Leonard Cohen died last week. Nothing to watch on this, just listen:
A friend said that, after he heard of Cohen’s death, he played Hallelujah
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttEMYvpoR-k) the entire day at his office at full volume. (He and his partner are in a separate building from their receptionist, secretaries, and paralegals, so he only drove his partner crazy.) These recordings are with Cohen’s younger voice.
Within the last month my toaster oven broke (which may have belonged to my mother, who died in 2005), my small espresso machine broke (which used to reside at our cabin on Mt. Lemmon when the kids were little, about 25+ years ago), and the frame on my glasses broke (this is the third prescription put in them). Well, I hope I last longer than my possessions. Seems ominous.
I also just turned 70. Had friends and relatives (son! brother! cousins!) visiting for half a week from San Diego, Vancouver, Sonoma, and Denver. We partied for days and they helped me put on a celebration dinner for 30. After they returned home, I noticed that my kitchen no longer automatically gets cleaned. I wake up in the morning and have to face dirty dinner dishes. Well, that bit of spoiling didn’t last long.
Social Venture Partners – Fast Pitch Tucson 2016
Went to a fundraiser last week.
SVP does more than give away money. We amplify the impact of those out to do good in three distinct ways:
- Connect and engage individuals, helping them make the greatest impact with their philanthropic giving.
- Fund and strengthen nonprofits, helping them take their vital work for communities to the next level.
- Invest in collaborative solutions, so those with a common cause can align their efforts and go farther, together.1
First, the keynote speaker, Ron Garan, decorated astronaut and social entrepreneur, gave us a great talk, showing us the world through his Orbital Perspective.
Then seven finalists (Fast Pitch Tucson gives free two-month communication skills training … for nonprofits) made three‐minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds of philanthropic, business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, competing to win cash awards. They started with heart-rending stories. Two hankies worth.
$5,000 Tucson Federal Credit Union Tucson Matters Award
$5,000 TEP Power to the People Award + featured in Biz Tucson
$7,500 Cox Charities Award
$7,500 Judges Award
$10,000 SVP Tucson Award
The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona (not just cookies – leadership development is the core focus of Girl Scouting, offering diverse programs on Science and Technology, Self-Esteem, Career Exploration, Financial Literacy, Environmental Awareness and more) won big, with three prizes. Helping Hands for Single Moms Tucson (a community-based nonprofit that assists impoverished single mom families while the moms are pursuing a college education and financial independence) won one. Children’s Clinics (a non-profit organization, dedicated to delivering family centered, coordinated medical and health services to children and families with complex medical conditions) won the other.
As they won lots of $, I spread my largess elsewhere. I signed up to volunteer for ICS (Interfaith Community Services) Care Partners. (Volunteers in the Care Partner Program work together as a team to assist newly discharged patients from health care facilities to assist them with transportation to follow-up appointments, pharmacy, grocery store, etc. ) And I gave a fistful of money to Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona (a non-profit agency dedicated to assisting low income homeowners in Tucson and Pima County) that friend R recommended.
Last Friday was Veterans’ Day, a day off from school, so after visiting my father’s grave, my daughter and I took the kids to the Desert Museum. The Raptor Free Flight is always my favorite. This is my favorite shot, but my grandsons and I took a few more, sharing my camera and my phone.
Here’s Why We Grieve Today
A friend emailed me this. I put it last ’cause it’s too depressing. But read it anyway!
November 9, 2016/ John Pavlovitz
I don’t think you understand us right now. I think you think this is about politics. I think you believe this is all just sour grapes; the crocodile tears of the losing locker room with the scoreboard going against us at the buzzer. I can only tell you that you’re wrong. This is not about losing an election. This isn’t about not winning a contest. This is about two very different ways of seeing the world.
Hillary supporters believe in a diverse America; one where religion or skin color or sexual orientation or place of birth aren’t liabilities or deficiencies or moral defects. Her campaign was one of inclusion and connection and interdependency. It was about building bridges and breaking ceilings. It was about going high.
Trump supporters believe in a very selective America; one that is largely white and straight and Christian, and the voting verified this. Donald Trump has never made any assertions otherwise. He ran a campaign of fear and exclusion and isolation—and that’s the vision of the world those who voted for him have endorsed.
They have aligned with the wall-builder and the professed p*ssy-grabber, and they have co-signed his body of work, regardless of the reasons they give for their vote: Every horrible thing Donald Trump ever said about women or Muslims or people of color has now been validated. Every profanity-laced press conference and every call to bully protestors and every ignorant diatribe has been endorsed. Every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation Mike Pence has championed has been signed-off on. Half of our country has declared these things acceptable, noble, American. This is the disconnect and the source of our grief today. It isn’t a political defeat that we’re lamenting, it’s a defeat for Humanity.
We’re not angry that our candidate lost. We’re angry because our candidate’s losing means this country will be less safe, less kind, and less available to a huge segment of its population, and that’s just the truth. Those who have always felt vulnerable are now left more so. Those whose voices have been silenced will be further quieted. Those who always felt marginalized will be pushed further to the periphery. Those who feared they were seen as inferior now have confirmation in actual percentages. Those things have essentially been campaign promises of Donald Trump, and so many of our fellow citizens have said this is what they want too.
This has never been about politics.
This is not about one candidate over the other.
It’s not about one’s ideas over another’s.
It is not blue vs. red.
It’s not her emails vs. his bad language.
It’s about overt racism and hostility toward minorities.
It’s about religion being weaponized.
It’s about crassness and vulgarity and disregard for women.
It’s about a barricaded, militarized, bully nation.
It’s about an unapologetic, open-faced ugliness.
And it is not only that these things have been ratified by our nation that grieve us; all this hatred, fear, racism, bigotry, and intolerance—it’s knowing that these things have been amen-ed by our neighbors, our families, our friends, those we work with and worship alongside. That is the most horrific thing of all. We now know how close this is. It feels like living in enemy territory being here now, and there’s no way around that.
We wake up today in a home we no longer recognize. We are grieving the loss of a place we used to love but no longer do.
This may be America today but it is not the America we believe in or recognize or want.
This is not about a difference of political opinion, as that’s far too small to mourn over. It’s about a fundamental difference in how we view the worth of all people—not just those who look or talk or think or vote the way we do.
Grief always laments what might have been, the future we were robbed of, the tomorrow that we won’t get to see, and that is what we walk through today. As a nation we had an opportunity to affirm the beauty of our diversity this day, to choose ideas over sound bytes, to let everyone know they had a place at the table, to be the beacon of goodness and decency we imagine that we are—and we said no.
The Scriptures say that weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. We can’t see that dawn coming any time soon.
And this is why we grieve.