“People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. . . . This surprises us when the persons concerned are thieves bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or murders boasting of their cruelty. But it surprises us only because the circle, the atmosphere, in which these people live, is limited, and chiefly because we are outside it. Can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich boast of their wealth-robbery, when commanders of armies pride themselves on their victories-murder, and when those in high places vaunt their power-violence? That we do not see the perversion in the views of life held by these people, is only because the circle formed by them is larger and we ourselves belong to it.” (Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy, trans. Louise Maude)

New Readers:

Please start reading with my first post "A Cup of Coffee". Originally posted on March 19, the archival date changed when I made corrections on May 13, which is the date under which you can find it now.

I'll learn to manage this all more smoothly someday, but at present I have at most only an hour online each day (that thanks to the San Francisco Public Library system, without which I would be lost).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It Has Begun

I was on my way to City College this afternoon, hurrying to the BART Station at 16th and Mission.  Walking briskly toward the stairs, I saw that the curved wall which usually displays works of art or community information notices was instead covered with post-it notes.  I stepped closer, read a few, and then, because I was about to be late for class, I hurried on toward my train.  At the bottom of the stairs, I turned around and climbed back up, taking my phone out of my backpack as I did.  I was afraid that the notes might be gone by the time I could return, taken away by wind or the city.

I had to record what I could to show it to you here.  The close-ups all together show about a quarter, perhaps a third, of all the notes.  Post-it pads, pens, and tape had been left along the ledge at the base of the wall. 

I thought, "This is the city talking to itself."  I thought of the Freedom Wall in Tiananmen Square.  I thought of that guy standing in front of the tank.  And I remembered Leonard Cohen.

It's coming to America first
 The cradle of the best and of the worst
 It's here they got the range
 And the machinery for change
 And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
 It's here the family's broken
 And it's here the lonely say
 That the heart has got to open
 In a fundamental way
 Democracy is coming to the USA





Sail on, sail on
 Oh mighty ship of State
 To the shores of need
 Past the reefs of greed
 Through the Squalls of hate
 Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on