Roy’s Sunday Letter for March 24, 2024

** A character in current Fiction read says, “I want to restore order and bring about harmony.” Our current elected “leaders” are loud and proud about restoring order at the Texas border. The grab for power and order results in disharmony, separation and division. If an elected official proclaimed harmony as their message what might be the different outcome?

  • Beth and I have always had garden bird baths and feeders. We are uplifted by our winged guests but not the resulting weeds from the dropped bird seed. Today, we will change to non-germinating birdseed, to join our suet basket. Hopefully we will not have a decrease in our winged visitors. All for the birds!

** I join 15 to 18 men every Thursday mornings at Trinity Episcopal. This week one spoke of turning 80, joined by others with a soon to be or who are already 80. When the conversation turned to 80, words were spoken with humor and respect for this stage of life. I was reminded of Louise Aronson (Geriatrician & Memoirist) in her published “Elderhood”… “With aging, resilience is about contentment, happiness, born of connection, knowing what matters to you, accepting you are still you despite changes, losses, and limitations, and ongoing personal and spiritual development.” My prayer, Lord, we can so this!

You have to accept the crooked with the straight.” Spoken by Denzil Washington in the movie, “Fences.”

  • Target & Wal Mart trained all shoppers on Self-Checkout. Over time the self-checkout lanes increased as real people checkout decreased. Now, Target and Wal Mart are implementing a self-checkout limit of 10 items. Marketing releases claim the new limits are to 1) decrease theft and 2) enhance customer satisfaction. My question, do I work for them and now I can only buy limited items. I think B.F. Skinner would be laughing.

** March 21 is recognized World Down Syndrome Day. One young man spoke of not thinking of what I can’t do but instead what I can do. “Yes, Down Syndrome is one part of who I am, but not all. I shop, have a job, and live on my own.” This young man reminds us we are all unique, different yes and all special.

In the 1940’s the business and property owners in the Ridglea area of Ft. Worth built a 10-foot wall, with barbed wire, for the purpose of keeping the races, black and white separate. The “Como Wall” ran the length of the Como neighborhood through the 50’s, into the 70’s, until societal shifts and changes created the push for the removal of the wall in 1971. (You Tube, Como Wall, 1:27)

Today, 2024, we have different walls. Gated homes and 300+ unit apartments and condos with private, protected entrances. This challenges the way we can know, care, and connected with those around us. Social media allows us to communicate with family and friends living far away more than next door neighbor.

There are also individual walls regardless of housing or neighborhood. Mental health research reports the growth of loneliness, lives not touched or touching the lives of others. These walls are not visual as the Como Wall, yet just as tall and wide. We are at our best when we care and are cared for by others. Being connected, having a purpose, both telling and listening to our stories is the circle of humanity in which we, in daily life, get it wrong, get it right.

Roy, Circles not walls


  1. Maurine on March 24, 2024 at 6:59 am

    Politicians talk about restoring Harmony and inclusion and then make decisions that push us further apart. They talk a good game to appease the masses but some of us no longer have faith in their musings. I feel like since Covid people are more comfortable in their own space. It takes a concerted effort to reach out beyond your limited walls. Tv

    • Roy Bowen on March 24, 2024 at 11:10 am

      Yes, we do need encouragement to reach out, connect, touch.
      And yet, these are the only true ways.
      You have the connect, to lift others up.
      Tis an honor be at the table with you, sharing memories, hopes, dreams.
      We continue together……RCB

  2. Dave Steward on March 24, 2024 at 7:40 am

    Recall, Roy, our time at Englewood and working the streets of the Poly area – an area that had, and still was, going thru classic “White flight”. The transition had left mostly white widows in an area that had become unrecognizable to them. Their answer was to allow hedges to grow in front of windows, remain in a darkened area within their home and create a false sense of security. Not unlike the Como Wall, this behavior built psuedo walls that actually created an indefensible space. At the time I was finishing my thesis off several publications one which was entitled Defensible Space by Oscar Newman, a criminologist. He argued that opening spaces for observation and allowing neighbors to know ones habits was a better response. So it goes today as we withdraw from places instead of occupying them to build a sense of community and one that is defensible through interactions.

    • Roy Bowen on March 24, 2024 at 11:06 am

      Thoughtful, well worded
      Yes, we block out=rselves from ourselves, creating fears, isolation, and withdrawal from others.
      Yes, it does not have to be this way.
      Never give up
      Keep reminding us of our true selves
      Hero time to and for you! RCB

  3. Linda M on March 25, 2024 at 11:09 am

    Yesterday was a snowy, blowy perfect day to relax and enjoy unstructured. Our friend Krystyna suggested this pod cast, which I now can also recommend–Esther Perel on the new AI—Artificial Intimacy. Further, I read a big NYT Opinion on the divergent views and allegiances to Zionism (older Jewish folks) and Palestinian concerns (younger Jewish people). Referenced in the opinion piece was the end to apartheid in South Africa and how it established an unprecedented outcome. I was reminded of the film Invictus, which tells the story of Nelson Mandela and his bold initiative to engage the Rugby team, especially Captain Francois Pienaar. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in this amazing movie by Clint Eastwood. It’s the third time I have watched it, and I decided that I will watch it every year now. It is hopeful, bold, amazingly forgiving and inspiring. The impossible made possible. You and Beth will love it if you haven’t seen it already.

    • Roy Bowen on March 26, 2024 at 8:03 am

      We have seen this fine and good fikm,,,but yrs,ago. Agree with you on its message and values.
      We attended an excellent presentation on Suffering and Grief, last evening. Full description in SLettter. Beth gaining her common ground from a tough beyond tough week.
      I may redo web site….been 2 yrs, Best to all in all ways. Roy

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