I’m pleased about the fair and effective solution in the Obama administration standoff against the American Catholic hierarchy regarding the inclusion of birth control in their medical-employee health care benefits. Balancing the “religious liberty” of church officialdom against those of their diverse employees is more complex than right-wing politicians make it seem. For me, it’s important to keep health-care reform on track, especially given its very lengthy phasing-in period — so conducive to calamity-howlers. Too many of us are prejudging its “terrible cost” (compared to what? ill-considered wars?). But do we remember that our current patchwork, profit-rich health care system is, at 18 percent of GDP, the most expensive in the world — even while leaving millions of us exposed to medical or financial ruin? As a retired health-care chaplain, I can’t help hearing the pain of those unemployed or indigent who are caught in the gaps.
A dead beetle lies on the path through the field. Three pairs of legs folded neatly on its belly. Instead of death's confusion, tidiness and order. The horror of this sight is moderate, its scope is strictly local, from the wheat grass to the mint. The grief is quarantined. The sky is blue.
To preserve our peace of mind, animals die more shallowly: they aren't deceased, they're dead. They leave behind, we'd like to think, less feeling and less world, departing, we suppose, from a stage less tragic. Their meek souls never haunt us in the dark, they know their place, they show respect.
And so the dead beetle on the path lies unmourned and shining in the sun. One glance at it will do for meditation — clearly nothing much has happened to it. Important matters are reserved for us, for our life and our death, a death that always claims the right of way.
...2 July 1923 - 1 February 2012 Polish Poet, essayist, translator, recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature 1996.
The quote "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" by Twyla Tharp, best describes the attraction to every part of the painting process for me. Having painted for nearly 25 years intermittently while raising 3 valuable citizens, I took up the endeavor nearly fulltime in 1990. Soaking up art history and technique books, taking workshops with Coleman Cohen, Gifford Nicolaides, Susan Gallagher, Michelle Chrisman, J. K. Drummond, Leo Neufeld, Joe Lorusso. My inspiration is whatever touches my heart. I admire the work of The Boston Women's Artists Guild, the California Impressionists and such contemporary artists as Greg Kreutz, Susan Lyon, Thomas Buechner, Clyde Aspevig. I keep my drawing board occupied with plans for still lifes, floral portraits, and scenes from travels; keeping my enthusiasm vital and fresh.