Cleaning up Someone Else’s Mess

I’m getting a kick out of all of the criticism of Kerry for not having a plan for Iraq. It seems to me that, before you can figure out what to do to clean up the mess someone else made, you have to be in a position to get and analyze all of the accurate information about the situation; you have to be in a position to call together the best advisors and sit down with them to get their best thoughts; and then you have to be in a position to have the time to think it through. (Of course, you also have to have the intelligence to think it through.)
Kerry’s got the innate and honed intelligence. He’s not yet in that position, however. But, if he is after elections, lots of us have no doubt that he will find some humane way to clean up the mess left by Bush’s innately unintelligent decisions regarding Iraq that he began making right from the get go.
And speaking of cleaning up messes (not someone else’s — mine), it’s interesting to see what books I’m deciding to give up. With an M.A. in English, I look at books like favorite collectibles. I like to have them around to look, occasionally leaf through them again after I’ve read them — sometimes find things in them to blog about.
But, I’ve decided to give my town library the books that I’ve already read and am sure I won’t re-read, the books that I never read and am pretty sure I won’t, and the books I use as information sources but the information in them is now easily found through a Google search.
In The Aritst’s Way, a book I’m letting go, I found a poem I’d written close to a decade ago, when I was part of the book discussion group:
I yearn to know
the gentleness of solitude,
the ease of watching
dew emerge
on Lady’s Mantle folds.
I want to dream
again of harbingers —
crows, toads, dragonflies,
shadows that dance,
lilies that bleed,
clouds afloat in coffee cups.

Simplicity and solitude still elude me.

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