Blog

1 week ago

Mary Pipher

At sunrise this morning, I looked out on grasses dusted by snow, branches silvered with frost and a frozen Holmes Lake. I was delighted by the wintry scene before me. Just then a young fox, dark-red and healthy, pranced along our southern fence. We haven’t seen foxes lately and this one, on such a sparkly day, gave me hope. News of the world has been heartbreaking and who better than Buddha Fox to say “Cheer up, there will be a better time.” ...

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3 weeks ago

Mary Pipher

Airport Security should be re-named Airport Insecurity. When I flew to Canada to celebrate my 72nd birthday with my daughter’s family, my Nebraska airport was a having a day of “extra security.” That meant we were x-rayed, patted down, and tested for drugs and explosives. I watched parents with children, students on their way to a conference, young couples on their way to a beach and businessmen en route to dull meetings--all delayed while we were carefully checked for the size of our toothbrush tubes and for weapons in our shoes. I could feel the stress emanating from my fellow passengers, especially the children and the students. The TSA process is designed to make us feel afraid.

I am always nervous in these lines.
Will the metal bracings in my hands cause an alarm to sound?
Do I have any liquid in my water bottle?
Will my carefully packed suitcase be rifled through for contraband?
Will the licorice I am bringing to my grandsons be confiscated?
Will I miss my plane?

Meanwhile, as I stood in this long line, I thought of the ridiculousness of our collective situation. Ordinary Americans are subjected to cumbersome and embarrassing procedures, while our president calls the president of Turkey and relinquishes our protection of the Kurds. As they fight to save their homes and families, they abandon the prisons in Northern Syria and hundreds of high-level ISIS prisoners escape. Our country befriends the thugs in power, betrays our allies, cedes Syria to the Russians, and furthers the global control of Vladimir Putin. Everyday our president’s haphazard and cruel actions cause more people to hate us.

Of course, we need some airport security, such as metal detectors and identification checks, but the system we have is not really about security. It’s about creating fear. It serves to constantly remind us that we are in danger and only the government can protect us. The messaging is about suspicion of each other, a threatening world, and the need for a strong military and internal surveillance service.

While we spend billions to test the traveling public, we allow our citizens to die for lack of health screening and we have a president who thinks Colorado is a border state. We are a county in meltdown and, like the sheep we become in security lines, we accept what we do not know how to change.

I have no solutions, but one suggestion. For the moment, let us just wake up to the craziness of airport security, to our cruel Halloween clown of a president, and to the folly of protecting ourselves by buying cruise missiles and patting down old ladies at airports, when what we most need to do is simply become America again. Our greatest safety comes from being loved and respected as country that protects human rights and stands for democracy.

Meanwhile, we need to remember that almost all of us are better than our leaders and that we can trust and love each other and indeed even fly on a plane together without taking off our shoes first. If we cannot confront power, we can at least acknowledge its folly.
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4 weeks ago

Mary Pipher

Last weekend I was in Canada celebrating my birthday with my daughter’s family. Sunday morning, I walked on a dirt path along Spencer Creek with my grandson Coltrane. The maples were blazing, the willows were the color of lemon sherbet, the bittersweet was orange and the wild grapes a royal purple. The sky was blue, the air was crisp, and the wind blew at just the right speed to make the leaves sing. Spencer Creek sparkled in the sun. Coltrane sparkled too as he showed me his favorite place to jump his bike and the spot he and his friends went wading.

As we walked home along Napier Street, I noticed a hearse in front of us. I thought to myself, “There is always a hearse in front of us. However, this morning is wonderful.”
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1 month ago

Mary Pipher

This last weekend, the R-rated movie “Joker" was a record-breaking box office hit. Meanwhile, I went to a different movie, “Aquarela.” It was a Scandinavian slow movie with no characters, voices or captions. For almost two hours, I watched water moving—glaciers calving, waves rolling, river ice melting and waterfalls falling.

Once I slowed down to the speed of the movie, I found the quiet beauty strangely calming. I forgot my own worries, my to-do list, global climate change and Donald Trump. Instead, I wondered if this or that piece of glacier would slide into a turquoise blue sea. As I walked to my car, I wondered how people felt as they walked out of “Joker.”

I am not like most people. In fact, only two other people were at “Aquarela.” I never want to be frightened and I can’t stand to witness violence. For entertainment, I look to the moon, the birds, the trees and the sweet voices of my friends and family.
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2 months ago

Mary Pipher

Quote du jour by E.M Cioran, "One can experience loneliness in two ways: by feeling lonely on the world or by feeling the loneliness of the world." ...

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