East to West


Tuesday morning, 0730, western Kansas City, cold and overcast.

Stepped outside to leave for business.  The eastern sky startled me. The western sky reassured me.

To see the sun begin to rise in the east and the moon begin to set in the west at the same time is fairly common, but rather special, too. One is so vibrant and the other so soft as it fades away due to the morning’s brilliance.

The cloud dynamic adds a dramatic element to the one, and a firm point of reference to the other…rather like some people do when we encounter them.

Had lunch with a friend of mine today. He is such an encouragement and always looks at each day as simply that…another day. If we screw up, we have another opportunity to do better (assuming we are given the chance). We both have struggled through serious depression about the same number of years and period in time, but he seems to have a firmer grip on what makes one tick and how to respond to the negative thoughts we all succumb to which affects our moods, doubts and self-images. I appreciate him so much.

Just look at the recent tragedies in Vegas and Texas. Talk about warped self-images. How sad for all concerned. In some way, all affected become victims. However, this post isn’t about those terrible incidents. It is more about beauty and awareness and life. It is about overcoming, too. It is meant to encourage instead of discourage. I see flags flying half-mast everywhere and know why, hence, the monologue about recent tragedies. Yet, the flags will fly at full-mast again. So should we after we falter from life’s harsh realities.

I know this statement may seem harsh and even naive to some, but such is not my intent. One never gets over tragedy…one must simply overcome it’s consequences which can be extremely difficult. I have personal experience with this reality. May these photos lift your souls as they did mine when I first witnessed these scenes early this morning.




East to West…emerging to fading…repeating cycle everyday…redemption waiting.








Last week I made a visit to city hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. As I waited for the guards to let me in (I arrived early), I studied this bronze statue located near the base of the stairs which lead up to south entrance of this government building. Erected in 1937, the architecture of this building-with its motifs and decorative metal-can best be described as a late form of Art Deco. It stands opposite the main courthouse which consists of the same materials and style, but has a flair all it own.

The sun was slowly working its way upward as the statue was being illuminated from the east. The man sitting is Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States of America. The boy is his youngest son, Tad, who was adored by his father. Tad was twelve years old when his father was assassinated. The Lincolns had much personal tragedy in  their family. In addition to the trials within his own household, Abe, as he was affectionately called, lead our nation through the bloody Civil War (1861-1865) which cost both sides over 600,000 lives and double that amount wounded and maimed.

It is fitting to have the statue of this great man in front of a government building…the very government he sought to preserve as one entity over the course of those long, difficult war years. The stress had to be immense, but he persevered and kept the nation united. In addition, Abe was called the Great Emancipator as he pushed forth the Emancipation Proclamation which ended slavery-first in the District of Columbia, and then across our country. Almost four million indentured people of color were eventually liberated from the curse of slavery in America. The effect of this act was not immediate, but it did set the wheels of justice in motion. Although there is still much to do to bring equality to all people, this proclamation is a bedrock for generations to come.

I believe each of us is put on this earth for a reason. I don’t claim to know what those reasons are most of the time, but in Lincoln’s case, it seems obvious to me. If you study his life-how he overcame so many political defeats and personal tragedies-he still became the the president of the United States of America at a very precarious juncture in our history. His strong faith in God which is often downplayed, was the force that kept him from wavering when he should have fallen from exhaustion and remorse. His ability to keep America united and to began the end of slavery cannot be overstated. It appears that once he achieved these two victories, his life was ended by an assassin’s bullet. He paid dearly for the welfare of our country and what he deeply believed in.

We need another Abraham Lincoln. And we need him now.