My day job requires me to visit people’s homes. I check a piece of medical equipment and then I go on. I visit about 20 people a day. The homes are various; mansions tucked into a mountain on the Colorado front range, a single room in a dormitory on the campus of a convent, the housing projects of the Denver Housing Authority, gated enclaves in the foothills, suburbs, and Denver proper and there is always the occasional equipment on the porch with a note reading “please use extension cord”.

These are a few observations on a hundred doors a week

I hear what’s playing on the TV, the computer, or the radio wherever I go. The cacophony of voices is ubiquitous. There is a common impression left by these streams of media that flow through my daily life. It is an impression of separation from one another based on our politics, economics, spirituality, or demographics. I am exposed just a few minutes at a time and I escape back into my office, a 17-year old Toyota subcompact, where I revisit music from the 1970’s. With a little help from my friends Alexa and the Google Assistant, today’s playlist included “The Box” from John Denver’s Poems, Prayers & Promises album, which set me on a scavenger hunt for remnants of war of behind this week’s  doors.

Behind my own door, there are remnants of war. A bronze Star and medal of valor for doing the parts of a job which require him to stay calm and move the injured to cover …stabilize and stay down: help is coming. My son is a soldier. He is a veteran of three tours of duty. He has made a sacrifice I would never be willing to make. He signed his life over to the army. His motivations are various, but distill into protecting his home and the people he loves. Its an ideology I understand and admire.

Today I saw a folded flag on a shelf surrounded by images from the life of a newborn into a soldier. I  consider the potential impact of just one folded flag and yet no mention of war on the variety of newscasts intermittently catching my ear throughout the day. I am acutely aware of the clearly random good fortune of my soldier being home and whole. Later I hear the story of a husband who started smoking the cigarettes in his army rations and died young with a variety of lung diseases. A soldier’s life as a resource, a market, a deterrent… the cost of freedom?

My day continues from one home’s big screen blaring a ranting response to the tweet, “MLK was socialist before it was cool”; on how “Obama’s socialist agenda almost ruined this country”. Two hours later I’m greeted in an grand entryway by a large photo of the owner with Hillary Clinton.

Oh diversity … how exactly would peace break out?

 

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