They gave us Math. The concept of Zero. They gave names to the stars and and the word "Algebra" is part and participle of their language.
The gave us music and dance, legends and stories. They were tolerant and fierce, kind and full of courage.
Over time, their gifts to us, which did so much to ease us, the West, into the sciences and opened the doors to an appreciation of Higher Learning, became what we considered our own. And maybe they did, in fact, belong to us.
But we were like children seated in a wagon at the top of the hill, and they were the elders that gave us that first shove. We've been on that ride ever since, long ago exceeding, with OUR civilization, what they gave us with THEIR civilization.
Now they have given us 9/11. Paris. Lebanon. Mumbai.
Fear and terror are the new legacy of a people whose culture is thousands of years old. Not all would wish it so. It is the young. The warriors. Where they rode desert horses to win their battles, scimitars flashing in the sun, now they wear masks and plant their bombs, shoot down innocents with their automatic weapons - weapons the result of the sciences they gave us.
Once they were remembered and respected for the knowledge they imparted to the West. That has been taken away and replaced by fear, hatred and mistrust.
There was a time ... when things were simpler.
I fear those times and those things, remembrance and respect, are gone forever.
By now, unless of course, you live under a rock, you're aware of the tragic happenings in Paris. Everyone has questions. Everyone is concerned, worried, and many are just scared. And, perhaps, rightfully so.
The question I have about this attack, and about the underlying radicalization of the people involved, is "why?"
Is it as simple as religious ideology? Is it really that simple - that Westerners are seen as "Infidels" and infidels must be killed?
Or is it something deeper, and hidden? Is it an agenda of some person or group disguised as a philosophy of death and terror wrapped in Religion?
Just who, or what, is the spider at the center of this worldwide web of terror and terrorists?
THAT is the question that must be answered.
There is a lot of money and preparation that goes into an attack like Paris. Where does the money come from? Who, or what, is raising the funds necessary create the terror groups that seem to be everywhere? And to what purpose? What REAL purpose? Just WHY?
... since I've been in here, blogging away.
I seem to have somehow lost my blogging mojo ... no ... my WRITING mojo.
Too busy. Too committed to Work. Too tired when I get home at whatever unpredictable hour the Powers That Be will allow.
I am changing jobs. I am going to drive for UberRUSH!, the new package delivery service here in the Chicagoland area.
I will define my own hours. I will have time to read and write ... and blog. Again.
It will take a little time, I think, to get it back, again. A little time to find the petcocks and open the flow for writing, again.
I don't know if I will ever become an Every Day Blogger, again. I'm hoping I can establish a meaningful and regular calendar of posts. I hope.
We shall see.
People I care about have made it perfectly clear what their opinion is regarding ads, on my blog, unrelated to normal content.
What I may do, instead, is make a better effort to display and sell my photos and paintings.
And I'll make more and better photos and paintings. Try, anyway.
Meanwhile, losing my phone has forced me to re-acquaint myself with my Insignia tablet, and opened up the possibilities that tablet represents: access to email, writing for the blog, working on stories in progress, and other activities better done on a larger system than my phone. I can even Skype, so total isolation is no longer the case.
Funny, how the worst happenings will sometimes breed beneficial change.
I have never tried to monetize my blog. Purposely. In all honesty, there is a page on my blog where one can purchase prints of photographs I have taken, and it may soon be possible to purchase original Art, also by me, on another separate page, but these pages aren't "monetization", per se. These pages aren't generating income on a "per click" or "per view" basis.
I was never one who saw my blog as a potential source of income.
But times, and thinking, change.
And maybe I need to change - or SHOULD change.
What do YOU think? Should I, or no?
At least I think that's what they call this. I mean, when you don't have it and having it has become so much a part of you, and not having it makes you a bit nervous and on edge. That IS withdrawals, right?
It's a good thing I don't do drugs.
If losing my phone get's me this bad, I can imagine what drugs would do.
That said, I did manage to lose my phone yesterday - I'm hoping someone will find it and turn it in. After all, no one else can use my phone (my phone requires a password to be entered in order for it to be used) so there is no point in keeping it. Unless, of course, some perverse idiot would enjoy seeing me slowly go nuts.
Do you want to know some of what I'm dealing with? Leave your phone at home tomorrow. Have yourself a "No Phone Hump Day" or a "Hump No Phone Day'. You, however, will have that safety net of knowing where your phone is and that you'll get it back. Soon.
You won't go crazy. At least, not permanently.
Not like me.
Cubs are returning, today, from a 4 and 2 road trip. They are 6 and 4 in their last 10 games, 10 and 7 overall. It's been a long, long time since the news (and the Cubs team) has been this good.
Yes, I've been off for a while. I'm back. To stay.
The news from Nepal is tragic - the worst earthquake in that country in 80 years. Say a prayer for those that have survived - and for those who have not.
The Blackhawks closed out the Predators and are ready to go on to the next round. Go Hawks.
The Bulls missed a chance at closing out the Bucs, but they will win the next game and go on to the next round. You heard it here, first.
I can't help but wonder who the yutz is that schedules night games, for the Cubs, in April, in Chicago.
Connor Fergus's story will return on Sunday. Haiku Friday will return this Friday, as well. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday will be random stuff, as has been the case in the past. If I have any audience left, thank you for being patient with me, and being loyal.