Friday, August 16, 2013


I've been talking to Maman a lot this week. She's doing pretty well, all in all, gotten over the shock, and seems mentally back to normal. (Sorry, Mom, but you faltered once or twice in there.) She was kind of skirting a bit of a cold as of the weekend, but the stress has kicked it back into high gear. I probably shouldn't have kept her on the telephone so long last night as her voice did not sound good. Fortunately, she has a doctor's appointment this morning to have a look at her stitches and with any luck they will give her something for her very bad cough. Smith-Syberg women get very bad coughs.

(Although I will take this moment for an aside to say that, from personal experience and as far as I can tell, taking local honey really does work to allay allergies. For the past year or two, I have been, as part of my morning ritual, started the day with a teaspoon of honey in hot water to remember sweetness and to remember to be sweet to myself. Instead of daily doses of Claritin, etc., I have only had to take medication for allergies on two or three occasions. Given that I am surrounded by green, I am fairly certain the honey is what has made the difference. Support your local bees!)

At any rate, Maman and I have spoken and mused at length about what to do about the next-door pit bull. The neighbors continue to check in on my mom and did say they would do whatever she wants them to. The current thought is to wait and see what the court says about the situation, in the hopes that the court will do the right thing. (Wait. Is that an unreasonable hope?) 

Emmylou was on the bed with me and Cooder this morning.

But the plot thickens. Turns out that the neighbor, CH, plans to start breeding pit bulls in his tiny backyard. The biting dog had just given birth a day or two before. The breeding male is already on site. 

As I previously mentioned, at least four other neighbors have complained about or have expressed concern about the pit bull. I don't think they are privy to the breeding plan. I suggested that my mother speak with the neighbors about this as it is a ... community ... issue, not just about what the dog did to her. The whole things depresses and scares me. 

CH and LZ are not bad people, just not very responsible. My mother observes that they never walk the pit bull nor attempt to socialize her. Difficult to imagine that the pattern will change. 

This leads me to the quote I found in my inbox this morning ...

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

— John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873) 

... as well as the poem I posted (again) in the aftermath of Charlotte's passing

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 

By the way, I never call my mother Maman. Just more fun to type. She and I have discussed this concept a couple of times as well, community and spiritual responsibility to acknowledge, to know, to speak out, and to be and do good. (I can hear my brother Michael grimace. Once a hippy, always a hippy.)

And while I am at it, here's a morning shout-out to Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. I, at least, am pulling for you.

Cooder at bedtime.

I do like my kittehs.

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