I haven't been posting much lately for lots of reasons, not the least of which are my current foul mood and general lack of interest in most things politic. I admit that I am overwhelmed by what has been going on in Washington these past few months and the looming specter of darker days ahead isn't helping. I have retreated into what passes as therapy for me, a healthy fantasy life, in which I render some modicum of control over my own destiny and, in the real world, playing at gardening, grounds keeping, outdoor project planning and some woodworking. I am, however, attending the Tea Party event this Thursday, 15 April, on the steps of the State House in Trenton, NJ. I hope to see some Jersey Blogger friends there, as well as get the chance to see and hear an old friend, the Right Reverend Hugh McKenzie, late of Old Tennent Church. While our girls were growing up we attended his congregation. He is a wonderful speaker, an engaging personality and I've had the pleasure of having some high spirited (no pun intended) political conversations with him, late at night, in the church graveyard, when he would bring me coffee while I sat up all night tending the flocks, literally, of animals that were hired to flesh out the annual Christmas drive-through, "A Journey to Bethlehem". It's fitting that someone who holds such high Conservative values tended to his own flock in that particular place. The last time I spoke with him, he was reactivating himself for military service to tend to those in harm's way. Noble fellow, indeed.
I'm excited and glad to be going to Trenton on Thursday, to enjoy our right to peacefully assemble in public, to exercise our right of free speech, to remind those in public office that we, the people, stand for our great nation, shoulder to shoulder, when they choose not to and we control their destiny, and we control ours, not they. I must say, however, that I'm not happy to have to attend an event like this, because it shines a great light on just how bad things have gotten, how deep in trouble this country is mired and while I'm sure it will be a spirited time, it really should be a somber one. I almost feel like we're gathering together not to rally 'round the flag, but to communally atone for our sins, the biggest of which is falling asleep on the watch. I used to sit up all night, in that ancient graveyard, in Winter, to make sure no harm came to those Nativity animals, who trusted that I would keep them safe while they slept in the straw piled in the plywood manger, I never faltered, never dozed. They were charged to me and I kept my charge. We have charged those elected to our public offices to watch over us, but they have faltered while we slept, when it was actually the flock who should have been watching the shepherds... and now we pay. We dredge up the spirit of our brethren, who stood against tyranny, fought and died and sacrificed to found this Republic, in hopes that we, too, may make such a stand, but I wonder if it is enough. I wonder if we need to first assemble within ourselves, as individuals and as solitary Americans and sort it all out, before we play at revolution, such as it is these days, fancy silk-screened political t-shirts instead of the simple garb of the common man, pre-printed signs instead of broadsides and town criers in the night, blogs instead of muskets? I must admit, I have. I struggled mightily with myself about standing in Trenton on the appointed day, I questioned myself why I should, how I could. My answers to myself are my own. Suffice it to say they are adequate enough to me to be there. And so I shall. I'll take pictures and tell stories and post about it on my blog. And then I'm going to take some time off to think about it all. And garden and grounds keep and play at being a common man for a while, which is not so much playing, it's what I am. A common man. Exceptionally common. But that's fodder for another post on another day.