Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Sophisticated Man

 He is a sophisticated man. Every morning his mirror smiles at him. His white hair and beard are perfectly coiffed. Each hair is examined, snipped, combed, and smiled upon. His custom tailored white shirt fits as demanded and every onyx button is stitched securely in place. The lime and blue woven iridescent silk tie from Italy is the perfect accompaniment to shirt and suit.   

He is a sophisticated man. His library is the envy of friends. The patina on the one hundred fifty year old wood is an intoxicant to the eye. Soft light is cast by Tiffany lamps and solid brass wall sconces. His books line one wall. He looks upon them often and smiles. His face instantly reacts as his eyes fall upon his first editions of Hawthorne and Webster. The smile, ignited by the gaze, reminds him of his status and lucrative mind.  The great works of literature speak softly to visitors that here lives a sophisticated man.

He is a sophisticated man. His leather chair is one of the finest. Hand crafted and covered in Romanza Leather, it is exquisite in every detail. The brass buttons at the top of each arm bear the marks of his fingers over long years. The trained eye can see the faint color change in the leather where his elbows have rested as he enjoyed his pipe and brandy.

He is a sophisticated man. To the left of his chair, his Gillow’s Pembroke Table is within easy reach. His pipe and pouch rest within an Ebony bowl, placed exactly at the far left end of the table, though still in reach. The decanter of Courvoisier brandy rests upon its 16th century silver server. The snifter sits next to the decanter, with her opening covered with appropriate sized linen. 

He is a sophisticated man. But, every morning his mirror is deceived. The visage of the perfectly groomed man fails to reveal his uninhabited soul and empty heart. He rests within the safety and luxury of the finest leather on his chair. His lips enjoy his fine brandy. The scent of expensive pipe tobacco lingers long. At the setting of the sun he closes himself shut within the safety of the beauty of wood, leather, brandy and tobacco. The soft leather surrounds him and the curling tobacco smoke hides the solitary tear in his right eye. 

He is a sophisticated man.  The warmth of the pipe bowl comforts the fingers of his right hand. With the warmth of his brandy still smooth on his lips he pulls on the brass knob of his exquisite Pembroke table. With his fine tobacco smoke curling upwards towards the hammered tin ceiling the manicured fingers of his left hand react to the cold stainless steel barrel. The pendulum from the Windsor Cherry floor clock declare the passing of seconds as the manicured fingers from the sophisticated man find and rest upon the cold steel.

He Was a Sophisticated Man.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Old Piano

 The old upright piano seems nestled, she wouldn't say it that way, in the debris on the side of the village street. Her top and keyboard were covered in dust and soot from diesel engines. Missing cobblestones attempt to embarrass her as one of her legs is tipping towards the rubble at her feet.

The dust and dirt on her top looks streaked as though tears ran down the angled top. Her many fingers, once bright and clean, now covered in dust try to hide the missing ivory caps on five of her fingers. Fingers that could sense the spirit of the musician even before his long and excellently manicured fingers touched hers, now they are silent.

The genius of Mozart and Bach, Chopin and Beethoven had given life to her beauty of wood and wire. The beauty and flow of the wood fibers would come alive, like the breath of divinity giving life to wood that yielded itself to the saw many years before. Now in her humiliation she gives up this life, like so many strewn around her. Will anyone mourn her passing?

This piece was the result of a photograph from WWII taken from a French village.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Does it Really Matter?

 Does it really matter? Our federal election is just five weeks away. We will either elect a new president or re-elect our current one. But, does it really matter who gets elected? Aren't all politicians just puppets who sing and dance at the whims of big business and global powers?  

How you answer the above questions might tell quite a bit about your attitude towards government and ours in particular. It might also indicate how you view voting. I have vivid memories of the first free elections that were to take place in Iraq. Never mind the politics. Focus on the Iraqi people. People walked, rode bicycles, drove old rickety cars, just to get to a polling station, stand in the oppressive heat, and cast their ballot. Once they voted they dipped their forefinger into blue ink.

Old men and women, looking worn out from war and death, smiled for the camera and held up their ink stained finger. Their vote was important and they held the conviction that it mattered. They faced the rumors of attacks being planned on the voters and in every town where voting was to take place. Facing violence was more important than not voting.

Their choices were important to them. Our choices as we enter the election time and the voting booth are critical this year. I'm going to be right upfront here. I did not like our current president. During the primary I voted for a different person and was saddened that he did not win. In retrospect he probably would have lost to the challenger. My dislike for the president was based on quite a few reasons that are personal.

Our current president has been a strong leader. He has tried to keep the promises he made while on the campaign trail. His is a staunch advocate for every unborn child. He has stated that every child is designed by God and is a gift. His conviction is obvious and not some pandering move to appease people.

Our president is unequivocal in his belief that America is an exceptional country and a beacon of freedom in the world. That ethos resounds within my soul. The price that men and women paid in their shed blood for the American Dream demands my respect and allegiance. My father and uncles fought the Nazi and Japanese powers to protect our liberty.

I hope and pray that you will vote on election day. You must vote your conscience. When you enter the voting booth remember the power that your vote has. I will remember the image of an Iraqi women draped in tattered material smiling an almost toothless grin, holding up her ink stained finger for the world to see.