Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How pleasant must be the mind of the absolutist, I thought while punishing myself on the treadmill this morning. She/he knows the way to cut through the tangle of thorns I often find myself snagged upon. And, they cut through with such assurance, with a bit of swagger at times, with humble obedience to something in mind perhaps, with their directional compass rarely backtracking or moving to the right or left. They march down the trail, confident of their views, or the views of their advisors.

Perhaps I move also, yet my mind must absorb the particulars within the process, the individual thorns, the patch of light that breaks through. Advisors present their views of where to travel, but ultimately, I must sift it and view the other side of it, and then move on. It's not simply an intellectual process, but also one of an emotive nature. Perhaps it's caution or distrust or need for knowledge and wisdom before assertion. Perhaps it's indecisive foolishness.

All of these swirling thoughts come as a result of the constant croaking of politics that's going on right now. It's a croak which contains loud dissenting toad-views on multiple issues. On one side of the pond, the frogs croak loudly about morality issues, yet many individual frogs have been jabbed in acts of behavioral impropriety; these toads have also bombed the pond next to them which is now red with blood and horrible civil strife. The sanctity of toad life laughed at by the aggression of its neighbors. They also capture others and do not give them a right to a fair trial, as habeus corpus, an old golden rule of treatment, was taken away by their chief. It's quite a morally disappointing time for the frogs on this side. Yet, absolutists who believe in their ideals, and ideals which come from a higher spiritual source, march on for them, despite any deed done. Any damaging reports of these are disregarded with two highly powerful words: liberal press.

The other side seems a safer place to be at the moment. These toads are in the minority and do not have the power to change certain bedrocks of the civilization. They also wave the flag of compassion for the underrepresented on both sides. Supposedly. Yet these toads have no visible leader who can rally; they don't have the token blessing of language on their side which helps them to shape any beliefs into a palpable form which can be delivered to even small toads and be understandable. They don't stand on a rock, like the other toads across from them, as old prophet toad Moses did, in order to gain stature as a spiritual nature. Furthermore, they seem morally bereft, as one of their former chiefs indiscretely caused ripples of shame and guilt due to his horns, a perfect scapegoat toad. They often take the sides of liberty, despite the implications of it. They're in a bit of ruin right now, barely hopping, barely making splashes for any change.

Then there are issues such as stem cell research in the society at large there. Issues such as diplomacy standards. Other wars causing suffering among fellow frogs. Securing value of life to the born and unborn frogs (in war and in peace). Budget deficits and balancings (a budget is a moral document as well as a law perhaps?). Equal opportunity for all toads. Pond security. Pond natural disaster response. The list goes on.

I prayed this morning for an opening within the thorns for me to walk confidently down. Perhaps this will be granted; perhaps it comes from the hard work of truly peering into the limitations of frog government and into the thorns on each side; and into patches of clearing. I'm going to work at clearing a path; I know in what direction I lean, yet I've got to figure out if this is still good, despite the sights of those enviably tromping by me, so full of confidence in their direction.

I need to also pray and process upon why I use the anology of toads/frogs for my reflection this morning. Toads and frogs and thorny paths ... how about swans and gazelles and flower gardens!? I think I'm predisposed to 1) mix lots of bad metaphors! 2) see the political landscape as cold, squirmy, ugly, horny, and, um, disturbing. With all the soundbites of muck going on, it's the best I can muster!

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