Persephone Abbott (photo

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Where is the Benefit?

Posted on August 8, 2019

“Crisis.” The editor, pick any American editor on any news program or paper, wrote about the current political situation, meaning the rallies, the shootings, the hatred. Here’s the thing:  When has it been different these past 20 years?  America has been waking up to the reports of mass shootings minimally once a year, and long before the current president. It just seems to me that the lullaby of “we are getting better, reaching a less racist and violent state of national identity” sung during 2012 (Sandy Hook) 2013 (Washington Navy Yard) 2014 (Isla Vista) etc. has been turned off, and the bloody truth that racism and hatred has never gone away is becoming more obvious because of, and despite, reporting. That the flames of violence and…

Low-lying Shrubbery

Posted on August 2, 2019

I went to a garden center, one long tram ride to a rather dilapidated part of Amsterdam, a short walk past some people who looked a bit like they might have encountered substance problems recently and I was glad it was just a few minutes past 3 p.m.  I was also happy when lugging two bags of low lying shrub like plants, walking along an empty path next to a small canal, that it was 4 pm and not 10 pm.   Waiting at the tram stop – one stop away from the terminus to head back into town, I looked around at the nearby shops, those low ceiling-ed buildings from the 1960’s, with flat front horizons. I thought:  I should come out here one…