Vote Charlie!

Contemplating another birthday

Posted at age 29.
Created . Edited .

This morning federal agents detained someone close to me. His continuous employment and clean record since entering many years ago were not enough to make his illegal entrances legal.

Also today, two housemates moved out, too soon to count them close to me. Mysterious towings and a neighbor shouting “We don’t want any n_____s around here!” may have contributed. This is San Francisco? More directly, derelict landlords apparently let avarice supersede fostering relationships. Yes, this is San Francisco!


As I contemplate another birthday, I wonder what there is to celebrate. Life in America has felt so heavy, politics so toxic. When I manage to forget and catch myself in a moment of joy, I can feel I have sinned. How long until you can smile again after a parent is hit by an unyielding truck? What do you do if he is still driving, still driving drunk?

Time, of course, never yields. We cannot slow down, nor can we speed up. Life itself affords barely more control. We can tune in, or we can tune out.

Today’s events may not be matters of life or death. But they are matters of life, and life matters! All people deserve to feel welcome. All families deserve to be together. Did a wise man not once teach us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Why must we insist on America First, when we are already the richest, and others struggle to catch up? For once, count me in with Jesus! Life’s treasures are not what we exclude from others; life’s rewards are what we give. Allowing fear to fill the space between us only fills our prisons, not our hearts.

If I happen upon a genie in a magic lantern this birthday, I will wish for understanding. I will wish that my five teenage siblings will not grow up deprived of their father. And I will wish all of Earth’s inhabitants learn happiness is what remains when we cease fighting over our differences and realize our common cause.