Racing with the moon

Oh you are so great and I am so small,

I tremble to think of you world at all.~


Human after all

(Photo credit: – tsumi -)

Last night on my last drive home from the campus where I have worked on a history MA for six years, the moon appeared in the sky and followed me home.  My analytic brain said, “This is not possible, and yet, when I pulled into the driveway, there was the moon, shining through the Hawthorn tree. 

The weather forecasters around here, who follow the rising and falling tides, conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, and the rising and setting sun, tell us constellations rise and set as do planets. Millenia ago, humans became aware of these various natural phenomena and began to investigate. The curiosity of a few set off a series of events, the consequences of which we are experiencing today.

So, heavenly bodies are moving or appear to be moving, and it was their movement or apparent movement which first alerted mortals on earth to the mysteries of existence. The rest is history.



Common Reeds, growing on the Chesapeake Bay, M...

Last evening, our professor said he was depressed because according to the author we read for our last class, we seem to be in the midst of another Gilded Age today. Okay, this is the sin historians call “presentism” in which we read the present onto the past because there are some similarities between the two periods. However, history does not repeat itself. If I have learned anything in this program, I have learned that history really is one damn thing after another. Teasing out the threads of cause and effect in this long tangle is impossible. Oh sure theories abound, but what theory explains the rise of humans the greatest mystery of all? 

We once believed we were one step below the angels, but science has shown there are incredible similarities between humans and animals.  Living with animals, I know they experience emotions like jealousy, fear, anger, and even dare I say it, unconditional love.  

We humans may have superior intelligence. I don’t know. I have seen evidence of superior stupidity and superior intelligence. True, we have developed incredible technology, but there are stil those among us who think violence is the way to accomplish things.

No matter how hard we humans try, we cannot seem to get ourselves organized. No wonder some wag invented the phrase, “Go with the Flow.” Because we cannot perfect ways of doing things and sooner or later some glitch screws us up, we might as well throw up our hands and say, I give up. Right?

I am thinking about this because yesterday, I heard Bill Ayers, the unreformed (and uninformed) 1960s terrorist talking about how the US is “finished.” I don’t believe his left-wing rhetoric, and I began to think about “Why should I believe that?”

What does he mean by “finished?”  Does this mean the US no longer has the power it had at the end of WWII when it was triumphant (along with a few other countries)? Perhaps he means the US is not the world’s only Super Power which it became after 1989? Either way, this “power” is not the  thing which makes us whole. 


Pooles Island Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay, MD

Is power equal to might? Does the guy with the biggest stick win? Is power equal to technology?  Or is there another kind of power?  What do you think?




10 thoughts on “Racing with the moon

  1. I believe we live in exciting times with events that hold the potential for change we can’t even imagine. I regret that my natural life will likely end before I’m able to see what transpires, since I think there will be a long period of years in which our world will be quite unsettled — always present with change..

    I think our nation’s status in the world is significantly altered from what it has been in my lifetime. Our world economy, communication capabilities, earth population changes are major contributors to the massive evolution in progress. For everything there are positive benefits and negative consequences. Our challenge, as always, is to maximize the positive — but positive for who?

    I agree we’re condemned to repeat our past mistakes if we fail to remember and learn from them. I also concur that we don’t repeat an identical past, we have to adapt our solutions for the circumstances at the time. The world is ever-changing, perhaps never so much as ours today. There are different kinds of power and might does equal power in certain situations. There are those who respond only to what they perceive as might.


  2. Personally I see us at a plateau or heading downward….we aren;t the mighty sword we were before Vietnam. I believe that will be seen as the turning point.


  3. I would suggest a paraphrase to read “those who fail to remember the ‘mistakes’ of the past, are condemned to repeat them.”


  4. This is more like philosophy than history 🙂

    From what I’ve read, it seems that America, like every other empire/superpower, call it what you will, is on the way down and China is poised to step in. Hmm. Not sure if I don’t believe that, or if I don’t want to believe that. A bit of both, probably.

    So history doesn’t repeat itself?


  5. Physical/technical power wins often, but history indicates many nations inevitably fall because of weaknesses within that make it easier for the powerful to breach physical and cultural boundaries. Cultural strength – moral fiber, a strong common value system, a political system concerned about its citizens, along with capable defense goes a long way in maintaining and prolonging a country’s life.


  6. Ayers just doesn’t get it, and perhaps he never did. Our admittedly imperfect economic and governmental systems have produced a nation whose people enjoy better lives than most. Billions envy us; check out the immigration waiting list. A truly powerful nation, I think, is one that provides the opportunity for its citizens to live healthy and prosperous lives while protecting them from external threats. That requires reasonable levels of technology and military capability. Reasonable is the key word here.


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