Words can tell so much, so little

Whether I had 300, 3,000 or 3 million words, it would only scratch life’s surface.

In the last photo I took of my mother — with my big-hearted Arkansas cousin Tim and his lovely wife, Ruby — shortly before mother died at 92 in assisted living, deep wrinkles and fragility etched her full-life face.

Wendel Sloan

Wendel Sloan

Also etched are the transcendent beauty of strength, kindness, wisdom and love.

A family complains that a buffet lacks their favorite pie, while spending and eating more in one meal than third-world families in a week.

Bombastic imams damn heresies of Westerners they’ve never met, blind to the infidels’ amazing attributes and extraordinary sacrifices.

A hero is a 15-year-old Pakistani boy blown up while tackling a suicide bomber to protect his classmates — not someone jumping into a three-foot pool to save a toddler. That is admirable, but expected, behavior.

Some insist their countries were founded on religious principles, but cannot name specific ones — only the names of founders claiming that religion.

Others brandish deities’ cherry-picked admonishments like weapons loaded with human-written bullet-points — then become hostile when non-combatants duck their leap-of-faith scattershooting.

Individuals are molded by birth, intelligence, looks, environment, opportunity, drive, luck, etc. — but have limited control over most. Yet, the fortunate get worshiped like visible deities.

Entertainment is saturated with violence. The young are not taught about the respect the elderly have earned. A thug plays the “knock-out” game with a 78-year-old woman.

Patriotic citizens post blatantly false information about whole-cloth traitors they’ve devised to despise, besmirching their own reputation more than their targets, then attack anyone correcting them with easily researchable facts.

My parents become cooler every year. If they could have 20 more years together — without the awful, final ones — my leap of faith would soar.

Perhaps they would decline the offer — definitely if I volunteered to trade.

Meanwhile, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on — but not my word count.

 

Contact Wendel Sloan at:

wendel.sloan@yahoo.com

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