My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder and then, at the age of 57, so was I. A lifetime of struggle was placed into a context that made sense of a lot of failure and frustration. This blog documents and celebrates what has happened to me since.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a pile of bricks...

The "special" school levy to upgrade the construction of Grant High School--and other schools here in Portland--failed.  The "conservative" (Burke rolls over in his grave every time the grifters and reactionaries are called conservative) types are rejoicing.

Mostly I don't  care about the leaking roofs and the electrical wiring that won't support the needs of the last half of the twentieth century, let alone this one.

What I care about is the fact that the building is one big pile of bricks--and it's among the many such buildings here in Portland that, come the "big one," is going to come down several tons  of bricks.

The "big one," by the way, an earthquake that will rival if not surpass the one that hit Japan this year, is inevitable and it's overdue.  Google it.  We know it's coming.

I also know that every school day my beautiful and talented 17 year old daughter, who is blessed with a  singing voice that turns heads and a mind that wraps itself around calculus and physics, the one who was a starter on the varsity volley ball team her sophomore year, walks into that pile of bricks as though the plates off the coast of Oregon were not grinding their way toward the subduction catastrophe that is sure to happen.

I don't have any illusions.  If that building comes down when she's there I'm going to be standing outside hopeful/less for a long time before people who know how to do search and rescue will get to Grant.  There are a lot of buildings that are coming down--especially on all that fill along the Willamette River.  And who knows what the transportation infrastructure is going to look like that day?  There I'll be along with a lot of other parents--some of whom may not even connect the "no" vote they cast on this levy with the agony they are part of.

Yeah, the economy is bad--but Oregonians are not so poor as they claim.  Oregonians--including the the human beings driving BMW's and owning two or three homes--have benefitted from massive tax breaks these last twenty years or so.  Many of them are also benefitting from the Bush Tax Cuts.  Of course, Oregon tax payers who are not human beings have benefitted more from the tax cutting mania than those of us who breathe.  So many of the people who claim they can't tighten their belt any further are the ones who loosened them quite a bit to accommodate the financial fat they put on with the defunding of public infrastructure these last few years--including that building that's going to come down a ton of bricks, several of them, likely on the heads of kids like mine.

If that terrible earthquake hits during non-school hours we can all rejoice in the miracle.  If it hits during school hours after mine has graduated and gone I'll agonize and mourn for those who had the bad luck to be born later than she was.

How am I going to feel--whether my own Honey Bear wins, loses or draws in this waiting game--about those in my "community" who had the ability to help avert disaster but decided they couldn't "afford it."

I guess that's the point of the de-funders, the Libertarians and the Tea Party types--pull us all apart and pit us against one another.  Make us all so afraid for our own that we just shrug when the inevitable outcomes of the  selfishness and greed strikes someone else's children.  The idea is to make us all believe we cannot rely on one another, that it's all of us agains the rest of us. There is no such thing as "society" or "community" according to them.  There's just individuals and families.

one victim lives the tragedy
another stops to stare
still another walks on by
pretending not to see
they're all out there in No Man's Land
the safest place to be...

About Me

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I am a convinced Beanite Friend, a member of Bridge City Friends Meeting, Willamette Quarterly Meeting and North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Notwithstanding the doubts of some who claim the name, I am a Christian who does a Buddhist practice and believes that God talks to everyone, all the time. I have worked in the judicial branch of government, as well as being a trial lawyer, a public school teacher (counselor and coach), a kite merchant, and a Marine Corp Sergeant. I am currently working as a consultant to public and private agencies on issues of child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse treatment courts.