A Tree Dies in Rockefeller Center

I heard discouraging news on the radio this morning that the “Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree” had been felled and was on its way to Manhattan from Mount Olive, New Jersey.  I never understood why we needed to cut down a real tree just to watch it die adorned with 45,000 lights in the Rockefeller Center public square.  The additional bad news that, this season, the tree had actually “survived” the wrath of mother nature and Hurricane Sandy — only to be cut down days later by men with chainsaws — made me realize the whole thing is a false idol tradition that needs to end in the faux name of “celebrating” the birth of Baby Jesus with a dead tree.

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Monarch of the Plains

Growing up in Nebraska can be a lonely and hard thing. Earth and sky are elements made for crushing. Each Nebraska horizon beyond the urban core presents only two images you learn early to avoid and they are both found on the visceral level where trembling and genetics meet blood creating the canvas of dreams and the kindling of hope: Bunches of blue sky crouch and stretch above just out of reach, teasing you over and around in what you imagine the ocean must look and feel like; maturity comes in dry pieces you kick and hold in your hand as dust while down beneath your boots rusty slivers of infertile earth scatter telling of dreams ending in sharp shards and hope dead and undone by a landscape that forgives nothing but rain.

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