Dear John – 19 February 2016

Dear John,

I think you hit the nail on its ever-lovin’ head: power. It’s a nasty craving, isn’t it? I know I feel the lust myself more often than I care to admit. I hope that we, as a people, don’t stay on this bender so long that we raze the whole shebang to the ground. We might wake up one day to discover that we won — but that there’s really nothing left of whatever we’ve won.

Somedays, I feel sorta like good Sheriff Longmire. Remember the day when he’d pulled two bodies out of the river, murdered by the Mexican drug cartel and then that evening, he’d happened upon a fella in camos, with night vision goggles and an AK47, running after coyotes for sport? Longmire, per his usual custom, saddled up to the bar at the Red Pony with his pal Henry Standing Bear. He sat there silent, fiddled with his drink, then said, “Henry, I don’t know what’s happened to my town.”

That’s me. Somedays, I just can’t make sense of what’s happened to us. Often, I feel like the world I was made for doesn’t really exist anymore. Of course, this is my world. These are my people. So I just keep stepping forward and hoping that the little bit I have to offer matters. I believe it does.

I know that I often think about Abraham Heshel’s words: “The cure of the soul begins with a sense of embarrassment, embarrassment at our pettiness, prejudices envy and conceit, embarrassment at the profanation of life. A world that is full of grandeur has been converted into a carnival.”

I believe there’s something to this – a healthy sense of embarrassment, but I believe even more in “the world full of grandeur.” This is why, most days, I return to hope. Isn’t this world grand? We’re making plans for summer vacation, we’re mapping out a trip to Acadia National Park and then into Canada, to Prince Edward Island. I’ll tell you, just looking at the photos of those two spots is enough to make the heart light, enough to make you remember all the gratitude you feel for beautiful places and clear skies and the marvelous people you love.

Your Friend,
Winn