Sense of Decency

Listening to others, seeing things through their eyes.

By JIM McKEEVER Dedicated to the memory of Caryl Cooper. As I sat down the other morning in the phlebotomist’s chair, I noticed a plaque on the desk behind her. “Good Vibes Only,” it read. I typically babble during needle-related procedures to distract myself, so I told her I liked its sentiment. She thanked me …

Continue reading

By JIM McKEEVER As our book club sat around a cozy backyard fire one evening in the summer of COVID, a member used a metaphor that has stuck with me, and I think with the group as a whole. We were discussing ways of communicating with — and to be honest, persuading or convincing — …

Continue reading

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes By DENNIS HARROD Ed Griffin-Nolan scares me. Maybe scares is the wrong word. Let’s just say he makes me uncomfortable. He reminds me of all the things I haven’t done and …

Continue reading

By MIKE DONOHUE On the day Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was announced, I saw a sad sight that affirmed something I’ve suspected for a long time. I was driving through the country and passed a large house. A man, the owner I presume, was up on a ladder, taking down an …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading