“Open Letter /3/” by Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” John Quincy Adams
My tolerance for the present administration in Washington, D.C., has come to an end.
The major players in this administration, after more than enough time in office, have shown themselves to be two-faced, triple-talking, bigoted, smear-happy, opportunistic, money-grubbing, throwers of red herrings; and, masters and mistresses of chaos and confusion.
It continues, ad naseum. Day after day. Week after week. Tweet after Tweet. (Using the Twitter account of a former private citizen, who is no longer a private citizen since swearing in day January, 2016.)
Words matter. Actions matter. Words and actions reflect the character of a person. The words and actions of the major players of this administration become more transparent, self-revealing, disturbing and profoundly embarrassing. Undignified. Rude. Petty. Insulting international leaders, long-standing allies, while insulting then complimenting and admiring other leaders of less than applaudable character who torture or murder their own citizens and systematically squelch and incarcerate any whisper of dissent against their own government.
This is some kind of surreal madness. A world turned topsy-turvy. Up is down. Truth isn’t truth. What was stated one day is mocked and denied the next day.
Does this administration believe that enough folks will forget a couple of years from now and be duped again? Do the folks who voted this administration into office continue to believe that these elected officials are making decisions based on their best interest or their own?
How long can the duplicitousness of this administration continue? How many more lies? How many more insults, slurs and misogynistic, racist, bigoted barbs to be shot out and then denied and/or spun away?
I, for one, have had more than enough. Have you, dear Reader, had enough of this, too? If you answered “Yes.”, my next questions to you are: What are you doing today? What are you going to do the next opportunity you have to stand up and speak out for what you believe?
Finally, I have never liked bullies. I am decidedly uncomfortable with inflated, self-centered personalities. Those three attributes in one person who is the President of the United States is chagrining, disheartening and, ironically, motivating.
It is my goal that Donald J. Trump be a one-term President.
This is the last in a series of three (3) “Open Letters”.
Sailing With My Father
Historically a quiet man with an
extraordinarily dry wit
When sailing your quietude
became fierce, sailing on
The hand with a piece of shrapnel
from a war on the tiller, holding
Face turned windward, eyes
noting obstacles, checking
cat tail direction
The rush of wind caught to
fill the sails
We were happy.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dedicated, in Love and Memory, to my father, Mahlon Hendrickson Dunn, Jr., 1914-1992 / Until we meet again.
© Jessan Dunn Otis, August 6, 2018
Weeding With My Mother
I learned to weed a garden
squatting next to my mother
Once I began to learn what was wanted
and what was unwanted
The rest was easy
Get my hands dirty
Smell the earth
Make clean spaces
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dedicated with Love and Memory to Helen Constance Smith Dunn ~ 1912-1980 / Until we meet again.
© Jessan Dunn Otis, June 30, 2018
Think of all the things you’ve done to “make money”. That, in itself, is a ridiculous concept. We don’t “make money”, the government does. We, you and I, earn money.
I started earning money as a girl – granted an allowance for accomplishing certain chores. Chores done, allowance paid. No chores done, no allowance. Some chores completed, partial payment.
At 19 I landed my first “adult” job as a clerk-typist at a social service in Providence, Rhode Island. Paid weekly. Still living at home with my parents in Warwick, RI. Within a few months I fledged myself. Time to go out on my own. One room apartment on the East Side, shared bath, no parking. Independent. Earning money. Paying my own bills.
Some time later I began to see and understand better about what money, as a thing, did to folks. The earning of it, who had more of it, who had less of it and how those two conditions stratified and segregated people from and against each other. Judgements. “Better than” because one had more money. “Less than” because of having not so much money.
This is nothing to say about how the getting of that money perverted folks – what one did to get more, as if the flash and bling and apparent “power” that all that money was had made a person, somehow, superior or more influential, ultimately.
I still earn money and appreciate what it allows me to do – support a household, buy food, purchase something beautiful, share it to support a charitable cause or new initiative. There are times, however, when I think about the earlier tradition of barter – I have something you want, you have something I want, we determine a fair value, make the deal and each of us walks away satisfied and happy. Simple. Neverthemore, in most Westernized societies, barter has faded and it’s the dollar that rules.
Next time you think about money, think about what it really is – a coin or a decorated piece of paper – and, what it takes to earn it, how the having or not having it creates false and devastating divisions between us (as people and as nations); and, what’s the true value and human cost of “earning money”.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(c) 6/8/ 2017
written by: Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
Can you remember;
or, is it only a story
told and told until it becomes
what you believe is your reality
That day you mysteriously passed
from one realm into the next,
having floated in that seawomb
Yelping, speechless, totally dependent –
one year later a celebration of one year
passed; and, on and on until there are
Some I’ve known have come and gone so fast
it took my breath away and, to this day,
their sudden loss is felt
Others stayed for many years, celebration
after celebration until, finally, all the
vital parts slowed down, faded, failing, slipping
Loved short or long (some unknown, but
told of or heard on the evening news) It is
the way we all must go — from flesh to flesh
and dust to dust, we do not know the number
of our days
(In this dark, still night I think about these things)
The coming in
The going out
It is the Spirit that survives, lives on
Only for a moment or two (however short
or long that is) does Spirit take body and is