Joy in Dark Times
Oleg once again captures a thought perfectly, as does Jenny S. in her essay, reminding us of the essential and eternal, even as the Endarkenment continues:
...Personally though, I still think the spark that turns arguing into killing is going to be arms confiscation - a "Concord Green" all over again.
When gun rights activists say "Molon Labe" (or the somewhat older "Cold Dead Hands" speech) - they mean it. That's a fact I think a goodly portion of those in Washington simply doesn't truly believe. Nor do they appreciate how truly prolific fighting rifles have become amongst the citizenry. AR-15 pattern rifles aren't the province of a few toothless homeschoolers on compounds here and there across flyover country - ownership grew increasingly common through (and since) the 90's, and these days you'd be hard pressed to find a recreational range without at least a couple of 'em in use at any given time. Cheaper imports of foreign (mostly old Warsaw Pact) patterns are even more common.
Let me put that in more simple terms - most of those are just people having fun. Hobbyists. But at the same time... hundreds of thousands of people every year in this country are to a greater or lesser degree subconsciously preparing for war.
That's not a good sign.
Nor is it something easily stopped - trying to stop it through force will only serve to spur it on - Concord Green is a lasting testament to that.
So here we are.
At least two fundamentally different views of what our country is and should become exist in our culture, and as they both grasp for the federal reins they become increasingly incompatible.
So.. that's why I to this day think we're on a dreadful road, that will lead us to some mighty dark places in the coming decades.
And yet, I remember discussing this very thing with the daughter of a friend once upon a time. "Gosh, you're depressing Jenny" she said.... but later "so why are you always so happy?"
The answer to that one's based in something deeper I think, and is the core of what I meant to write about before getting all distracted with exposition.
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi goes the saying... "so passes the glory of the world."
Nothing human is forever - not our bodies, not our families, not our homes, not our times, not our neighborhoods, and not our nation. It took losing my brother to finally learn that lesson... that to place one's happiness and peace in the mortal realm alone is to court disappointment and sorrow - the best we can thus hope for is to die before all we love decays, dies, or changes unrecognizably before our eyes.
I do hope that my nation survives the coming fires, and maybe even learn anew the purpose of many our forgotten traditions. Perhaps even rise again better than before. I'd like to see that - an American Renaissance would indeed be a delight for us and a great beacon to the world at large.
But if that's not to be, and the light goes out again for a time - well...
Read the rest of her essay here.
And remember to treasure all that surrounds each of us in our daily lives.