Wednesday, January 21, 2009
relections, ideals, worm
Next door to the abandoned cinema in the heart of Tunbridge Wells are the premises of a shop now vacant for a long time. Opposite the site is the Town Hall, here reflected in the broken window of the shop.
As I go to sleep last night the words of Barak's Obama's inauguration speech are still in my ears. Its backbone of bleak truth and directness anchors the rhetoric with which he seeks to rally the best in America and the world. One statement above all reminds us that there is hope for nobler values than those we came to expect from the previous administration:
"As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience sake."
This blog does not do politics but that, I think to myself, is a beautiful thing to hear, and a necessary thing for the new President to say.
I approach a thrush which is busy with a large earthworm on the pavement. As I draw near, it abandons its prey and flies off into a nearby shrubbery. When I have walked on, I look back to see if the thrush has returned to finish its meal. But despite the fact that there are no other passers by, it seems to have found other things to do. The worm is left for another's lunch.
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They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- B. Franklin
Yeah, this is the heart of the problem for the last eight years. As though we can do bad guy things and still consider ourselves good guys.
Does the human principle of leftovers apply to birds? It's surprising how often a worm dragged out on to a path - an easy target for a hungry blackbird - is left to shrink from three dimensions into two.
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