This past week has seen about a dozen different incidents which all reiterate an old, favourite theme of mine.
I have had communion and discourse with a retired far eastern man and broken bread with him. We've talked about religions; he styles himself as an independent, loves nature and the earth and this world, but does not fully trust any human being or any organized faith. At heart he and I see eye to eye; I attend a protestant church mainly for the friendship and warmth (an AME church, actually!) and to make music, but I commune privately with God and do not accept the assertion that Jesus is the only way to find Him.
I have had communion and discourse with an indian man and broken bread with him. He has training in the Hindu faith and traditions and teaches Yoga, but he also styles himself as an independent and he and I also find common ground in matters of the heart and spirit.
I have had communion and discourse with a young african american man and broken bread with him. We share much frustration at the continuing disintegration of our society, of customs and propriety and common decency, of a work ethic, of the spread of willful stupidity, sloth and decadence.
All three of them, and others, silently cry out to me of their loneliness and isolation.
Through all of this I keep coming back to this simple fact in our society now. That there is basically no place left where people can congregate and socialize and meet other people, chit chat or debate or tell tall stories or play .... with just certain exceptions, one being inside ones own family IF one has a family, one being church IF one is willing to embrace whatever particular flavor or furniture style of mythology which that church espouses, or a bar IF one has money and is willing and able to continually buy and consume drinks for the duration of one's attendance.
I see that as a problem. In fact, I think its fatal. No, I can't fix it, I have no idea how to go about it. But I think it accounts for the inexorable breakdown of everything else. Want to blame something for the lone gunmen, the mass murders which seem to be occurring with more and more frequency these days? Or the crime, the lack of trust, the high prison rate, the recidivism, the high divorce rate, the lack of family cohesion? I guess there's nothing to do but to wait for total collapse. It won't be much longer ....