Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow

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“To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing.” Hypatia

The Writer Elkhound

The Writer Elkhound trots by my side, then bounds forward to chase after a squirrel running across the fence top. Later she winds around my legs and nudges me as I pause. The weight of the world combines with the barometric pressure of rain that has not yet fallen.

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.Jane Austen

Words not yet written. Stories that need to be told. Whole histories of our short time on planet Earth. My entire life I have found the ability to course correct through the books and letters written by men and women throughout the ages.

What we do…

Mass shootings. Hate crimes. Hate-filled rhetoric disguised as a campaign rally. The very powerful striking out and injuring the most vulnerable. Mass deportations as people are snatched up and shoved into unmarked vans, passports thrown on the ground, children left without parents: if we do not take a stand against these acts we are complicit.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…”
Charles Dickens

So much changes, so much remains the same.

“Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word.”
William Shakespeare


I read the United State’s of America’s presidential tweets, I listen to his unfiltered, non-teleprompted words and wonder how any person cannot hear the willful ignorance, the incitement to violence, the need for revenge, the pathetic lies.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are” Maya Angelou


The Writer Elkhound reminds me to keep on walking, to pause near a stand of willows whose leaves whisper like a beaded curtain breeze-pushed to the side. To recommit myself to look, without blinders, at what is unfolding. To dedicate myself to the understanding that words can conceal and wound and incite violence, and that words can also illuminate the truth.

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