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2020 – The Year that Wasn’t Easy

2020 – The Year that Wasn’t Easy

An Appreciative Lament

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I started out the year feeling kinda spiffy.

Then I fell on my face

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Until I fell on my face

Then I cut the very tip of my main guitar finger off. (Ever try to open and apply a band-aid when one hand is already bloody? You can’t. Passive-aggressive sadists have designed it so it can’t be used.)

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Which had barely healed when I smashed the tip of my second-most main guitar finger,

which infected

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then rotted

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and pealed

But healed! I’m finally able to play piano and guitar again!

My minor woes were nothing compared to the collective wear and loss of 2020. Covid 19, Trump’s fascistic threats, a horrendous local fire, global warming acceleration, wanton murder of black people by overly-machoed cops, threats of WWIII over oil – a perfect mess of stupidity, grief, and anxiety.

It’s been a hard year world-wide. We’re all thrust into our vulnerability, personal and collective. We’re vulnerable to vast climactic realities and minute viral ones. We’re vulnerable to fascist liars backed by rabid fanatics with guns. We’re vulnerable to the loss of mutual community. We’re vulnerable to computers programmed to lie and mislead. We’ve lost lives, businesses, money, comity, and spirit.

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One advantage though, is re-appreciating the ordinary goodness of life, the food at the store, the hugs and handshakes, the value of science and journalism, the responsibility and opportunity to be full-fledged citizens, earthlings capable of making it all better.

2021 will still have challenges, but hopefully, it’ll be better. . . God-willing and us-trying.

Like most in Ashland, I masked-up. It wasn’t so much for self-protection as social courtesy and caution. I don’t have the Covid, but others don’t know that, so I mask up to reassure them I’m not spitting the feared virus when I pass or speak. It also participates in a temporary collective means of easily and mostly preventing the spread of the easily contagious problem.

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And have avoided the dreaded Covid 19

Meanwhile, I finished remodeling my kitchen

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Remodeled a tall deck for my sweetie in North Carolina

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Had to build up a new computer (United broke my laptop on a flight) with expert son, Tobias.

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All year, I had been letting my beard grow in hopes of playing Santa Claus in my beloved Ashland. We all need some cheer to end a dreadful year!

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I even went to the Chamber of Commerce to apply

Only to be turned away due to fears of Covid.

On Solstice, Ashland’s streets were empty.

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No carols being sung at the off-kilter flagpole

But the isolation and loss of ordinary community was nothing compared to those in neighboring Talent and Phoenix who suddenly lost everything in a Labor Day firestorm that destroyed almost 3000 structures! The happy homes and crucial businesses turned to ash and dust along with all the contents.

Here are just two of hundreds of photos of thousands of houses and businesses burnt to a crispy gone.

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The fire started just down the street from my house and passed by about 100 yards away, then swept through the creek bed, totally burning down house after house. Whole trailer parks and neighborhoods were utterly incinerated.

Spared that plight, son Tobias and I brought down two tall Yolanda Cypress trees. They stood like torches, ready to ignite. We felled them, cut them up saving all the branches as well as the trunks. Free firewood in our own back yard!

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Still cutting up trees at 75!

(By the grace of God.)

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How lucky I am to have a home, a fireplace, wood to burn, sons I’m proud of, and a cat!

I have veggies to eat, coffee, a computer, my sons, my girlfriend, a car that runs, an electric bike that runs far cheaper and with less pollution, a warm bed in a cool room, health, and plans to finally finish a book I’ve been contemplating and plotting for 50 years.

What’s it about? See the rest of the entries here at my site, a rambling array of mostly sermons that fit my overall theme: how Genesis One (a Good Creation) fixes the stubborn problems due to the mis-explaining Genesis Two and Three (The so-called Fall in the Garden of Eden).

I know most people are not swayed by scripture. Neither am I. It is just plain bad advice to “believe in the Bible.” It’s a mix of a few good passages and a lot of bad ones. Genesis One helps clarify.

Taking it all as “God’s Word” ignores and wastes our own intelligence and conscience. It also wastes God’s good Creation, of which we are made – for which we were made. (By “God” I don’t mean what most resent; I mean the answer for why there is something rather than nothing and how it might work well for all of us.) Elohim God calls every stage of an evolved creation, from light through water to land to plants to animals to humans – “good.” All together on the 6th “day” S’He calls it “very good.”

I agree, not because the Bible says it, but because natural creation is good. It is the goods we’re made of and for.

My “religion” is Natural and Human. It takes reality seriously and joyously. I hope when I start publishing, you’ll like and promote it. Stay tuned. . .

No one asks for my book. Hardly anyone reads my (this) website. I’m not into self-promotion on social media. I’m more interested in writing a love letter to humanity and earthlife, giving reason and advice on restoring Eden and ourselves in it. It’s a bunch of work that probably won’t pay, but I am innerly compelled to get it said, hopefully to beneficial effect.

Meanwhile, check out my other entry for this month – some Reflections recently offered. And thanks for reading my entries at all. I’m trying to keep it light while staying harmonious with reality.

Byron Carrier

Byron has been using his writing and public speaking to engage, challenge and inspire audiences for over 40 years. Reverend Carrier's mission is to rescue and revive our earthly Eden, including our human worth and potential. If you enjoy his work, consider supporting him with Patreon.

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Jill A Iles
Jill A Iles
3 months ago

Oh, how very much I enjoyed this blog!! and I am also in awe at your technological ability.Thank you, Thank you. Now I will read some more of your entries. You are a wonderful Santa. That picture of your wounded face looks like you got beaten badly by bad bad baddies. Happy you are healed and thank you again. Brought a sense of active lliving to my very sitting/laying life of gratitude and watching birds.

Vernon Chandler
Vernon Chandler
3 months ago

Brad, What an awful fall and finger injuries! Glad you have healed from both. Not only are band-aids made by sadists! As I get older, I think all child proof caps and lids (and most all other caps and lids) were really designed by folks who hate the elderly.

I look forward to reading your book!

maya
maya
3 months ago

Very entertaining story summary for humanity, 2020. I like it very much because it’s very human and personable the way you’ve written this. I like the story with your pics as it tells a whole lot more with it. And oh, you finally got your Santa outfit for the town, but no ones there to say hello, but we are here to see your efforts, as distant viewers. Looking forward to see your book in the near future!

John Granacki
John Granacki
3 months ago

For most good people, the nicest thing about 2020 (and the three previous years as well) was that we’ve had an abundance of things to complain about. It’s tough being a curmudgeon when everything is going fine, and I fear Facebook just won’t be the same once Trump is gone. On the whole I have had a great year, nestled in my humble hovel, isolated from the maddening cacophony of the cavemen. Yes indeed, quarantine definitely has its upside when practiced jointly with a loved one (I can’t complain, but somehow she manages…) Sadly, I have grown another year older… Read more »

Teja
Teja
3 months ago

Love, love, love this post!!!!
Many blessings for your book!

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