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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 4/17/21

Happy weekend!


It’s a wrap!


This is the 400th Musing from the Bunker—and the last. Tomorrow is the beginning of the next chapter.


It seems that, with nearly 40% of Americans now vaccinated, projected to be over 50% next month, restaurants opening and caseloads steady or declining, we no longer are confined to (or even significantly restricted to) our bunkers. While this is all generally positive news, we still must be vigilant, protecting the health of each other and doing what we can to reduce the spread of this virus and its variants. In any event, I can no longer say these are musings “from the bunker.”


Tomorrow begins the next chapter of this project, “Musings of the Moment.” I had considered calling it “Emerging from the Bunker,” but felt it might be premature (I hope not). Then I thought of “The Reasonable Man,” as it is an aspirational description of what I would hope to be. As I’ve said before, I don’t think the troubles of our world are nearly as complicated as the sophists of our political and punditry classes would like us to believe. Out of the chaos are reasonable solutions that we can explore together. There is no “enemy” on the moderate left (or even the progressive left) and no evil on the moderate right. There are only Americans—struggling to find their way. We should be exploring some solutions together.


In coming weeks, I’m experimenting with downsizing the vast amount of material I’m throwing out there. To that end, I’m going with “quickies” (or nothing at all) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Curiously, the number of views of the Musings are at their highest on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends. So I’ll adjust accordingly.


POETRY


This week’s poetry is lifted from the American Scholar’s “Commonplace Book”:


“Scientists and crew lined the balconies of each ship, gripping the ice-crusted bannisters as they peered across the void. They could see the smiling faces of their colleagues just feet away—but they were tow time zones apart. At the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. It’s simultaneously all of Earth’s time zones and none of them. There are no boundaries of any kind in this abyss, in part because there is no land and no people. The sun rises and sets just once per year, so “time of day” is irrelevant as well.” –Katie Weeman, “Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole,” Scientific American, March 13, 2020


“Slept sinfully.” –Leo Tolstoy, 1888


“I felt the winter breaking up in me, and if I had been at home, I should have tried to write poetry.” –Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 1854


MUSIC


I’ve been thinking about how the pandemic has had the effect of unmooring us from our “regular” lives and behaviors. That got me thinking about how, even predating the pandemic, we have separated from our neighbors. Could one outcome of the pandemic be trying for belonging? Is it possible we will experience greater interest in communal organizations like the Rotary Club, desire to join private clubs for companionship and recreation, softball leagues for camaraderie? My guess is we will be a little more “joining” in our society’s future, as people struggle for community.


In thinking about the idea of being unmoored from connection, here is the song, “Got No Roots,” sung by Alice Merton, a woman who never lived anywhere long enough to establish roots. Her lyrics contemplate the lack of roots and the things she accumulates in life that are worth holding onto:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUdyuKaGQd4


Here’s part of the lyric:


I like digging holes

Hiding things inside them

When I grow old

I won't forget to find them

I like digging holes

Hiding things inside them

When I grow old

I won't forget to find them


THE WEIGHT


Because this one makes me smile, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson and a worldwide group of performers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph1GU1qQ1zQ


Have a great weekend,


Glenn

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