June 01, 2021 – Memorial Day Weekend Review

Max at Piñata Memorial Day Weekend 2021 ©Felipe Adan Lerma
Max at Piñata Memorial Day Weekend 2021 ©Felipe Adan Lerma

My Memorial Day Weekend – long, wet, and very enjoyable! Thanks of course to the so very many who sacrificed to make this relative time of peace possible. I served in the Air Force “way” back in the 70s, and like most the guys and women with me at the time, though the draft was finally fading, we’d joined to gain access to benefits and training and found a companionship of fellow citizens from across our whole country. I don’t remember ever discussing politics. We’d joined, mostly voluntarily, so we were there with an acknowledged purpose in exchange – to serve our country as needed. We were schooled in weapons, first aide, and (in us guys’ instance) even how to shave for safety and effectiveness. Things were lean. How we lived, ate and lived. And when the Vietnam War wound down enough, we were offered and encouraged to take early discharge if we wished. I’d been in 2 1/2 years or so, it was summer, and I could get myself into college back home with the benefits I’d earned. And take my small family back home. I never saw military action, but did see how each man and each woman who did, came back changed. It wasn’t clear how or how deeply to us and I suspect, even those who did come back. But there was an unspoken awareness it was deep, and dire. Something to the core of human existence. The question of course, nascent but burning brightly in those middle years of the 1970s, at least among the circle of people I was close to, was – was the conflict even necessary anymore? What was there a shortage of so critical it meant maiming and extinguishing life for? What was the existential necessity worth fighting for? Was it something easily apparent without question to any observer, combatant or citizen? Would everyone benefit from the conflict? Or just a few? We didn’t know. I think we’re beginning to know, but it’s not something as apparent as the moon glowing at night. Or the tickle of a young child’s laughter. The flutter of leaves in a light rain. Things we know we cherish and should protect our relationship with. The answer is complex because the relationships between those who make decisions and those who can only vote to choose who might make those decisions, if they choose to represent who voted them in – vs who might be able to financially make them and their family financially independent for life – is complex. In the existence of human life, we have never known a time of apparent abundance, an abundance possibly sustainable without visible end, at least without the end of everything. Which begs the further question – is there a God? Hard to imagine some common hand or thread from an originating source not sustaining the spirals of similarity from microscopic within us to the still full ungraspfullness of the universe we swirl within. A breath of expansion, contraction and re-expansion visible even in black holes, even to us, visibly carriedto the tiny black holes at the centers of our own eyes. So Memorial Day is, like Mother’s Day and Christmas and Valentines and all our cherished days of celebrations, is a good time to reflect. Thank those who’ve given of themselves, especially those who gave with their lives, and enabled us to even have this time to think, reflect, remember ♥️

With gratitude, for being given the time to ponder, with people I care for around me 💕


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Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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