Ode to the Bride and Groom: Make a Safe Place

It is official; the numbers came out today.  Over 52% of Americans now own high-def televisions.  Plus, the average American household owns no less than 23 consumer electronic devices. Ain’t that wunnerful?  Progress or arrested development?  Enlightenment or hibernation?

This morning in the Washington Post, there is an article by Fred Hiatt.  He speaks of the wisdom of Supreme Court Justice Souter.  Justice Souter gave a talk to a small audience stressing the importance of history, law, democracy and above all, an independent judiciary.  Please take five minutes to read this.  It explains why the judiciary, in permitting us the freedom to be safe, is the bedrock of our nation:


Souter made his case based on the need for a “safe place”, i.e. the judiciary branch of our government, which allows our ideals and hallmarks of freedom to flourish.  This branch of government is the home place, the harbor, the pillar of our constitution,  from which all other democratic grand rights flow.

Although not expanded in the Post article, I find this safe harbor theory especially applicable to all of us, on an individual level.  This weekend, I had the great fortune of attending the magical wedding of my niece and my new nephew.  The bride looked like a dreamy renaissance portrait by Leonardo da Vinci.  This couple, setting out in the world with a new beginning, has the chance to make a difference.  However, not by tuning out the world on their HDTV, or losing themselves in an isolating, electronic world, but to ENGAGE in each other, their children and the world at large.  My favorite moment at the wedding was when the groom made the briefest, yet most direct,  focused and heartfelt toast — to his bride and both sets of parents: gratitude on the most basic level, values stripped of all pretense and a dedication to the here and now.

To ensure that our most important values go forth, each person must start with themselves and their families, especially with the children.  The passing on of universal freedoms must always be attended to or else, they may be whisked away from us.  Their great value must be cherished and taught to each upcoming generation, lest our appreciation for them vanish.  These ideals of a free life provide us with our own “safe place”.  In order for personal productivity to flower and translate into global good, each and every person must have the advantage of their own safe haven.

My hope is that Justice Souter’s replacement on the Court will be as wise and and, if you will, “odd”, even if the labelers choose that inappropriate adjective  to describe Souter’s persistent efforts to maintain rights for every person,  as Souter has been.  If I prayed, my personal desire would be that every child is well-loved, well-educated and well-prepared to pass those values on to the next generation.  Each of us  has the responsibility to find and make a safe place for our families.  Perhaps then peace will follow.

On this Memorial day, wouldn’t it be nice if we woke up and the idea of war WAS just a memory?  Maybe by next Memorial Day we will arise and find that our safe refuge has spread a little more farther out into the world.  The bride and groom, you and me,  have a lot of work yet to do.


If I had any iota of technological capability, I would attach some  photos from the wedding.  Please check back: I hope to get some computer counseling and have those pictures for you soon.


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2 Responses to “Ode to the Bride and Groom: Make a Safe Place”

  1. Natalie R Says:

    Interesting blog and interesting article about the “safe place.” I agree with the fact that the judiciary — especially the US Supreme Court — should be the institution that safeguards that safe place. It should be our Constitutional guardians.

    Often it has been that guardian but, we know, in history, sometimes it has not. Each decision asks a “safe place” for whom? It has often through its adherence to so called “states rights” vis a vie decisions such as the 1857 “Dred Scott” or “Plessy v. Fergusion” of 1896 made life safe, of course, for the white man. It wasn’t until 1954 “Brown v. the Board of Education” which finally made life safer for more. There are many other decisions handed down by the court that made life safe for the corporation and which continue to made life safer for heterosexuals; decisions which leave the minority in the dust.

    The beauty, I think, of our system is that the Supreme Court, when it chooses, can guarantee those rights enumerated Constitutionally and make it an INCLUSIVE document as opposed to an EXCLUSIVE one. It’s up to, of course, the present politics of the time.

    Like everything, it all depends on the seat from which one chooses to look. That “safe place” is often in the eyes of the beholder. Hopefully, the president will choose a new justice with that sense of empathy and all inclusiveness about which he so eloquently speaks.

  2. Natalie R Says:

    One more thing: I LOVE HDTV!!! I love all the great intelligent things you can tape. We have taped, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow EVERY night. We tape PBS everything Bill Moyers, Frontline, Ken Burns the Civil War, and WWII, American Experience the Kennedys and a million other things, Dickens Bleak House, Little Dorrit and the Old Curiosity Shop. I have taped the history channel the Tsar’s of Russia, the Middle Ages, the development of the three monotheistic faiths, HBO’s In Treatment and Bill Maher, Huff and so much more too many other fabulous things to remember, then there are always the movies and the news .. MANY … TV is NOT what it used to be it’s SO much better if you choose it to be and you can with HDTV feel like you are watching a play EVEN in black and white OLD Turner Classic or AMC movies. It’s digital and it looks like reality and NOT film…FANTASTIC. I love that part of our technological age. I say don’t fear it embrace it. It’s here to stay and offers SO much intellectual stimulus.

    Yes, I even tape I Love Lucy and Leave it to Beaver — there must be SOME mind numbing stuff.

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