Letter From New York 08 01 15 Thoughts from the west bank of the Claverack Creek…

Behind me, soft jazz plays on Pandora. In front of me the creek is reflecting the green that overhangs it. The sun is setting and I am at the table on the deck writing on my laptop. It seems the perfect way to end a day.

It was not an eventful day. I woke early. As I went to turn on the coffee pot, the deck glistened with a recent rain. I went out there to sit.

In the early morning, I sat reading the NY Times and taking in the fresh air, listening to the songs of the birds in the trees. It seems right that I am bookending the day with more time on the deck. Every moment here is precious. In a time I can see coming, the trees will turn the brilliant colors of fall and then the winter will come. I enjoy the seasons and am grateful that my little piece of heaven includes four of them.

It is a soft and silky evening. Alana, proprietress of the Red Dot, and Patrick, her partner, were here for part of the afternoon and recently left. As I was leaving after lunch at the Dot, she asked me to stay and I did. She wanted to come and sit on the deck, watch the creek and experience a moment of peace. It has been a tough week for her.

They came. We had wine and cheese and then they left and I am here in the silver light of the end of day, listening again to the songs of the birds and thinking about the world.

An eighteen-month-old Palestinian baby was laid to rest today, immolated by Israeli extremists apparently. The rest of his family is being treated for burns. It is unsure that his mother will survive. Following a Jewish Orthodox man attacking the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, knifing nine people, including a fifteen year old who is fighting for her life, this is a week when Israel is asking itself serious questions.

The serious questions they ask themselves are the same serious questions we all need to be asking ourselves. In America, we have become inured to the violence and that is tragic. For a few moments, after an event such as the killing of nine in Charleston, we ask questions but then go on, forgetting what has occurred until the next atrocity and when that happens, we quickly forget. It seems, sometimes, we learn nothing. The Confederate Flag has gone down in South Carolina and that is good but shouldn’t it have come down long ago?

While it is warm in upstate New York, it is blisteringly hot in Iran and Iraq. Iran posted a heat index of 165 degrees Fahrenheit today and in Iraq a four-day mandatory holiday has been declared to help people cope, especially since the delivery of electricity is not very reliable. I can’t comprehend a heat index of 165 Fahrenheit. Sorry, not processing. I think I would incinerate.

The Donald is still leading the Republicans in the polls and I am still confused how that can be but it is.

There has been no agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after meetings in Hawaii. Everyone seems to thing it will still happen but that it didn’t happen was unexpected. And a bit of an embarrassment for Obama… However, there were 650 people meeting! It’s hard for me to get three people to agree on where to eat!

Facebook is prepping a drone to bring Internet access to people who don’t have it. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is expecting a baby. Gosh, the world keeps going on. I’m more excited by the Internet access than the baby but that’s probably because I don’t know Mark personally.

An Ebola vaccine looks more than promising and, hopefully, it will help contain and eliminate that scourge from the world.

The light around me is very silver. The day is ending. I am in twilight and the world around me is growing quiet. The birds are not as outspoken. Far away is the sound of something motorized, a sound I don’t recognize, something new. The jazz continues playing and soon I will go into the house and watch a movie.

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