Native Writes: Life’s best practices


Sometimes things just fall apart no matter what one does.

Never tell me a picture is worth a thousand words. It isn’t.

Usually, the viewer wants to be told what he or she saw, but we have progressed past Tintypes. Thousands of photos never get printed and lie forever on chips from digital cameras.

As much as I hated the bats that resided there, I miss the old darkroom.

A friend’s father set up a darkroom to process color film, but abandoned the practice and we listened to a song that worshipped Kodachrome and begged that it never be taken away.

The friend who loved that song has now retired and is manipulating the images from his camera with Photoshop.

I haven’t heard a hymn to the microchip and some sage advice is dispensed via “social media.”

Many old adages no longer pertain to our electronic age.

My son recently told me what I thought was very sage advice was “an old wife’s tale… It’s been debunked.”

If it had withstood the test of time, would it be bunked?

An old man who listened to my anti-war ravings declared my ideas “bunk.”

Now, his great-grandchildren shudder at the thought of war. They just don’t take to the picket lines like their grandparents did.

Expressions find their way onto Facebook, where they are supposedly prey for the Russians.

When I was young, the folks talked about McCarthy and the abundance of communists at all levels of life.

An old gentleman my mom’s age told me I was “a communist dupe.”

“You may not be red, but you’re pink.”

The problem is, what my parents held true when I was a teenager is not exactly correct.

It’s not necessarily tossed off the top bunk, but it is not among life’s “best practices.”

I cringe when I am handed a booklet cataloguing the “best practices” of something important, then open it to see a list of common sense approaches.

Common sense now says the body causes acne. My aunts declared, “Zits are because you don’t eat right… Go wash your face with Ivory.”

I did, did and did. The acne disappeared with age. I was no longer a teenager and my skin cleared up.

I still ate fried squash, hot rolls with butter and salad with dressing.

I also gained weight.

I went jogging without a bra on and thought someone was applauding.

Politics are sort of like that. What one party applauds, the other condemns. Common sense gets office seekers off the debate stage and into the masses.

There’s nothing bad about that. 

Life can be measured by the sanity of good practices as reflected in the polls, but I long ago learned that a poll usually isn’t a mirror of public opinion.

I can take data, place it in a bell curve and show that, in death, Charles Manson is the Messiah.

I can also fill the bell with sarcasm.

When I am working on my partisan preferences, I do not consider the polls or who conducted them.

In my mind, they are debunked, sleeping on the army cot of reality.  Critical thought is the best practice of all.

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