Not Quite the Same

Almost every year when i resumed writing on a regular basis, every year tomorrow received a lot of my attention.

Gotta tell you, i’m not too much into it this year. i’m chastened. No, i feel handcuffed. Writing is hard in these times as i feel whatever i write some friend will take offense. Pious posturing? Perhaps. i don’t know and i will not question anyone’s motive or stance. But trying to write the right thing nowadays is one hell of a lot harder than it used to be.

Although my golf is still restricted, i did chip and putt at the Miramar Memorial Golf Course this morning. You remember Miramar, don’t  you? They filmed “Top Gun” there. The base is all Marine now. Top Gun is, or was, in Fallon, Nevada. i don’t know if they still have it.

My golfing buddies joined me for a beer after they finished their round, my retired military buddies, curmudgeons in the truest sense, a group of folks we’ve assembled over the years who call each other “asshole” and mean it as a complement. i don’t worry what i say to them. We will remain close friends.

When i got home, i sat down to write and found it just wasn’t there. i sort of struggled through the rest of the day, tried to read something pleasant and did read a bit before just giving it up. As Maureen headed for bed, i went out to this backyard with the intention of reading a bit more, or writing something just for me. That always seems to help. i put the crusty old iPod onto Dvořák and the Handel’s “Water Music.” Hoping for solace, i guess. It sorta worked.

Then, i heard the muffled fireworks from a distant celebration. Wrong day, of course, but that seems to be the norm today. After all, we have added days to the celebration, not for honoring independence but giving everyone more time to party.

Tomorrow, we will visit neighbors for a while in the appropriate safe mode. But the day will be mostly quiet. i might even do some chores. i will hear more fireworks i’m sure.

Mostly,  i hope some folks will actually read our Declaration of Independence and not attack the writers for their sins or hold them up as superheroes, but read it for the ideas they expressed. Their views were limited by time and space and a culture that discriminated as it did in all cultures back then. But read it for the idea of independence and equality they put on parchment and signed, and…well, they said it better than i:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In closing, i will quote Major Kenneth Morgan, professor of Latin 101 and 102 at Castle Heights Military Academy who told my class his definition of “Freedom:”

Freedom is the ability to do anything you want to do as long it does not take away someone else’s freedom.

May you have a wonderful and thoughtful Independence Day.

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