Snoring Sully Sullenberger

In the AARP Bulletin, of which I am old enough to read, there is a conversation with Sully Sullenberger, the pilot who five years ago safely landed a jet on the Hudson River saving 155 passengers and crew.

Among his many experiences since, Sully was invited to Obama’s first inaugural ball. After being introduced to Obama, the President turned to Sully’s wife and said,”America considers him a hero.”

And Sully’s wife Lorrie said, “Well, the world may think him a hero, but he still snores!”

And that is what makes heroes real.


I didn’t bother to look back at my other posts to see if I have used this heading before. Listening, I think it is the most important contributor to healing our world. I also believe it has to start long before the listening of diplomacy. Listening at a diplomatic level is as essential as an other listening, but at that level the stress is so high that the risk of failure is much greater.

Robert Johnson in his book Owning Your Own Shadow writes, “You can give another person a precious gift if you will allow them to talk without contaminating their speech with your own material.”

Less of us can be a very good thing, but we must remain present.

“Pushed to the Brink of the World”

Jung, writing in Memories, Dreams, Reflections;

I had the feeling that I had pushed to the brink of the world;  what was of burning interest to me was null and void for others, and even a cause for dread.”

What do you think he is talking about?

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For the Sake of Posterity

Posterity From Oxford’s English Dictionary; “All future generations of people collectively, esp. regarded as the beneficiaries of a particular inheritance, tradition, culture, etc. for (also †in) posterity : for (the sake or good of) future generations; for the future.

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Who said that and why? I didn’t know, so I looked it up. You can too. I am betting no one knows the answer on their own, but if you say you did, j’accuse not.

Interesting to me is that, per Fowler’s Modern English Usage, we are correct when we use it generically, as in the accused cashier, or the accused baseball player, but not so when we make the accused specifically guilty of something, as in the accused murderer or the accused bank robber.

I think our world has learned not to be case specific on its accusations. Newspapers know, and I think most of know too, that we are not accused of a said crime anymore, but rather alleged to have done it.

Politics and Poetry

Until I read David Orr’s Beautiful & Pointless, I never thought of connecting politics to poetry. Historically it was mainstream, but poetry in our society is beyond the fringe.  The most popular type of pundit poetry in our more worldly world is Duck Dynasty. Poet laureates are fading away.

A poet is still present at the Presidential Inauguration, but does anybody listen enough to remember what was said? Was the last poet at an inauguration male or female? Historically poetry was profoundly connected to politics, but who can explain what purpose it served?

In 1821 Percy Bysshe Shelly wrote, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

The only part of this that must seem relevant to the average person in our society is the word “unacknowledged.” Poetry and politics; a connection replaced by duck whistles and washed out of the common place by mobs of cyber spacers. As such, the politics of poetry has become invisible.

Historically, politicians could hear the poets and most likely wished they would go away. Now it is not worth the energy to protest. Who cares?

Poets have been pushed aside along with meaningful prophets. The new reality is the reality show. Poetry is interesting only when it is couched in the prophecy of the apocalyptic. Fox News and MSNBC are the new free verse.