Dec 15 2014

From my long country walk

The Cascades Trail.  Giles County, Virginia

The Cascades Trail. Giles County, Virginia

If you have begun to believe that I will drop the Sherlock references, I’m afraid you must endure a bit more. I have lived far too long and far too deeply in the world of 221B Baker Street to let it go just yet. If ever.

This show will be with me for a long time.

The title today comes from a line from the play. Of course it does.

When Watson visits Holmes again after six months, Holmes immediately tells him everything he’s been up to, including a long country walk indicated by scrapes on his shoes, “What’s more, I see nearly six parallel cuts on the inside of your left shoe – where a particularly malignant servant girl has clumsily scraped round the edges, in a vain attempt to remove encrusted mud…”

“From my long country walk.”

I don’t get many long country walks. You’d think I would. After all I work for the agency that manages Virginia’s State Parks.

I don’t get out to them enough. Generally when I do, it’s for a meeting and there’s little or no walking.

I do try to walk at lunch time. I’m downtown Richmond and can conveniently make a two-mile loop along the Canal Walk and around Brown’s Island.

I don’t always make it. Sometimes it’s just too cold, or too hot. Sometimes, quite honestly, I’m just not up to it.

But as Seth Godin wrote the other day. “The best time is when you don’t feel like it.”

He’s right.

Godin says, “Going for a walk when you don’t feel like it will change your mood, transform your posture and get you moving.”

I am not an athlete. But I can walk. And when the shoulder is better, I’ll get back to swimming.

I’m currently debating whether or not to once again attempt walking the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K. Last year, I injured my foot and it took almost five months to heal.

It finally did. About the same week the shoulder went south.

But, walking is good.

And, in my current frame of mind, which I’ve more than described in previous posts, I can use a good walk. Or two.

I did take a walk Thursday during lunch. While out, I had a call from a good friend. It was good to talk to him while I walked and it did, indeed, put me in a better mood.

That also went south a bit this weekend. Too much decorating the house by myself. Too much Christmas stress. All that combined with, again, what I’ve been dealing with over the last few weeks and months.

I need a walk. Maybe in the country.

Maybe in a winter wonderland.

Although, I’d prefer a beach.

I do my annual “More or Less” post right around New Year’s Day. One thing that will be on there in 2015?

Walk more.

And I’ll do a better job of cleaning my shoes.

Dec 12 2014

My year of living non-politically

My home county is cooler than your home county.

My home county is cooler than your home county.

Has it been a year?

I can’t recall the last time I talked about getting out of politics for good.  I also can’t recall the last time I talked about something political even though I’ve tried to avoid it.  Sometimes, there are things that have to be said.

But, as for the organized political game?  I do not miss it. I got tired.

Quite honestly, I got tired of the infighting.  The bickering.  And most of all, I got tired of defending the indefensible.

I don’t think my views have changed all that much.  Well, I may be quite a bit more libertarian than before.

But what I know is that the list of people out there who can coherently and reasonably represent what I believe is a very, very small list.

It’s not that I don’t think that politics don’t matter.  They do.  I will stay informed.  I will vote accordingly.

But no more of the game.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I’ve wanted to speak out.  Times that I felt I should speak out.

The recent mess in Ferguson and the other reported killing of blacks by police officers has had me struggling to articulate what I believe.  What I’ve wanted to say is that everyone should cool down.  If we’re shouting past each other there will never be healing.

I don’t understand what it’s like to be a police officer.  I can’t imagine the stress they are subjected to.

But more to the point, I have no idea what it is like to be black in America.  I certainly don’t feel like I’ve had any white privilege.  But perhaps I have.

I have never been followed through a department store by a clerk with a watchful eye.  I’ve never had someone question why I was walking down the street at night.  I have never had the fear that one of my sons would be arrested for DWB.  That’s driving while black.

Don’t get me wrong, I have every parent’s fear that they’ll get arrested for doing something stupid.  But not for the color of their skin.

Chris Rock was absolutely right when he said, “Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.” [USAToday]

I didn’t mean this to be about Ferguson.  But that needed to be said. And perhaps I waited too long to say anything. Those of my friends who keep posting the statistics about black on white crime, or post the “don’t run from a cop” pictures or anything else, just don’t get it.

That’s all I have to say about that.  For now.

So, while there are social issues where I may often feel the need to comment, I’m out of the organized campaign business. Out of trying to blog a candidate into office.

I had a friend ask me the other day if I was still politically blogging.  He was interested in my sharing of some information. I told him that I was not, but that I could still pass the word along. So, I’m not completely out of it. Just not actively in it.

There’s a presidential race that’s going to start heating up.  I’ll be watching from the sidelines this time.  The only thing I’m adamant about is the GOP not nominating Jeb Bush.  As I’ve said before he’s likely the Bush who should have been president. But, let’s get another family.  For what it’s worth, that goes for the Clintons as well.

But, I digress.

Early on in my short-lived campaign career, I used to have to consider re-doing my resume with a post election night hangover.

I do not miss those days.  I don’t miss the rallies, the lit drops, the blog posts, the online arguments (over which I lost a number of Facebook friends). I’m getting along just fine without it.

Truth is, I couldn’t live the double life of playing conservative/libertarian politics while at the same time doing theater.  Some can.  I cannot.

And because of my time in the theater, I may actually be seeing some things differently, which could make me lose my conservative friends.

So, I’d rather just keep quiet about it. I’ll pay attention.  I’ll vote. And there may be a time when I find it necessary to jump back into the fray.

Today is not that day.

Come back tomorrow, but it won’ t be that day either.

I’d rather listen to Frank.

American singer, actor and producer Frank Sinatra was born on this day in 1915.  Died 1998.


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