Moving on

Flowers between the cobblestones, Gloucester MA 2010

With everything which has taken place this year, from the initial accident, trying to diagnose the myriad of problems which arise from fracturing the various bones of my head and elbow, and having an exceptionally difficult tenant, I have been blessed.

Despite osteoporosis, my bones heal rapidly. Despite the traumatic brain injury, I’ve remained calm and dignified. Despite a constant spinning of my world, wonderful things keep happening. Despite a horrible display of human cruelty, I have seen compassion in unexpected places.

I have been forced from my home, in what can only be described as an insane sequence of events. I do not possess the capacity to understand why this is happening, and have no desire to demonize the parties responsible. I am disabled, a month from a major surgery on my cranium, penniless after a year unemployed, and people I thought were friends have tossed me to the curb; in some ways I am thankful. This crisis has revealed the kindness of others.

My ex-wife was kind enough to take some furniture I would be unable to move. Other friends, including people I only know on line have helped. One woman, who I had never met in person and who has differing political views (she attended the Women’s March in Washington) provided her mini-van for a morning, and not only provided transportation, she helped move things. I learned a good deal about her during this time, and am quite pleased to call her my friend. It took a bit to process what had happened, and I found myself shaking.

Liz is a Democrat, who distinguishes herself with her recognition of “limousine liberals.” She doesn’t talk about people in need as she drives by, she stops and helps. This Vassar educated mother of three (two on the autism spectrum) spent her morning helping a conservative punker. Okay, neither of us fit the expectations of those descriptions, which is in many ways the point. Labels are irrelevant, souls are what matters.

We spoke about our experiences, she has children in the Princeton Charter School, which the Princeton Public Schools have declared the competition; and in what I have come to believe is a typical Princeton response the Public School Board is more interested in destroying the Charter school than improving their own students. I saw this trait expressed in a variety of issues in Princeton, ad hominem attacks rather than displays of any measure of superiority. Liz continues to attempt to bridge the divide, hosting meetings of both sides, opening her home (and sledding run) to everyone. We mourned the death of civil discourse, and although we differ in our beliefs of the cause, we share the loss of meaningful debates, recognizing the next step is authoritarianism.

Liz is what I had expected Princetonians to to be when I arrived (shortly after the picture up top was taken). Intelligent, well spoken, and civil. It took six years to find a person fitting that description, and I met her on my way out of town. My experience of Princeton was elitists, posers, and hypocrites. It is very reassuring to know people such as Liz exist in the wasteland of Princeton, reviving my faith in humanity; in a world as torn as ours is, there are still flowers growing between the cobblestones.

This month I have seen some of the best in people, and some of the worst. Life is always about balance. There is something important in there, as I configure what is left of my brain and work through increasing vestibular issues. The rose coloured glasses present an illusion, however the world is not filled with assholes clinging to hatred. There are people like Liz and I, not many, but perhaps enough to turn the tide. Perhaps, although I will never know the outcome. We accept the future is not predestined, rather it is malleable, to be improved with actions rather than curses. The core of meaningful conversations is mutual respect, the absence of respect begets rage, which I believe we can all agree is our present position. The world needs meaningful conversations, which should lead to people who will take actions rather than consider themselves virtuous because they are aware of the issue and have appropriately rebuked those who are not wearing the right colour ribbon. Hope lies in lifting each other up, not in putting each other down. Humans need hope.

There will always be the trolls, and it is altogether possible they will be the majority of the population. I may have thrown away my rose coloured glasses, but I will always believe that love outweighs hate, that one good person is more significant than one hundred bad people. They can destroy a person, but ideas live forever.


7 comments on “Moving on

  1. mreith2017 says:

    So much hatred all around. Of course, we are all prone to hate God and our neighbor. It comes naturally and with very little prodding by Satan. How quickly and easily I am led to thoughts of criticism and dislike. Judgement and disdain. How much I need the daily manna of the Spirit of Christ to feed me, bring me to repentance, and refresh me. And yet I fail, daily. My only hope is that God is the God of the beginning and the end. His providence orders each step. And amazingly accounts for my own sins and the sins of others against me. What a wonder that what others (and I) mean for evil, God means for good. It is beyond my mortal ability to comprehend.

    I was so encouraged by your ability to see the good that came out of the bad. To find that love, once again, is far more precious than anything this world pretends to offer, e.g., politics, sexual gratification, power, material gain, or length of life.

    So God continues to chip away at you and I. Where there is an offending appendage that does not resemble Christ, he chisels it away. Where there is pride, he humbles. And upon his return he will finish what he has started. I don’t mean to downplay the pain or difficulty that you are going through, Blake. It hurts to be a sculpture in progress. It was hard to even read of your current trials and not wonder how you are managing it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mari Collier says:

    I cannot believe you had to experience another trauma. You are still in my prayers for healing. For some reason there are so many right now. It sounds like you met a wonderful person. I’m surprised her own experience hasn’t made her question more of the responses of the school board and teachers union. That same debate is playing out in so many schools and it is the children who suffer. it might be easier to have a normal conversation with someone with the opposite viewpoint if they weren’t so quick to say that they have the intellectual honesty to view it their way. In other words, you are stupid and dishonest. All interest in any conversation has been dissipated by such remarks. It sounds like you do have a place to live. I pray everything goes well until you are safely out of the hospital and home again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      I have a roof over my head, at least temporarily. I will be able to recuperate from surgery in peace, which would not have been possible in Princeton, although this upheaval and my temporary address which is not in New Jersey may affect my health insurance, preventing the surgery from taking place.


      • Mari Collier says:

        Oh, that is beyond belief. I am so sorry you do not have family support. I’m strapped here as my son’s family is filling my house. A California address wouldn’t help with your insurance either. Prayers continuing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. elwinslow says:

    Blake, you are more than kind (one quick edit; Aaron is special needs but not autistic, but at times, potato-po -tah-toh. You are a kind, thoughtful, whip smart guy who still has a lot to contribute to civil discourse. And I look forward to having you and Sam back in Princeton one day for cocktails on the back patio.

    Liked by 1 person

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