I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils”
It’s funny what you remember from 60 years before. In grammar school I remember reading Laura Ingalls’ books such as “Little House in the Big Woods.” It’s funny why some things stick in your mind, but I recall “Pa” – later played by Michael Landon on the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” – commenting on a blustery spring day, “It’s March, and it’s coming in like a lion.”
As I start this essay, I sense the season changing with a windy March day coming in like a lion. I’m sick of winter. I’m sick of Covid and I’m sick of being cooped up.
My “inward eye” often carries me back through the years. I remember Friday afternoons in Mrs. Dowel’s sixth grade classroom where pubescent boys were required to recite poems they were supposed to have learned. I can still recite Joyce Kilmer‘s poetic reflection on trees. I was surprised to learn, years later, that Joyce Kilmer was a man.
I was not bookish when I was a youngster. I was interested in sports and girls instead of books – and certainly not poetry. But apparently something in Mrs. Dowel’s class resonated within my soul and stuck. If she were still alive, I would seek her out and thank her, as I have done others who have made a difference in my life.
After an education focused in the sciences, I have spent the latter half of my life becoming educated in the humanities. I remember reading CS Lewis’ book “The Abolition of Man.” The don decries an educational system which does not teach aesthetics and morality. Philosophically, Lewis says children must be taught to recognize universal truths like courage and honor and beauty. He said the intellectual head and the emotional gut need a chest with a heart to connect the two.
To give some practical examples I offer the following. If we follow the science, an XY chromosome defines a man and an XX chromosome defines a woman. It’s pretty straightforward. Alternatively, if we only follow our emotions (passions) we become increasingly irrational. Lewis says our heart is the mediator between the two, perhaps like the rudder of a ship.
I remember Dr. Seuss books, but I was never a fan. However, in a free society that should not matter and they should not be banned. But the leftists’ cancel-culture sees sexism and racism in non-human characters like Thing 1 and Thing 2. So, on the annual Read Across America Day, iPOTUS deselected Seuss books. “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” may never flash upon the inward eyes of today’s children because these classics have also been banned.
Apparently, misogyny and racism in gangster rap is considered OK by leftists and the tech lords of Silicon Valley. George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” have been banned in Russia and North Korea, but surprisingly tolerated by woke censors in America. Maybe the “heads full of mush” censors haven’t read Orwell because he describes their woke tyranny.
We are approaching the anniversary of the Covid shut-down which began March 12, 2020, eerily close to the Ides of March. I remember being told we must isolate for two weeks to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. We thought we were surrendering our freedom for the short term for the common good. Apparently, Americans have forgotten what they were originally told by the titular experts who have never let us out of prison. The consequences have been disastrous to kids, the economy and fair elections. A sign still hangs in my community pool stating “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” Apparently, the sign hangs in perpetuity.
I have not forgotten who enabled the Covid vaccines to be developed. It was President Donald Trump, not iPOTUS or his team who actually runs the country. Trump’s Operation Warp Speed prevailed against the media, Democrats, leftists and bureaucracy, so we now have a way forward with three vaccines to prevent or lessen the severity of the China Covid Virus. President Trump, I will NOT forget nor allow iPOTUS to claim credit for the vaccine from his bunker.
Phillip Yancey is one of my favorite authors. In a book I’m now reading about coping with tragedies around the world, he quotes a tragic survivor as saying, “The worst thing is, you get used to evil.” How true. We become inured to the drum beat of wars, famine, Covid plague, murder and government malfeasance. We steel ourselves against evil’s minions by accepting the new paradigms. We must not forget what is right and virtuous and we must teach these lessons to our children and our children’s children. We must reject the left’s insanity and their surrealist “wokeness.”
In the fall of my life, I’ve debated my purpose. Like Rush Limbaugh, I have been blessed and accomplished far more than I ever dreamed I could do. My kids are doing well and my grans are growing up loved. Perhaps, like Rush, my purpose is to be the canary in the mine who warns every one of the poisons in the air. In a sense, my purpose is to awaken others and to encourage resistance by saying, “You are not alone and America is not yet lost.”
Since I began with the wisdom of a 19th century poem, I’ll end with a Seuss-like poetic offering by Michael Ramirey:
Forget Cancel Culture,
I think it’s a sham.
I do not like it,
In the name of the Woke,
and cause more division
with the fires they stoke.
Take history out of context
is now the new game.
Not looking for justice,
just someone to blame.
Today it’s a book,
so, watch what you do.
One day in the future,
they may cancel you.