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Gaining Altitude

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

Sometimes a better perspective involves increasing one’s elevation.


We landed in Denver in mid-afternoon, embarking upon only our third trip sans offspring, picking up a rental car and heading into the mountains. We’d picked Colorado because neither of us had ever been and because two of our favorite bands were playing a concert together at Red Rocks. We’d left without making any solid plans beyond hotel accommodations. It was my first time on an airplane in a year and a half.*

Whomever settled the city of Denver surely must have done so because it’s the last stretch of reasonable flat land before everything gives way to brown, stony mountains. Let’s stop here, I imagine they said. Seems good enough.

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mountains majesty

Our Country’s Grand Canyon

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

 

I am weirdly patriotic. As cynical as I often feel about our country–about its sanctity of capitalism, its perverse bureaucracies–I have a ready-made soft spot for the pageantry of this land.

In the years following September 11th, I teared up singing the third verse of “America”: Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears….

When I traveled to Washington for work, I was drawn to the avenues crowded with granite-faced monuments, testaments of our people’s hard-fought efforts.

I choke up anytime a military officer tenderly hands a spouse the flag that moments ago draped a casket. It doesn’t matter whose.

There is something comforting about our systems, the simple drawings of our order: the conformity of interstate highway markings, the plain hues of printed money. Even the modern aesthetic of National Park signs moves me, the efforts to carefully note the blessed continental cathedrals wrought by time and, depending on your point of view, the Creator.

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no trespassing sign

I Talked to Conservatives about the #MuslimBan. You Should, Too.

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

 

I’ll bet you didn’t think you’d spend the weekend talking about immigration policy.

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the national political conversation has exploded among two camps: those who believe we are veering toward 1930s Germany, and those who think we finally have a leader willing to stick up for American security interests.

I happen to disagree strongly with this action, but in my zen-like quest to quit engaging these issues using anger as my sole vehicle, I figured there was no time like now to get started on peaceful conversations.

So last night on Facebook, I asked for some help from my conservative friends:

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