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With Every Breath We Take.......

Thanksgiving 2006

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, November 22, 2006.

It’s Thanksgiving! Well, tomorrow it is, and while I’m recording on Wednesday, you may not hear this till you’re suffering from gastric overload. I’m told that this sometimes makes me more bearable, but let’s not go there.

When I was young, I read that with every breath each of us takes we inhale some of the same atoms that Leonardo da Vinci inhaled during his life. And, obviously, we breath some of the same air as anyone else in distant history, including Christ, Caesar, Mohammed, the Buddha, and Eve, the proto-human mother from whom we all, by DNA proof, descended. But because his was the name mentioned, I’ve always fixated on Leonardo. With every breath we take……

It’s Thanksgiving, and we’re all grateful for families and friends, I’d hope. No need to belabor the obvious, unless of course you don’t actually say as much to them. But for the arguably petty specifics this year:

I’m a Democrat. I am so, not because I swoon at the alter of FDR and Andrew Jackson, but because I understand what Nixon tried to do, and the GOP still tries to do, and hate and fear them for it. I’m grateful that the nation has turned on our current administration but afraid it did so for the wrong reasons. By this, I mean if things were going well in Iraq, for whatever reason, and we had relative peace, the egregious contempt shown by the administration for both our Constitution and the real world issues that fueled the Bill of Rights would still be ignored by a public which, to a degree, can be bought off. I cannot help but feel that we have been saved only by their stuttering incompetence from their feudal visions, and if it’s not the inspirational avenue to correcting course, I’ll take it. I’m very grateful the Republicans lost badly this time.

I am grateful for Al Gore. That the Republicans are themselves now casting stones at those denying global warming and the public at large is dealing with it, finally, is due to someone that held respect and dignity through what probably was a stolen election. He did not become a bitter recluse, and we should be grateful he has not. As a coda, we may now be alert to the dangers of an activist Vice President. It’s nice to have VP’s at least as active as First Ladies, but the Cheney model is a roadmap to military coup down the road.

I’m also glad that the dangers of electronic voting are now clear to everyone, and that I cannot believe but that things will be different in two years, and we can believe with near surety that all votes are counted, and those not for valid reason. We need to harp on this and make it so. We forgot about the Electoral College nonsense, but let’s not forget about this.

In A Prairie Home Companion, Virginia Madsen’s character says the death of an old man is not a tragedy. Surely not in the case of Robert Altman, the director of that film, and what a magnificent life and body of work he left us, and what a fitting send off he gave himself with that unique and endearing movie. We should all be so fortunate. His death this week reminds me I’m grateful that I live during the actual golden age of movies and performance.

I am further grateful that the digital age has made music so prolific and easily obtainable and that I can walk around with a gabillion songs on a device that fits in my shirt pocket.

But I suppose what strikes me about my world is that I actually live a life of such opportunity that it would have been the ideal of Leonardo da Vinci. We all do. You know during his frustrations with the technology of his times he envisioned our world of instant access to information, art, and music. Why us and not him? He deserved it, surely. Do we?

With every breath we take, perhaps we should be grateful for the opportunity to actually deserve it. Have a terrific holiday.