Distance

I don’t know which I find more sad: That everything I know about my daughter, with whom I was once so very close, I get from her Facebook page (we’ve lived w/n two hours’ drive from each other for the past four years, but she refuses to see me; I’ve stopped asking). Or, what she finds worthy of her time on Facebook are things I find incomprehensible.

She has had quite a lengthy discussion lately on the tragedy in Cleveland where a very sick man apparently kidnapped and held three women (and the born-in-captivity daughter of one of those women) for ten years. Yes, a tragedy, and one whose impact on those women I can’t begin to imagine. But, to expand the speculation to the brothers of the kidnapper, and what they knew, when she’s lived the past 27 years of her life half-a-continent away is just pure gossip. No sympathy for the victims, just retribution for the guilty. Then, of course, there is the trumpeting of the passage of the redefinition of marriage in a few more states, as if that relationship between a man and a woman can be legislated. So what are you going to do if it doesn’t work out? Blame the politicians for that, too?

But no mention of Kermit Gosnell the butcher of Philadelphia who was found guilty of murdering the babies whose pregnant mothers came to his house of horrors. No mention of Angelina Jolie who had the inestimable courage to speak about her double mastectomy – a movie star who relies on her radiant good looks has admitted to radical (in more ways than one) surgery. Yawn.

Yes, this is all part of my shock that those who claim to be “liberals” are just as close-minded as those who claim to be “conservatives.” I had heard years ago that, when you get to the extreme fringe in politics, the left and the right meet; but I had no idea that what that really meant was that they share the same calcified inability to listen. It’s as tho being able to plug your ears determines where you are on the political/religious/ethic/moral spectrums. “Moderates” become, by default, those who can entertain and even appreciate an opposing point of view, w/o becoming apoplectic. Adolf Hitler, at his frothing-mouth, podium-pounding best is the role model, I guess – for everybody who has all the answers and can barely tolerate those of us who are trying to understand the questions.

The geographical distance shrinks to nothing when compared to the emotional and spiritual.

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