Vacation is over and I'm back in the Augusta/Fort Gordon area. I did not anticipate taking a couple of weeks off of the blog, but I do have some good reasons. For one, coming back to work and getting back into a rhythm (metaphorically as well as musically) was the most important thing to focus on. However, I also realized while I was in Nashville that something was wrong with me physically. I discussed my symptoms with a doctor I know and he recommended that I see someone when I got back to Georgia. So I did. And my suspicions were confirmed--I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, something I've never had to deal with before. Fortunately it was nothing life threatening, but this was the first time that I've been put on "profile." That's Army-speak for being under orders to limit certain physical activity, which in my case meant just about everything. I was scheduled for surgery, which I underwent this past Wednesday.
So now I'm at home recovering, and I have no real good excuse for not getting some blogging done over the next few days. I'm fortunate that my parents were able to come down and get me to and from the hospital and keep me mobile over the past several days, and I also got plenty of good care and advice from Julia, who is a nurse. Always take a nurse's advice when you're going through surgery, that is my new motto. And I should also acknowledge the support of my chain of command at work, who have been nothing but supportive in making the process as easy as possible.
Today, we can also appreciate the rare and fortunate circumstance we have in this country--every four to eight years, we have a transfer of power that happens peacefully. It is not easy, it involves furious debate and discussion, emotions get raw, nerves get frayed, and foolish things get said--but in the end, the government of the nation changes and no shots are fired, and it is easy for us to forget that in the context of world history what we do is far from the norm. And even when the President is re-elected, as was the case this year, there are still changes in the Congress and the balance of power shifts just a little, and yet our system is designed to allow this to happen relatively smoothly.
And I suppose it is fitting that this year we ceremonially mark this occasion on the same day that we ceremonially acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To me, Dr. King's legacy is a reminder that true change is effected in a society through the skillful use of words and ideas to change the culture rather than the use of legislative power. No amount of laws can replace the idea that the content of a person's character is not related to that person's appearance or cultural background. What a great dream to have....