Jeffrey here. Today Joey is silent.
Another beautiful day in Nashville.
Country – specifically, hilly Warner Park.
The rich places in between. (The mural is remarkable. The biggest Belle Meade, TN, houses were impossible to photograph behind their walls and trees. The horses are sculptures.)
I didn’t talk as much today. I thought about Leonard and Leonard.
New Jersey Leonard was kind, dapper, charming, gregarious. A sage. A leader. A joiner. A social worker. A humanitarian. When he died, his widow gave me some of his shirts. Those shirts – including this blue one – went on the Ride to Postville.
I knew this Leonard. I remember him.
California Leonard was a loner, and a man of action. He played guitar in a rock band. He played tennis. He was a park ranger, a chemist/environmentalist, fought forest fires. He rode bicycles. He died after a motorcycle accident in Alaska. His brother gave me some of his shirts. Those shirts – including this orange one – went on the Ride to Nashville.
I never knew this Leonard. I remember him no more than I remember Abraham Lincoln. His brother remembers.
We pretend to own things. But everything is borrowed or rented.
Shirts. Land. Even our country.
Out here on the road, I can’t find a reference, but I think King Solomon advised us to move slowly, because soon the world will belong to others.
Travel by bicycle helps us to move fast enough to get somewhere, and slowly enough to gain perspective.
I wear shirts that belonged to men who are dead, in a country in which history is imagined, not remembered, because most of that history happened before any of us was born.
The things we fight about seem so petty.
Aristotle said, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Our immigrant neighbors – particularly the unauthorized – are fighting as hard as anyone.
I think of Leonard. And Leonard. And their shirts. And I say, let all our neighbors live. Let them be. For soon the things we and they are so desperate to grasp, will belong to others.
Tomorrow I speak at a gathering organized by the TIRRC. To read about them, click on Davy Crockett in the sidebar to the right on the Website, rideforhumanrights.com .