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Sullygram...September 2017 newsletter
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Author:  Thomas (Sully) Sullivan [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Sullygram...September 2017 newsletter

The swans of summer are gliding into the long shadows of autumn now, but their vivid ghosts float in the persistence of memory like white plumes on black glass. August always gives passion a “turbo” boost right out of the chute. And if the moon eating the sun didn’t teach you something about totality, you were feasting on the wrong star. Me, I celebrate the cues. One good turbo charge deserves another. So, after I sold 19 tickets to the great eclipse, I got out of Dodge.

Crossed a half dozen state lines thereafter, and as a matter-of-fact the great “darkness at noon” caught up to me somewhere in Iowa not far above the eclipse’s blackout stripe that transversed the nation. I recommend singing “Twinkle, Twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are,” to bring the sun back. Only took me two choruses to make ol’ Sol spit out the moon. Truth be told, the solar eclipse is kind of a non-event for me despite my love of astrophysics.

The low of the trip? Navigating Chicago area construction zones in the sovereign – or is it sufferin’ – state of Ill-Annoys, a.k.a. American Ninja for Cars.

The high of the trip? Nix-nix. Mustn’t show favoritism. Gotta say though, running into incredible people seems to be my one talent, and hitting the road is always a multiplier of that on account of I cannot retreat to my Minnesota lair at the end of the day. For sure, Clara’s on the River, where I started a couple of stimulating nights in Battle Creek, Michigan, was the goods. But, of course, quality time for one full day with my incredibly altruistic daughter Colleen and innocently loving grandson Seamus forged indelible memories.

The photos below bear some kind of witness to the latter (though you “had to be there” to suck up the summer ether and savor the ethos): #1 an enchanted stroll through downtown Jackson included Seamus and moi playing a ragtime piano on a dock; #2 hunting “magical” painted rocks in a fountain and across city parks; and – most touching – #3-4 Seamus hugging strangers with infirmities who we met on the streets; #5 a sack full of that joy and energy which is uniquely Seamus; #6-8 Seamus, Colleen and yours truly hanging out; #9-11 three perspectives of lifelong pal Peter Adams’ colossal sculptures on a beach in Tasmania; #12-13 a couple of sunset silhouettes to summon magic out of you as the curtain comes down on summer….

Note: if this is a mirror site and you don't see photos, you can see them here: https://thomassullivanauthor.com/newsle ... 62017.html . And you can find all Sullygrams archived on my author's web page>Sullygrams & Columns.

Anyone who follows my writing here or on Facebook knows I won’t discuss politics or religion per se, and I want to thank my readers for respecting that. That said, I sometimes offer up politically neutral snapshots of who we are as a people and a culture, and I was struck by a metaphor that emerged out of the Houston floods following Hurricane Harvey. This had to do with an article about fire ants that had formed floating islands on the rushing waters in order to survive. Specifically, it was the comments following the article that were so revelatory to me.

The flow of posts was a picture not of ants but of our two political extremes. For a while the comments went all toward the fire ants apparent altruism in forming a “death ball” to survive. This brought out self-loathing extremes from the Left posting admonitions that we should learn from the superiority of social insects because some ants were drowning in order to support the others and they didn’t argue over color, sex or borders. It wasn’t long before someone with an entomological background posted that the ants didn’t really drown, they rotated; and adding to that someone else posted how different colonies in his ant farms systematically killed every other ant that wasn’t exactly like them. So, now the racist hate-everyone-not-like-themselves extremists from the other end of the spectrum jumped on it and the thread went toward the worst kind of identity politics promoting intolerance as the only way to survive.

Like I said, just a snapshot of how our own extremes shape everything to fit their narrative. One imagines political correctness in support of either dogma has yet to jump backward from humans to fire ants.

Extremes are predictable. In a nice bell curve you always have two ends, but by nature they do not represent the majority. They are…the extremes, tapering off to oblivion on either end of that bell curve. You can almost always invalidate them because by definition their excesses or intemperance are the fringes on any issue. Thing is, whenever imbalance brings out one extreme, you soon get the other. Each shows up with their own version of radical political correctness. It’s something to remember, especially if you’re trusting control of your information to agenda-driven “news” sources.

The crisp stirring of autumn excites me, and seeing my grandlad in Michigan doubles down on that irrepressible joy. Of all the things my daughter is teaching him, the coolest just may be letting pure joy show. Joy in everything. His autism means that his passions are intense, but autism can also cover emotions with a mask. Yet Seamus is sweetly innocent and fearless in showing love no matter how vulnerable it leaves him. Channeling those passions into an open spirit, as his mother has taught him, strikes me as a profound accomplishment that has filled his life with enchantments. Honesty, joy, enchantment – three companions to take on any journey. With gratitude for your friendship, may all three accompany you on yours!

Thomas “Sully” Sullivan
You can see all my books in any format here on my webpage: http://www.thomassullivanauthor.com
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