Sense of Decency

Listening to others, seeing things through their eyes.

By JIM McKEEVER The summer of 2020 was one of violence. More violence — and deaths — seem inevitable with the approach of the Nov. 3 elections, widely viewed as a referendum on the current administration and its policies.  Anxiety and tension have risen with more videotaped incidents involving police officers and Black men, threats …

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By JIM McKEEVER A character in Linda Britt’s play, “American Dreams: Immigration Stories,” delivers a searing monologue challenging the sanitized view of American history, its omission of brutal European colonialism and the centuries of suffering it caused people of color who were here first or brought here as slaves. The character, a young woman who …

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By JIM McKEEVER Weeks after several other Black Lives Matter signs on a fence in my village had been ripped down, one remained — “No Freedom Till We’re Equal.” Its creator had taken some care with it, using different paints, tape and plastic ties to attach the sturdy foam board to the fence. Its message is …

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By JOYCE AND JANET GRAMZA Whether we believe in Heaven, the Great Beyond, the Other Side, the Rainbow Bridge, or nothing at all, we fear death most because its one certainty is that it will come. Everything else about it is a gaping unknown. In our most comforting vision about how it may come for …

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Originally posted on Sense of Decency:
The author and his daughter, Ruth, just above a sharp left turn on a rapid nicknamed “The Wall” on the Black River, Quebec, 2011. The wall of rock is not particularly friendly to canoes being forced hard right. Push Day By MIKE FISH Seven portages already, muskeg up to…

Bleeding Heart By DEBRA ROSE BRILLATI The very ideathat someone thinkscalling me a bleeding heartis an insultis at the heartof our inabilityto understand one another. If my heart did not bleedfor the pain of othersif it did not boilhot inside my chestat the sight of a childbeing separated from her motherif it did not send …

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Push Day By MIKE FISH Seven portages already, muskeg up to here Big water, stiff headwind all day Hands hard, good mates, no fear Where’s the site, you say Around the bend and through the narrows Sun baking down, visions of a place Esker topped with pine, plenty of space Shoulders sore, fading daylight Where, …

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By DENNIS HARROD Dedicated to the memory of Gary Van Dusen. A good copy editor is hard to find. If she’s a great copy editor, you never even know she’s been there. Instead of leaving tracks, she erases them, leaving a trail of words that’s easy for the reader to follow. She smooths the bumps …

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“… the only means of fighting a plague is — common decency.” — Albert Camus, 1947 Sickness surrounds us. It’s more than the physical and emotional assault of the pandemic that afflicts us; we suffer daily under a spiritual assault of conflict with and rejection of those with whom we disagree. The onslaught coarsens us, …

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