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By Timothy Freeman:
“No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I’m Tired, Let’s Wash Away.” (the complete title of an album by the Danish band “Mew“)
God knows I love stories. I love stories spoken in song, in film in writing… doesn’t matter. But I worry a lot about whether it’s a dearth of creativity or an abundance of laziness and greed that’s causing the re-re-re-retelling of a lot of familiar stories.
Few things inspire as much awe and curiosity for us mortals as a sky full of stars. The history of our species is dotted with celestial flirtations. From building a tower we thought would take us straight to The Almighty to strapping ourselves on rockets and blasting towards heaven mankind has, from the start, been obsessed with what’s out there. So I guess we’ve come full circle…a space shuttle is simply a high-tech Tower of Babel.
Sitting on my patio appreciating the grandeur of a starry night doesn’t take me to the planets or galaxies. It doesn’t cause me to feebly ponder infinity or deities. It takes me back to my childhood home in Stone Mountain. There, at Rockbridge Elementary School, Jack Hawkins taught us how to make all types of gadgets out of cardboard, drinking straws and fishing weights that would help us find The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper and Orion (and his trusty dog Canis Major.) …
I know and have known lots of veterans. Whether a veteran saw combat or not makes him no less a hero in my mind. If you put on the uniform, you had your posterior on the line for my freedom. On this Fourth of July I’m remembering one of these veterans in particular.
He was a Marine who fought in the pacific in the second World War. Somewhere in the midst of his deployment he was captured by the Japanese and spent several years in a POW camp. He was the ranking officer. As an officer it was his duty to escape as often as possible.
I’m listening to folks on the radio and t.v. sound shocked that it’s hot. It’s Georgia. It’s summer. It’s hot. Get used to it! What’s there to not like about summer? Can you remember a more perfect time than the summers of your childhood? I seem to remember the summers more than I do the Christmases!
Of all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that should trigger memories of summer, I find it strange that the unmistakable, grinding song of the Cicada always takes me back to hot summer nights that were the best part of growing up in the south.
You and your Lexus / Accura / Mercedes / Inifinity / Hummer slide over into the emergency lane and drive a half-mile to get to the same light we’re all waiting on, thereby creating a logjam when the light turns green. OK – we get it — you’re important.
You dash through the grocery store in your tennis skirt with your little cellphone earpiece dangling. You’re talking really loud to someone about “networking” “touching base” “ASAP” “e-mail me” and “let’s do lunch.” The rest of the poor unwashed masses are just there to pick up some cereal or some green beans or some other means of sustenance for our meager existence. You want to make sure that we all realize we’re very much in your way while you’re there picking up some last minute items for the next great dinner party. Ok, we get it — you’re important.