Monday, December 9, 2019

taking a step back

Watching CPAN 3 last night, I could feel a sigh of relief ... I wasn't quite as nuts as I had thought I might be.

Elizabeth Holtzman
There was Eizabeth Holtzman, one-time pepper pot of the 1970's, remembering the impeachment of Richard Nixon (against today's backdrop of a firestorm of impeachment talk swirling
around Donald Trump today).

Listening, I realized how much more courteous and well-argued times were in Holtzman's era. It was important that the country might be injured: Democrats and Republicans all agreed on that. No one was above the law -- Republicans and Democrats agreed on that. It was important to think and to tell the truth ... and however rancorous, no one made a fetish out of stupidity and harming the nation.

The country was important.

That, and it was not up for sale.

Elizabeth Holtzman helped me to breathe easier. No wonder I felt so out-of-joint. Nowadays, everything is thrown away, indecorous, and rude. The law is ... oh well, it's a witch hunt and the country is a Tinker Toy for toddlers. Still, Nixon's was my era ... no wonder I felt weird and confused when the media dove into bed with a man whose most notable accoutrement is his wind-blown wig.

As if to drive some passage-of-time nail home, the Associated Press saw fit this morning to mark the death of René Auberjonois, a character actor with
René Auberjonois
whom I used to play as a kid. Swords and cap pistols and movies in which lusty, male background singing was par for the course. Rene died on Gautama's enlightenment day (some say): Dec. 8. As kids, we imagined we too might be as lusty and manful and sword-swinging. And, of course, sing about it.

Slow it down. Iron it out. Talk about the past because, enfin, it is the past and as such, is apparently confined and ready for shipment into the present.

My teacher's teacher, Soen Nakagawa Roshi once commented, "There is birth and there is death. In between is enlightenment."

Somehow things were and remain more fitting.

Feels like an ahhhhhhh, somehow.

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