Chronicles in Ordinary Time 133: The Need for Hope

Sorrow for the Americas

I will impersonate a man. His name… Alonso Quijana.”
“A country gentleman, no longer young. Being retired, he has much time for books. He studies them from morn till night…and often through the night till morn again. And all he reads oppresses him…fills him with indignation…at man’s murderous ways towards man.
He ponders the problem… how to make better a world…Where fraud, deceit, and malice are mingled with truth and sincerity.

“He broods and broods and broods and broods…and broods and finally his brains dry up…”

I know a lot of people who simply refuse to watch or read the news anymore. They can’t handle the sorrow, the grief, the pain. I do not blame them for feeling this way. If one adds Social Media to the mix, the weight grows heavier, as people yell at each other in print…


…and then there is that other golf image, the President’s tribute to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as he presented the President’s Cup golf trophy Sunday in New Jersey.. I resisted the temptation to add photoshop to the one above.

1,516 mass shootings in America, in 1,735 days;
an average of 9 shootings every 10 days.

Being ‘retired’—I get paid for breathing, but I owe too many people too much money to stop working—I have more time for paying attention to the world than I allowed myself in the past. I feel a sense of duty to pay attention, and to be a witness.
So, I spend a couple hours each day, sometimes more, reading about the awful things that are happening to this country, to this hemisphere, to this world.

I read the rantings of religious extremists who blame all the calamities that are battering the world on our lack of respect for the President, the lack of respect for the American Flag, the lack of respect for a particular moral perspective. Quoting Scriptural references written for a nation under siege by nations as powerful as the United States, written at a time when our Northern and Southern Hemispheres were totally unknown. The United States is far more like Assyria and Babylon than most religious people are willing to admit.
We aren’t Israel.

At the end of each day, I spend time with the Doctor. The beacon of hope for the world that has been in the media for over 50 years. I’m sorry, brothers and sisters, but I am generally not inspired by what I disrespectfully call, ‘blanket movies’—the movies where everyone appears to be going around wearing brown blankets on dusty roads…there are some exceptions; but my world is not populated by people wearing brown blankets walking on dusty roads. Even in those parts of the world where people walk on dusty roads, they are probably wearing t-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

He lays down the melancholy burden of sanity, and conceives the strangest project ever imagined…
to become a knight-errant, and sally forth to roam the world in search of adventures…
to right all wrongs, to mount a crusade to raise up the weak and those in need.
The Man of La Mancha

Long before I was introduced to the Creator, I was introduced to the Man of La Mancha; the knight errant who wanted to right all wrongs. Don Quixote changed my life.

Tonight, after watching the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary production, and feeling Hope coming back into my life, I realized that the Doctor is very much like Don Quixote. The First Doctor decided to leave the world of the Time Lords, in his stolen time machine, the TARDIS. The Time Lords, in many respects were much like the politicians who run things so disastrously in Washington DC. People of Power, who believed they were better at running the galaxies than the poor schleps who travel ‘the slow path.’


The Doctor brings hope.

I still believe in the Dream, despite the murders of JFK, MLK and RFK in the sixties.

I still believe in the Dream that gives hope to the people of Puerto Rico, when our government has done such a poor job of demonstrating its concerns for its citizens. The same lack of concern shown to the victims of Katrina; the same lack of concern shown to the victims of Flint, Michigan; and the same lack of concern shown to victims of the largest mass shooting in America, the Wounded Knee Massacre, where about 250 Native Americans were killed by American troops in December of 1890.

Liberty Flag



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