POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#027: August, 2006
EXPECT DELAYS : why the hell not?
There is a man by the name of Kinky Friedman running on the Independent ticket for the governorship of our neighboring state, Texas. Friedman, a country singer formerly with a band called “The Texas Jewboys,” has several campaign slogans that are, to say the least, unusual. My favorite one is simply: WHY THE HELL NOT?
This slogan has been on my mind these last weeks as we move toward the autumn of 2006, the Year of the Dog. The Chinese astrologer Shelley Wu comments on the Dog Year: The year of the Dog teaches the lessons of watchfulness, defense of the weak and fair play. International justice will be the order of the year. Causes, protests and the righting of wrongs defines Dog years. Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge. Best results are acheieved when worry is transformed into advanced thinking and planning.
There are many “boulevards of life” where it seems that there are ever-increasing electric signs being set out, which flash us the message: EXPECT DELAYS ! It is fun to imagine such a sign showing instead: EXPECT CASH or EXPECT MIRACLES or EXPECT JOY, LOVE, PEACE, or EXPECT HAPPINESS. Wouldn’t that be nice? We seemd to be mired in the boggy swamp of DELAYS. These past months have been trying to our collective patience.
We are entering what may be a very cold winter for those having trouble paying now for gasoline to fill their auto tanks. Soon more pocket money will go to heating our homes, schools, and businesses. This time a year ago it was the Hurricane Season from Hell and back. Most of the nation has just had the Summer from Hell. Next up may be the Winter from Hell. Factor in recent and continuing crop failures in the Heartlands, and along with fuel costs, the cost of breads, cereals, and ethanol will rise. No mention yet of the gazillions of dollars and lives going to support world-wide warfare instead of feeding folks or anything besides the military industrial complexes of the world. People ask, “Is this WWIII? Armageddon?” Well ... WHY THE HELL NOT?
As we begin to feel the infinite possibilites afforded by our turning toward a new season, there is hope that we have passed through some of the worsts of the worsts. So much has changed since the year 2000. So much will change by next week or the end of this day. I would like to think that while EXPECTING DELAYS I can also realize that those delays give me a moment to look around and see things: keep me from driving too fast and missing something. They give me some down time to ponder my navel or smell the roses.
Ahead lies the rigors of the school classrooms, the joys of new friends, football and soccer, Halloween, and the big harvesting that takes us toward the end of this year. August is a month that is turning. August is a time to set our sails blowing in new winds toward new territories and further WHY THE HELL NOT? sorts of adventures. The LOBO NATION seems to be optimistic about the new football season with their latest slogan, HOWL YES!
As Ms. Wu reminds us: Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge. Best results are acheieved when worry is transformed. Perhaps many of us have voyaged through to the other sides of our dismal swamps. Perhaps we are ready now to emerge into something new and wonderful that is beyond Expecting Delays. I will ask myself WHY THE HELL NOT? and take steps forward. Join me in looking forward to autumn.
Jeff Hartzer copyright 2006