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Hey, HEY, You, YOU, Get Off of my Tree!

There are two behaviors that get under my skin more than most.  The first is the act of someone harming people less able than themselves.  This action could be the result of power differentials in size, age, power, social status, mental capacity, etc.  The second? Those who clearly know the right or better thing to do, but ignore it at the expense of all those around them.  This essay is about both issues and I’m warning you right now: I’m angry.

The scene? A beautiful afternoon in Oklahoma:  hardly any wind, a temperature in the high 50s, the air is clear, gray and cool and wherever you look in nature, the onset of Spring is apparent.

I had worked most of the night before, and gotten up early this particular morning in order to complete enough of my workload to leave work just a bit early.  I was on a mission, and had racked up enough miles on my keyboard writing reports and grading to feel good about leaving campus.  In fact, my mood was especially fine.   Why?  Because I was getting ready to take short road trip through the Oklahoma countryside and, quite frankly, there aren’t too many more activities that ease my mind as much as these drives.

My destination was a sheep farm south of Tryon, Oklahoma and I was driving south on highway 177, listening to Jesca Hoop.  I could write chapters on Jesca Hoop’s creative take on music, but not today.  The opening lyrics to “Whispering Light” were belting out at a fairly strong decibel level:

“As we walk the road, as far as the road goes…
And we try to dodge the rock the valley throws.
Revealer…caught a fever…we all, have a sink-ing stone..”

Okay.  I’ll write just a few sentences.  The opportunity might not come again.  If you’ve not had a chance to check out her music, I would encourager you who love singer-songwriters to do so.  I think her, “Love is All We Have” she wrote about the Katrina Hurricane got me permanently hooked on her haunting style and voice.  And spirit.  Here is a video of that particular song she’s singing in New Orleans.  You can see she’s clearly verclempt as she sings directly to those about whom she wrote.

I’m sharing this moment in my car with you because it sets up the juxtaposition to what happened next. Continue reading Hey, HEY, You, YOU, Get Off of my Tree!