct, either--George Wallace and Larry Flynt each was seriously wounded by an assasin's bullet. Although a certain nostalgia exists for a quiet, peaceful time, this time has not existed in my lifetime.

looking up in a down eraCollapse )