On surviving another year: Having another birthday is always better than the only alternative. This year I can’t help thinking about a naval vessel on which I served. It was large and usually provided smooth sailing. She was top heavy though, because of two massive cranes. During a storm at sea, she would roll—really roll—to the point where even seasoned deep-water sailors would stop what they were doing and cast a sea-eye amidship. At the farthest point of the roll, the old girl would shudder, groan, and right herself. During the worst of one storm we all began to wonder, “Is this the time she won’t make it, won’t right herself, but just keep rolling?
Our ship of state seems to me to be on such a roll. There are factions that seem to want it to capsize and sink. Don’t ask me why. Although I wasn’t “in-country” in 1968, reports indicate we went through another such roll then, cheered on by the opposite end of the political spectrum than the one that threatens us now. It made no sense then, either.
It has all taught me to avoid extremes of belief that breed discontent and disaster. And it comforts me to think that America, that great old gal, has always righted herself and sailed to peaceful waters. But this time, this time … does the abyss beckon?