May 222015

Sitting on ther back porch in Asheville, NC, finally, in the spring sun, can’t move far and fast with my knee messed up…

The wind is blowing through the trees and my spirit resonates with the sound of the whispering leaves. Still, the traffic sound is incessant from Route 25; invisible drivers roar from north to south and south to north. You have to wonder once again: what’s everybody in such a rush for?

Asheville is a relatively small city set in the mountains. We have our rich people, poor people and many ensconsed (too often precariously) in the middle-class. The poor are invisible too, like the drivers on Route 25–for the most part–but for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear and a soul to be aware, they are less than invisible.

Faintly, in the distance, I hear the cry of the dove. It, too, is invisible, its beautiful, mournful cry also drowned out by the incessant traffic of midday (for those who live close to 25).

In Asheville, we have so many artists and other talented people, some caught up in the often illusory struggle for recognition, others just happy to get their voices out there to friends, family and a small circle of appreciate fans.

Right now, I am happy to be writing this little essay, happy for the sunshine and happy to be alive and breathing, though I remain cognizant of the severe problems besetting millions of people. I consider what I can do to make things better for them–at least with my still small voice and by lending a helping hand to those around me, when and where I can. As I have said many times before in these short columns, there is far too much acrimony and division in this country and world, far too much schism and finger pointing, and far too much obsession with making the almighty dollar, driving the flashy car, etc., never mind those around who are less fortunate.

It is so easy to blame the poor and homeless for the plight, but a multitude of reasons lead to economic deprivation–drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and discrimination, to mention just some of the contributing factors.

I know. I have been there, having been stepped on but also making some terrible mistakes in my life. Isn’t that the way it is for all of us, regardless of our economic status? So why should we not lend a hand to those who are facing severe challenges in their lives?

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