Thursday, June 11, 2015
Crimes Against the Whole
“You’re generalizing, Sam”—my students
accuse me. “Reducing. Assuming. Presuming.
Overstating. Understating.” My natural
selection: I cherry-pick and rip-off from the
whole what calls to me, suits my business
and agenda—walking thru a field or mall,
reading a newspaper, scrolling Face book
--embarrassment of riches, yes?
I take what I want and ignore the rest.
No wonder I feel guilt all the days of my life.
Makes good sense. Crime against the whole,
moving violation. Damaged and damaging.
How could it be other wise? It’s the
denial and cover-up that’s toxic.
70 years ago, after Norman Rockwell
Prayers on the Front Porch, I would
now be walking a half-block to my
father’s Presbyterian Church and
Vacation Bible School
–stories and hymns and art projects.
“Reverend,” they called him,
wives of coal miners and steel workers---
families living in the projects, drunks and
“Weak theologically and sentimental”—
according to my Orthodox Presbyterian
FB friend. “Liberal. Progressive.”
Afterwards Junie Harbrant and me would
harvest cigarette butts off the steps of the
Catholic church--katy-corner across from the
Presbyterians and the Holy Rollers & smokem
in the empty lot behind the nunnery.