It’s been a tough day.
- Hurricane Maria, determined to out-muscle Harvey and Irma, is bearing down on our “51st state”, Puerto Rico with winds that may be an all-time record for a landfall.
- Mexico is hammered with a second major earthquake in a week.
- The Rohingyan Muslim refugees are dying in the mud of Bangladesh.
- My country’s president gave a scary speech to the United Nation General Assembly that only lacked him banging his shoe on the podium to complete his descent to the level of Khrushchev.
- My beloved Reds just imploded from an incipient no-hitter and a four-run lead to a one-run deficient and a pitching change in about two minutes.
- My undefeated college football team is playing Florida this weekend. We haven’t defeated Florida since alligators crawled out the primordial swamp.
- It rained most of today. This affects me more and more…dammit.
And yet I cling to an apparently ludicrous optimism.
It’s the little things.
- I just got a picture of a 5th grade class in Louisa, Kentucky after an OperaLex-supported performance of “All About Teeth”, a 45-minute opera about dental hygiene. This was part of the SOOP (Schmidt Opera Outreach Program) tour. Everyone in the picture was smiling. You could say they were “all teeth”. The performers were smiling as well. Everyone involved was made bigger and better. Something perhaps, for my state’s governor to ponder.
- I spent time with a young plumber today (young being anyone who is younger than me – which is just about the whole world). He did excellent work and made excellent suggestions. He has gifts that I do not. He is a veteran – he has physically contributed to make my life and freedom possible. He noticed the odd accumulation of whiskies and brandies in the house (the result of an adulthood well-spent in the alcohol industry). He lit up and we discussed his home winemaking efforts with passion on both sides. I suspect, from other comments, he may have little admiration of our governmental agents (elected or employed) and may be a Trump voter. He’s a good guy with a bright and inquiring mind. My house was made better by his visit, as was I. I can only hope he feels the same.
- Over the decades, I have developed the resilience of a UK football fan. I believe, against all history, we will beat Florida this weekend.
I wish I could change the path of a hurricane.
I wish I could calm the surface of the planet.
I wish I could dry up mud and prejudice.
I wish I could make every day a sunny one.
And yes, I wish I had a different president.
What I can do is try to do as little harm as possible, try to make things bigger, try to make things better…
Try to be civil.