A Time Of Grief



Color has fled Thailand; black, gray, and white, the clothe of grief for a beloved Father.

Color is joy, and we can find none; not at this time.

This is a time for grieving, for coming to terms with our loss, and for remembering.

The Land of Smiles is crying, swollen eyes, brimming with tears,

That’s what happens when you lose  someone you love.

In grieving we collect our personal and shared memories, our connections to His Majesty,

And He was connected to all who lived within, and many who lived without, Thailand.

We remember Him from televised events, broadcast live, and from before, daily when He was younger than we are now,

When He stepped in to save us – yes, save us.

We remember His speeches on the radio, and how He made us laugh or smile, and also feel responsible for our role, for the part we have to play,

And His sometimes stern admonishment of an official, delivered with His Authority, but done with kindness and always with the intention of what was best for us.

His guiding hand through our history, the only King in most of our lives,

We remember him as our Father.


Being optimistic

By nature, perhaps it was learned, or perhaps it is hard-coded and shared out, I am an optimistic, glass half-full, person.

My business partner, great friend for many years, a truly lovely, very smart guy, said I was a strange combination of a human being – on the one hand, a very pragmatic businessman – on the other a dreamer, who loves writing (and sometimes hates it, especially when it doesn’t happen :)).

I’ve thought about this quite a lot. Why and where did this ‘duality’ come from. Does it matter; obviously, because I am writing about it. I think the answer (short one) is because I can be. That sounds trite, but it is meant sincerely. It’s a succinct way of saying that when you allow yourself to be whatever it is you want to be; then you can.

Within the restraints of our existence we are able to build the world we want. I remain optimistic with that as a world view. We have no rights, we are not entitled, a huge uncharted rock from space could change everything. Life is time, use it wisely, and if you still have it then I believe it is better to approach time with a sense of optimism rather than pessimism. Be real, especially about yourself. You are the one person you can truly afford to be totally honest with. And you should be brutally honest. Like a good editor – spare nothing – do it kindly, but thoroughly. Anything else detracts from the value.


Thinking back, I first became aware of American Presidents, somewhat ironically as we moved from New Jersey to England, specifically, Northern England, when I was eleven and a half years of age. Nixon was being thrown out of office and Gerald Ford was replacing him. “Can’t chew gum and walk a straight line at the same time” – is the quote I remember. Gerald probably never expected to become president, never seemed comfortable in the job, and one term later we got “good ole boy” Jimmy.

What I remember about Jimmy was his faltering over the disastrous helicopter crashes in Iran and losing the US Embassy in Iran to the Ayatollah – I reckon most people think of him that way (and now Jimmy has become a real elder statesman). Of course in the backlash of Jimmy’s crash in the desert the only thing to do was to bring in two-term Ronnie for a bit of dash and good ole cowboy republican style politics for a while. We got an amped up war on drugs, contras, and Star Wars; not bad Ronnie, with a score of 1 out of three you did better than all the previous Presidents I remember preceding you).

Then we got George Bush Senior, ex-head of the CIA, and big business payback for the favor for George’s daddy (not) taking the rap for handling the money out of Germany made during the second world war. George rode on Ronnie’s tail, but he was a one term man; invaded Panama and released Stormin’ Norman on Kuwait. That’s about all I can remember of Bush Senior.

Slick Willy came next (in more ways than one) and he was fun – right… I mean he was; we know you Americans get all prudish in public to the extent you invented political correctness and Bill was a welcome respite from all that nonsense; but his wife was a drag. Anyone naming a daughter, Chelsea, either got knocked up in Chelsea, or has issues. Bill was so much fun he got two terms.

But he was obviously too much fun because then we got “Skull and Bones” Bush Junior for two terms and that wasn’t fun at all – that was just downright dangerous; a guy that dumb as President – shit!

And then in an obvious swing against all that conservative, “let’s go to war and get the oil” crap; America did a sensible thing and elected Obama.

And here we are…

… looking down the barrel at a Drumpf Presidency; because if we can have a Ronald we can have a Donald, right? Except, at least Ronnie had run a State… what, really, has Drumpf ever run, except a media campaign about Drumpf.

When you have a choice between a “big-money woman”; a guy who’s in love with himself (with short fingers and a really bad haircut), and, a guy who thinks poor and middle class people are getting a bad deal, who also thinks wars are a bad idea; who is honorable and uses logic to debate – I can’t imagine why you would (even consider to) choose the former over the latter. (Note: Several columnists have stated that they can see Drumpf negotiating well with China or Russia’s Putin – really – would you rather have an egomaniac or someone using logic handling that conversation…

… or as my sister would say, “Seriously?”