Rip Van Winklefeather

A friend writes:

God put us on this earth to argue.

If that's the case then we are grand champions.

A syllogism for breakfast: if I disagree with him, I fulfill his premise.

An eye for an eye. A verb for a noun.

I prefer passion and compassion. Understanding and respect.

How many teeth must be shattered before we wise up?

How much blindness before we can see?

I much prefer the legendary totemic beings of Aboriginal Dreamtime, who called out the name of everything they saw and thus sang the world into existence.

A follower asks:

Why are some of your covid cover images so grim?

Covid 19 is not a game. We are not at play. We are engaged in WW III. The WW II enemy was one of us, a malignant demagogue leading aberrant humans. The covid enemy is silent, omnipresent, invisible. This enemy feeds on us, just as we feed on greed and hubris. This enemy knows no boundaries - national borders, gender, race, religion, all are irrelevant. Rich and poor, short and tall, schooled and unschooled, all are fodder for a foe we cannot see, smell or touch. We can't razzle dazzle our way out of this battle. We can't even find the right tools to arm ourselves.

As Scientfic American recently put it, "We should be grateful for the conditions that allow us to exist at all because they won't last forever."

These images were not created for the pandemic: they were formed during 42 years of intense scrutiny into what it means to be human at this time, in this place. Call them Grimm's Scary Tales. Denial only got us to a devastated planet that we have raped and ruined. A pandemic may be nature's furious response.

A hard-core insists:

People don't matter. The regime, the way of life, is what counts.

Would he feel this way if covid 19 wiped out his family? Would she be so adamant if her infant succumbed? I understand that governments are imperfect, that humans really don't know how to organize themselves into a mutually beneficial and cohesive unit. Is government by hissy-fit really any better?

A health care worker elaborates:

With sleepless nights and worrisome days, how can I find the patience, the compassion, the wisdom to calm irrational responses to reasonable fears? I'm scared too.

Dwell in place means days dissolve into each other, time frames are reinvented, relationships cling to screens and telephones.

And then, for a few magical hours, I am surrounded by sounds, images, voices and stage sets so glorious that I have to wonder: did God put us on this earth so that we could create masterpieces like Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera"? This spectacular performance was the composer's gift to us all, offered for free during one weekend on You Tube. If so many people could work so beautifully together, foregoing ego and invoking id, can we not manage to work together in life? Can we in fact move from the stage to the political arena?

I shall call myself Rip Van Winklefeather, and hope that I wake up into a calmer and saner world. I shall hope that you too can awaken from this nightmare and be grateful for the gifts we have been given. I shall hope that nature can find a way to forgive us while there are still enough of us


to care.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2020

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