Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mt. S. Helens, The Transitory Nature of Life, the Characters in the Scruggs Drama

In two days it will be 20 years since the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington Cascade Mountains. With friends I climbed to the top of the mountain in 1976. It was a beautiful day, clear, not too warm. The summit was a perfect place from which to view Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters even further south in Cascade Mountains.

The mountain top we climbed is now gone. It exploded into fine dust and spread throughout the world. In Eastern Washington, 270 miles away, the dust came down like snow. I had over an inch of the stuff in my yard and on my house. The city was covered in a blanket of beige dust.

Colleen Rowell, one of our climbing group that day in 1976, is now deceased, her life claimed by Alzheimer's.

Why ponder about such things? It seems to me we have a hard time remembering the transitory nature of things. We want to deny the transitiveness which permeates existence.

So how does this apply to the Scruggs Matter? The Scruggs Matter and the characters and the actions of the characters in the matter are as much a part of the nature of things as the Eruption of Mt. St. Helens and the death of my friend, one of my snow skiing companions from 1959, the year P.L. Blake graduated from high school in Mississippi.

My interest in this "blog" is not to cast aspersions, it is to get to know the people in the drama.

Now some who read these words might be thinking "there are bad guys in this drama." Perhaps so, but remember the line between good and evil exists in every soul of every person and at all times. Not one of us is exempt from the commands and forces of nature.

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago [emphasis added].