So I was busy with a writing project last Saturday afternoon, pulling thoughts from my head, then pounding them into reality with the magic of wireless keyboard. Heard the little metal "clink" as the mail man dropped my Saturday mail into the humble abode.
Took a break from my scribbling and went out and got my mail. A large brown mailing envelope came with today's mail. Given a heads up, I suspected that the package might contain the book that our token liberal, Jerry Carlin had promised me. Peered foggily at the return address to confirm. Without my reading specs, could only make out the large J in the first name and the large C. in the second. "Jimmy Carter?" (Now that is freudian, no?). No, happily from Jerry Carlin.
So, I brought the package in, opened it and found a pristine copy of Meryl Markham's "West With The Night". Opened the book and read a perfectly lovely and appropriate dedication from my benefactor. ...."from your liberal friend".
Before I even read the first word I paused to reflect on Jerry's previous kindness. A few years ago, Jerry, "the tomato whisperer" had sent me, at great expense, a lovely box of tomatoes and tomato jam...straight from his garden and his kitchen.
I was touched then, am touched now..some years later. And I thought about the rather bizarre friendship Jerry and I share. He's been one of my blog readers for several years, even as he disagrees with many of my social and political philosophies. Yet, he's still hanging around. Oh, there was a time he became so angry by something I'd written that he took a long sabbatical from me....or at least failing to comment for awhile.
During that sabbatical I missed ole Jer. I forgave him his "liberal-ness" years ago, attributing his forgiving philosophies to his artistic bent. A forger of wondrous steel art, of garden art, perhaps gives a man acres of time to contemplate our human foibles, and forgive them more readily.
Yet, in the give and take of social and political debate, Jerry and I have found whole hectares of common ground...problems and solutions that we can agree on. I suspect that, were Jerry and I to sit down over a tomato and mayo sammich and a cup of coffee, we could solve many of the world's problems. Given the current political climate, that's a rare thing these days. If the world could just go out collectively, and lay in green meadows, and sip orange juice and soak up some sunshine, I'm confident we could settle many of our differences.
For now, we'll just have to settle for peace in small doses...measured out with loving care by those who can find something redeemable in folks willing to cede a few points when they meet on common ground.
I'm not sure, between Jerry and I, whose the lamb and whose the lion....I've seen a great deal of ferociousness from the liberal left these days, the right and left trading blows as fiercely as a Frazier-Ali fight.
But, in this blog's "token liberal", I derive hope that the lion shall indeed lie down with the lamb someday.
Thank you for the book, Jerry. I'm finding some wonderful poetry-prose between the covers of this book. Maybe someday I'll fly "West Through The Night"...over Springfield, Oregon way...and we can sit down over tomato and mayo sandwiches...and solve the world's problems.