Endings, Beginnings, and Crows

What a month!  What a year!  I will attempt a glance back over my shoulder.  This month marked the end of one presidency and the beginning of a new and, I hope, better one.  Like so many people, I watched in horror at the final crescendo of idiocy as a band of riled up rowdies smashed their way into the Capitol Building.  Some were intent on murder, some on vandalism, some on posting their idiocy on social media, others just roamed around like tourists.  I doubt they had a coherent plan or thought they’d get that far.  God forbid they should try to run the country.  I suspect most of them can’t run their own lives and don’t have the slightest clue what is required to run anything bigger or more organized than a beer and brats party in their backyard, and probably need help with that.

While the mayhem ensued, out of the corner of my eye I noticed shadows of birds’ crisscrossing the walls and floors.  I went to the window and saw a murder of crows, as they call a group of crows, flocking in trees and swooping down to eat something off the streets in the intersection.  I didn’t see any roadkill.  I understand that, sometimes, crows eat salt.  It seemed a fitting and ominous backdrop for the events of the day.  I woke up the next day with snatches of this Yeats poem echoing in my mind:

The Second Coming 

 WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   

The darkness drops again; but now I know   

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The inauguration was an antidote for the haunted feeling left by the insurrection.  It went off without a hitch.  I watched for several hours—a first for me.  Normally, I would only catch the highlights, or low-lights, in the news.  This time, I wanted to watch as sanity was restored.  At least, I pray that it may be so.  I fear that forces of division and disorder are not so easily exorcised.

The other big, hopeful thing, of course, is the COVID 19 vaccines are starting to be distributed.  I tried the lottery, so far no luck.  However, a plan is in place for ramping up distribution so it won’t be long (knock wood).  At least one member of my family, my brother who helps care for my 96-year-old mother, got his first vaccine.  Progress, at last.

Better Days Ahead!

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