Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Settling in

It's sometimes hard when I feel so conflicted about "home." On one hand, I love my house and deeply appreciate being able to walk to the post office, the library, to downtown restaurants, and to the university. The cost of living here is also manageable for a professor and writer who don't earn so much.

On the other hand, living in a place where someone throws beer cans on the lawn and there's vomit on the neighbor's sidewalk (and yes, this happened on a Monday night) is less than pleasant. We're having an ongoing problem here, and though I believe deeply in advocating for students and school success? I'm beginning to hope that these new neighbors/college students hurry up, flunk out and take their drinking elsewhere! It's wrong. I know, but I'm getting tired of this.

I feel further conflicted when I hear this about my state: Gov. Orders 10 Commandments displayed at KY Capitol. How could this not be a stunt right before election time? For those who wonder why this Ten Commandments debate is such a big deal, I invite you to check out this wiki entry and ask yourself, whose commandments should be displayed? The original ones (you know, in Hebrew?) The translations? Whose translation? The Catholic version? Russian or Greek Orthodox? Protestant? Why should one be given preferential treatment over the others?

What about the many U.S. citizens who don't fall in one of those categories? Why should one version of one religion's partial moral code be posted when we're all equal under law? (for reference as to another reason I object, Jews have 613 commandments, those ten are like Letterman's top 10 Lists. Important, but not all inclusive.)

Please, please, if you live in the USA, Vote TODAY! Exercising your right to vote is an important part of our democracy, and it's so important to advocate for everyone's rights. Our American brothers and sisters come in all religions, colors, and ethnicities. I' m always grateful and proud for that diversity.

You may notice that the photos in this post are bucolic and not at all connected to what I'm feeling as I post this. These are photos of the professor's family farm house, most used as a vacation home, in upstate NY. I'm taking deep cleansing breaths and looking at the old farmhouse, the slate tiled roof, and the views of the fields. I can get all pumped up about our new (old) apple orchard and pear trees. (now serving: roasted apple chocolate chip cake--the recipe lists are endless!)

I can escape in my mind, and imagine settling in--elsewhere, someday. I'm not picky--it doesn't have to be this particular place, although it's close to my heart. Oh, and of course, in the imaginary world, I might even consider a few sheep on those fields.

PS: Knitting and spinning have slowed down substantially because of some rather sudden shoulder pain from overuse. Typing may be limited soon, too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting that i read this just before i head out to vote for myself. it makes me wonder sometimes, that in this country that was based on freedom of religion, that so many are set that their view is the only right view...

November 6, 2007 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Hmm... The land of the free & the home of the brave? A very interesting post to read & something I shall remember & maybe ention in our 'citizenship' lessons. As a geographer I refer to the importance of migration in shaping the multi cultural population in the US. Clearly some of your politicians try to ignore this!
I hope some of your neighbourhood problems are resolved quickly -clearly some people need to learn that with rights come responsibilities!
The photos are stunning & you are so right to use those images & memories as a kind of counter balance to the trials of everyday life.

November 7, 2007 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hope the shoulder heals with nonuse. Lots of reading in the meantime?

I had the ongoing problem of pets dumped in my yard and frequently shot or run over in front of the farmhouse. I loathed living there but there are times I think, if only there was more respect for others (people, animals, land) I could have adapted.

Respect. What a concept.

November 7, 2007 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

I am glad to hear you speak out for freedom of religion. It seems like everyone is forgetting what our country was founded on. What if over the next 50 years Christians became the minority? Those same people who fought so hard to put religion in government may decide it doesn't suit them after all. I don't want anyone imposing their religion on me. I think I have that right under the Constitution.

Another similar issue to the 10 Commandments one: "In God We Trust". Many may argue that it should cover believers of all religions and perhaps it does, but what about atheists and agnostics?

November 12, 2007 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I hope your shoulder is feeling better, Joanne.

November 12, 2007 at 12:37 PM  

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