Tag Archives: housing demolitions

An Open Letter to President Obama: What will you do?

Firstly, a disclaimer:  the following letter reflects some pretty strong opinions of the U.S. of A., and is likely to ruffle more than a few feathers.  I would (probably) never ask my readers not to comment, and I’m certainly not doing so now, but in this case I’ll only say that I’ll refrain from replying to any comments – I’ll have had my say in the words that follow.  And if you’re not in the mood for politics or…ahem…a good rant, may as well give this one a miss.  Thanks as always for reading me.

Source: Black Coughenour via Wikimedia Commons


Dear Mr. President,

It is now seven years since I left the United States of America with the express intention of passing the remainder of my life as the resident of Somewhere Else.  In the space of this letter, I will make two generalizations about my fellow U.S. American citizens, and the first is this:  we all have complicated relationships with our nation.  I am no different.  I do not hate the United States; on the contrary, I in fact love it so deeply, I could no longer go on living in it.


My existential disappointments in this life have been many.  Like more and more of us, I struggle to contend with my humanity in the face of human behavior.  I struggle to find a reasonable balance in the never-ending battle of human Good versus Evil, in which Good is too often suffocated by the unbearable weight of hatred, cruelty and greed.  The paradox of the United States is almost overwhelming in this respect.  It is at once the acme of the European lust for conquest – arguably among the purest examples of Evil the world has yet seen – and the promise for which every last sentient human being who wakes up in the morning does so:  Hope.

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Spider Webs

Is there anything quite like walking through a spider web?  For those of us with our spider issues (I’m not phobic, but nearly), the sensation rests somewhere between a shudder and a gag.  The other morning, out jogging at 6:00 am, I was the lucky human that got to tear through all…those…webs.

I use the word “tear” here quite intentionally:  while the feeling it evokes in humans is far from pleasant, I can’t imagine how awful it must be for the spiders.  And yet, I can tell you exactly what they do:  they re-weave.  They probably don’t hum and haw and go tell their neighbor spiders about how horrible it was (oh, the arachnidity!).  They just get on with it.  Far-less dignified dogs enthralled with their daily walk carelessly destroy hours of intricate labor, and they re-weave.  Screaming little girls flail their arms madly about them in horror, certain there is an army of 8-legged creepy-crawlies making a home of their hair, and they re-weave. Depending on the type of spider, it could just be a particularly windy day, and they re-weave.

We humans aren’t quite so zen about it all.  Home is a word that means a lot more than the place where we sleep and trap flies who we’ll bring to a demise worthy of the most horrible horror films.  Home is where we raise our children, where we make love to our partners, where we break bread with the people we love most dearly in the world.  Home is – or should be – where we seek sanctuary.

Only sometimes, that just isn’t the case.

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