Never Again???

Locked up or in Danger: Forced Commitment

I spent a little time visiting my old homesite – I had lived here for a couple of months one spring, and, like a bird, every now and then I would return to pitch a tent in the same location. It’s a 2 minute walk off the main trail – but pretty secluded, and not visible. The main trail is another 20 minute walk down the capital crescent trail from the nearest parking lot.

The old tentsite looked good, very natural, only the purple police glove remained – the one the police had left behind when they had searched the tent. The glove dates back to more than 2 years ago. I had purposefully left it there – a symbol of what I had experienced as an invasion. They had removed a fishing knife, and left a card. Every time I had camped here (except once), I had had a different set of dogs with me – sometimes even puppies. There was Sophie, and Margot, Biscuit, and Michaela. I had packed the 3 little ones into the backpack to get them there. There was Mollie, Prince, and Gordo. Duke and Petey and Douglas. Sammy and Goji who had slept on my chest one night when it had rained and I was sleeping in a puddle of water. Indy. Patience. I’ve raised more than a few little ones in these woods. Petey remembered his way around.

I took the walk down the trail with the dogs, and reflected on the dogs that had been stolen from me here. One might think that perhaps I am careless. But it is really not that. Every single dog I have ever had would come back to me if unrestrained. The dogs are trained every time they are left alone for any period of time by a person, who gets them used to him/her. Then, during an off-leash moment, they are quickly abducted. It usually takes less than 3 minutes.

Camping without dogs is an uneasy experience for me. The wildlife brushes right up against the tent. With dogs, they will respect a 50 foot radius (even puppies). The wildlife can smell them.

I listened to the sounds of the birds chirping, observing the cardinals and sparrows, but yet unsure of most of the bird calls. At the bridge, a pair of ducks showed me that there were still fish in the creek. And then, on the return, I heard the sound of one bird communicating with another. The order in the sounds is unambiguous. There is no mistaking it for anything other than communication. One bird calls. The first time, no answer. The bird calls again, and the other bird (far away) understands and responds to the call. Yes, the birds are social. They also need to be heard and have their presence affirmed by other birds.

The visit to my old tent site was followed by a visit to the united states holocaust memorial museum on the national mall.

The visit began with the story of Daniel, a story about a young boy who survived the holocaust as he documents in his diary. He describes his life as a Jewish boy before the holocaust began.

This is followed by a description of Jewish segregation into ghettos,

extreme impoverishment, work conditions that were unbearable, where he would have to steal just to provide a little coal (warmth) or bread for his family. And finally separation, from his mother and sister when he went to the concentration camp with his father.

Those that went to the concentration camps were often scarred for life, if they indeed survived. Many did not.

Many of the people that were targeted for removal from society (and life) were Jewish,

Other groups and individuals were also forced out.

Although Jesus was himself a Jew,

and upheld many Jewish traditions,

and there have even been edicts by popes emphasizing the brotherhood of all people,

antisemitism had been a social force in many societies. Still, while many in the world uselessly convened to try to find a better way,

a few others protested,

and still others acted.


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