Category Archives: Quotes


“It’s morning in America again.”
— Ronald Reagan

I shot all the photos in this post when I woke up on this beautiful fall morning with the New Mexico sunshine streaming in my living room. That hopeful light matched my mood.

I will have more to say about the election after the votes are all counted, but for the moment, it appears our Constitution has weathered yet another challenge. Our government is an operating system with fatal errors written into its .exe file, despite the best efforts of the coders to prevent them. The hard drive has crashed twice — once in 1861 and once in 1929 — and nearly crashed several times since (Vietnam, Watergate, the Clinton scandal, and two elections in which the candidate who came in second was declared the winner under the Electoral College). The Fourth Estate has come under attack by people who would rather not have the public know what they’re up to. The basis of government itself — the counting of votes — is under attack right now. And yet, against all odds, the system prevails.

It’s morning in America again.


If Joe Biden prevails — which seems likely at the moment — I will be celebrating something I’ve wanted since 1984. 

We still have, in the immortal words of the late Helen Reddy, “a long, long way to go.”

But today, I have hope.

It’s morning in America again.


I’d almost forgotten how that felt. 


P.S.: If you share my feelings, please be nice to those who don’t. You know how it feels to have a close race fall apart at the seams and leave you wondering whether the hopes and dreams you’d pinned on your candidate were just air castles, destined to blow away on the winds of politics. After 20 years of division and acrimony, we have had three days of collective uncertainty that ought to endow us with a little more empathy. This is a unique opportunity for us to unite around a shared experience. Don’t squander it by being smug. Celebrate with like-minded friends. Gloat all you want behind closed doors. But be gracious to your acquaintances who don’t share your views and are feeling lost and scared right now. You know how they feel, and the Golden Rule is still better policy than anything any politician ever dreamed up.

Out of the mouths of babes

When I was a teenager, my friends and I spent many summers helping out with Vacation Bible School programs at each other’s churches.

I’ll never forget the year my friend Amy and I tried to teach a first-grade class to love their enemies.

“Do you know what you’re supposed to do with your enemies?” I asked our innocent young charges.

“Kick ’em in the balls?” suggested a little boy named Stephen.

I told Stephen that wasn’t a very nice word.

“Oh. Well, can I say, ‘Kick ’em in the crotch?'” he asked brightly.

While Amy literally crawled under the table to keep the kids from seeing her dissolve into paroxysms of laughter, I told Stephen that it was mean to kick people.

“Jesus says you’re supposed to love your enemies,” I explained.

Stephen — who obviously relished being the center of attention — wasn’t particularly interested in what Jesus had to say on the subject, and he interrupted the lesson several more times to assure us that a kick to the crotch “hurts really bad,” but that “it doesn’t hurt girls.”

I thought of Stephen today as I was reading about Pastor Terry Jones of Florida, who is planning to hold a Koran-burning rally on Sept. 11 in the name of Christianity.

Jesus was very clear about how he expected his followers to treat others:

“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
Luke 6:31

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Matt. 22:39

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Matt. 5:44

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Like little Stephen, Pastor Jones seems to think it’s OK to kick people if you don’t like them. Like little Stephen, he seems to enjoy using shock value to win attention from his peers. And like little Stephen, he doesn’t seem terribly concerned about Jesus’ opinion on the subject.

Little Stephen eventually grew up. Perhaps Pastor Jones should do the same.


Doing nothing

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, nothing’ and then you go and do it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
— A.A. Milne

I have a very important plan for the rest of this evening. I’m going to do Nothing. I have a whole stack of Something that I ought to be doing, but it’s been a long week, and I’m just not in the mood to do Anything … so instead, I’m going to do Nothing, and then in the morning, I’ll get up and have breakfast at Ollie’s, and maybe after that I’ll do Something. But just now, Nothing seems like a very good thing to do.