Author, Lecturer, Ethicist

Filtering by Category: The Future

Will There Be a Morning After?

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Once upon a time, the new school year began shortly after Labor Day. I don’t know about you, but here in South Florida, our Fall Semester begins on Monday August 12 - when many kids will still be up north at summer camp. So why does our school year begin so incredibly early? Only G-d and the Palm Beach County Board of Education know. for certain . . . perhaps. Likewise, once upon a time, presidential elections began in earnest on Labor Day weekend of the year in which the nation went to the polls. Nowadays, presidential campaigns begin on the day the president takes the oath of office. And mind you, some of the potential candidates are gearing up not for the election four years hence, but occasionally a full eight years into the future. Of course, our current POTUS began his reelection campaign the very day he placed his hand on the Bible - a book he’s probably never read cover to cover. In other words, nowadays we seem to have both a never-ending school year and a presidential election season without end.

It goes without saying that a high percentage of the American public is anxiously awaiting - if not praying for - the end of the Trump presidency. We are up to here with all the bald-faced lies and “leadership via Twitter”; with the ceaseless name-calling, and revolving door executive department; with the utter societal divisiveness and the disparagement of the CIA, FBI and the press; with the dismembering of our international alliances and the catering to those who are most base and intolerant . . . and on and on and on. For the first time in our lives, many, many Americans - myself included - are in fear for the future of a country whose very slogan, e pluribus unam (“Out of many comes one”) is on the critical list.

But merely dislodging Trump and his clueless, avaricious crowd’s hands from the levers of power is neither a certainty nor a cure-all; American polity and society have long been fraught with cancerous cleavages. But never in our history have they been so case-hardened and, what’s even worse, so frighteningly weaponized. One of the most pernicious things Trump has done in his brief political career is to make fear the central plank of his presidency; the fear of the “other.” Historically, that is the despot’s way. Where most candidates for president have presented policies and visions meant to inspire, Trump has somehow convinced a sizable plurality that without his firm grip on the reins of authority and leadership, America is doomed - doomed to be brought down by enemies invading our once-great nation. Trump’s America is largely peopled by White Christian males (financed by self-serving billionaires) who fear that their “kind” are losing the country to “socialists,” “illegal aliens,” the arbiters of “political correctness” and atheists.

In the past week, we’ve gotten more than a sneak peak of their 2020 campaign strategy: running against the “socialist America haters”; making the entire “Democrat Party” into a tool of Representatives Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. (I predicted this in an essay nearly six months ago entitled Politics - Like Acting - Ain’t for Sissies..) Trump has his mindless minions so well-trained, so brainwashed, that should he actually lose both the popular vote (which he did in 2016) and the Electoral College, there will begin, the morning after the election, a cacophonous hue and cry of refusal and threat. The “defeat,” they will stridently claim, was all a gigantic hoax; a deadly lie promulgated by the “fake media.” This may well be, I fear, the first time in American history where there won’t be a relatively smooth transition from one presidency to the next. In short, it is possible that there may be no morning after. We saw a minor version of this with the election of Barack Obama in 2008: for 8 years, millions refused to accept him as ‘‘their president,” because he was not - and never would be - “one of us.”

I can easily imagine ‘45 holding a series of post-election campaign-style rallies in which he fans the flames of militant dissension by refusing to concede defeat. He will likely claim that “millions of undocumented illegals” voted twice, thrice and even more to steal victory and insure his defeat; that the will of the people had been thwarted by the Communists and Socialists who, beginning day one of the new administration, will begin confiscating their weapons, outlawing Christianity, and putting the government into the hands of “The Squad.” If such be the scenario, his intent will be nothing short of calling for civil war. Now, whether or not he has given thought to what his words could actually lead to is worth debating, for likely he has not. Nonetheless, as haunting as this possibility is, do remember that a clear majority of the approximately 390 million guns in America, are in the hands of self-identified conservatives, white nationalists and fans of conspiracy. Theoretically, what havoc they can wreak is beyond belief.

So what is to be done? (And mind you, I am plagiarizing neither Lenin nor Chernyshevsky; I may be a progressive, but I ain’t no Commie. This is incredibly close to our family history; just yesterday, Madam [our mom, who’ getting close to 100 years] was loudly decrying all her friends and colleagues - like John Garfield, Marsha Hunt and Larry Parks - who lost their careers due to accusations of being Commie sympathizers).  It seems to me that the first thing we can do is accustom ourselves to the fact that we may very well wind up voting for a Democratic candidate who is not our first choice. In the long run, we must vote for - and lend support to - the candidate who has the best chance of sending Boss Tweet back to where he comes from - whether it be Germany, Queens or his mother’s womb. I could care less, just so long as he leaves. Our support must be given to a candidate who is fearless, not feckless, who carries him- or herself with dignity, and has a functioning moral compass. This person must be skilled in the art of governance, capable of appointing a Cabinet of skilled professionals whose virtuosity is vastly above the venality of their predecessors; a president who is already on speaking terms with the people he or she will have to work with, and knows the value of doing justice, loving mercy and walking with humility. Again I repeat: it is likely that this person may not be your ideal candidate and may have a few cobwebs in the attic. But then again, as Grandpa Doc used to say: “If heaven were meant only for perfect people, it would be the emptiest piece of property in the universe.”

Once we have our candidate, we cannot - indeed must not - go sit on the sidelines licking old wounds. We must do everything in our individual and collective power to ensure that ‘45 and his ilk suffer the greatest defeat in all history. It’s time for progressives and moderates, for Democrats and Independents to finally start acting like a vast majority and rid our country of the mindless meanness which suffuses society. America still has the ability to be a beacon of light to the world . . . to guarantee that there will be a morning after.

No one said it would be easy . . . but it’s as essential as the dreams we dream or the very air we breathe.

473 days until the most significant election in American history.

Copyright©2019 Kurt F. Stone



Thinking About Joyce Kilmer

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Our maternal grandmother, Anne (a.k.a. “Granny Annie”) was, among many other things, a walking encyclopedia of poetry. She could - and would - at the drop of a hat recite by heart everything from Vachel Lindsay’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight and Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade to Frank Lebby Stanton’s Keep a-Going’! , William Cullen Bryant’s Thanatopsis, Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha and Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. These poems - and dozens of others - were the soporifics which lulled us to sleep in our earliest years. Oddly and eerily, for the past couple of days, I’ve been trying like the Dickens (pun intended) to remember (without having to resort to a Google search - no challenge there) which poet wrote Trees. I could still recite it by heart, but somehow had misplaced the poet’s name. . . . a clear-cut “junior moment.” Actually, it turns out that my temporary forgetfulness was a goad to this week’s essay . . . a little something which likely occupies a treasured spot and purpose in my Celestial Cigar Box. Just before falling asleep early on the morning of July 4, the name “Joyce Kilmer” (1886-1918) reached the old frontal lobe. Eureka! Along with the Kilmer recollection came yet another of Granny’s beloved poets: Lucy Larcom (1824-1893), perhaps best known for Plant a Tree, whose first line goes “He who plants a tree plants a hope.”

When I woke up on the morning of July 4 and started reading online editions of various newspapers, I was struck dumb to see an article by A.P. science writer Seth Borenstein entitled A Way to Fight Climate Change? Plant a Trillion Trees. So that’s what the remembrance of Kilmer and Larcum was all about . . . planting trees to save the planet. From what I’ve learned over the past couple of days, there is a new study just published in the journal Science which concludes that planting billions of trees around the world would be the cheapest and most effective way to tackle the climate crisis. Since trees absorb carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, a worldwide planting initiative could remove a substantial portion of heat-trapping emissions from the atmosphere.

The researchers say a program at this scale could suck up about two-thirds of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by human activities since the start of the industrial revolution, or nearly 25% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. "This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution," study co-author Thomas Crowther, a climate change ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, told The Associated Press. Crowther stressed the need for urgent action, given how rapidly climate change is already progressing, and said tree planting would have near-immediate results, since trees remove more carbon when they are younger.  "It's certainly a monumental challenge, which is exactly the scale of the problem of climate change," Crowther said.

Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study. Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet. If such a goal were accomplished it would outstrip every other method for tackling climate change – from building wind turbines to vegetarian diets. The hundreds of gigatons worth of anthropogenic emissions which could be removed from the planet is beyond belief.

Lack of accurate information meant for years experts severely underestimated the number of trees on Earth. Combining data from ground-based surveys and satellites, Dr Crowther and his colleagues arrived at a figure of three trillion trees on earth – over seven times more than a previous Nasa estimate. And so, they have determined that if somewhere between 1.5 and 2 trillion trees were planted, we would come light years closer to our goal of saving the planet.

The world’s longtime leader in reforestation is, of course Israel, where over the past 118 years through the Jewish National Fund, the tiny country has planted more than a quarter-billion trees, turning a desert into a garden. They have proven that it can be done, and that along the way, reforestation also creates jobs, food and hope.

Besides the politics involved in stopping climate change (the administration of the planet’s largest contributor to anthropogenic poisoning blithely rejects science), there is that haunting, depressive feeling that when all is said and done, there’s next to nothing we can do to stem the tide; to save the planet from an ecological apocalypse. However, there is reason for optimism; while we’ve been sleeping, kvetching and growing increasingly impotent, there’s actually a lot going on . . . much of it unnoticed and unknown:

  • The United Nations Trillion Tree Campaign has already planted more than a billion trees on several continents. One can select the continent - or country or town - they wish to assist.

  • India has been tackling reforestation in a massive way. Not that long ago, 1.5 million volunteers in the state Madhya Pradesh state planted more than 66 million trees in less than 12 hours.

  • There is an 8,000 km wall of trees being built in Africa - making it the largest living structure on the planet once it's finished. The wall aims to spread across the width of Africa and through more than 20 countries including Senegal, Nigeria and Ethiopia. A decade on from its launch, the wall is currently 15% complete, with 11.4 million trees planted in Senegal alone.

  • An international organization called Plant For the Planet is engaging students from around the world to become “Justice Ambassadors” in the fight to help heal the planet. To date they have planted billions of trees, millions of tons of food, and seen scores of nearly extinct creatures coming back to life.

  • Various states, counties, cities and towns have instituted their own projects and rules for making their home turf a bit more edenic.

  • There are companies, such as Truewood, (they make and market wonderful wooden watches) which will plant 10 trees for every watch sold. In their first two years in business, they have already planted more than a half-million trees. (I myself already own and proudly wear 4 Truewood time pieces.)

As mentioned above, planting billions and billions of trees also helps increase biodiversity, creates jobs, and feeds hundreds of millions of previously starving people. It is also far, far less expensive - and far, far quicker - than changing the planetary economy from carbon-based to renewable.

Kilmer was undoubtedly on to something when he wrote:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast . . .
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

And even more to the point, perhaps, was Lucy Larcom’s Plant a Tree, in which she proclaimed:

He who plants a tree
Plants a hope . . .

Wayfarers he may not live to see.
Gifts that grow are best;
Hands that bless are blest;
Plant! life does the rest!

Heaven and earth help him who plants a tree,
And his work its own reward shall be..

488 days until the next election.

Copyright©2019 Kurt F. Stone

The Death of Biodiversity


Just this past week, the United Nations issued a sweeping 1,500-page report detailing how humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscape so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction. Compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, this report is, without question, the most exhaustive - and deeply chilling - look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers this decline creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published later this year. And yet, in the same week we joined in on approving the UN biodiversity report, U.S representatives pressured the Arctic Council to issue a short joint statement that excluded any mention of climate change whatsoever.

In covering the Arctic Council’s summary communiqué, the New York Times reported: “It was the first time since its formation in 1996 that the council had been unable to issue a joint declaration spelling out its priorities. As an international organisation made up of eight Arctic countries and representatives of indigenous groups in the region, its stated mission is cooperation on Arctic issues, particularly the protection of the region’s fragile environment. According to diplomats involved in the negotiations, at issue was the United States’ insistence not to mention the latest science on climate change or the Paris Agreement aimed at averting its worst effects. The omission is especially notable because scientists have warned that the Arctic is heating up far faster than the world average because of rising greenhouse gas emissions.” 

The illogic of signing on to the U.N. report - which begins with “The main message of our report is that transformative change is urgently needed. There are no other options” - while virtually in the same breath grossly narrowing the focus of the Arctic Council’s summary conclusion, is emblematic of an Administration that does not know its gluteus maximus from its rectus femoris.

Getting back to last Monday’s U.N. report, the 145-plus scientists/authors who contributed to the massive report say they found overwhelming evidence that human activities are behind nature’s decline. They ranked the major drivers of species decline as land conversion, including deforestationoverfishingbush meat hunting and poaching; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species. Their report - the full version of which will be published in late Summer/early Fall - also contains innumerable approaches and projects which must be undertaken by every nation on earth if humanity expects to ever reverse the all but certain death of biodiversity. Make no mistake about it: a planet bereft of millions upon millions of arable acres; of species of trees, plants, quadrupeds, birds, bees, butterflies, fish, mammals and insects is a planet which one day will no longer be able to sustain human life. And when we pass the “point of no return,” it won’t matter how rich, powerful or famous anyone is: a billionaire can drown, starve or broil just as easily and with equal certainty as a poor, backward illiterate.

What possible reason (or reasons) could any cult, country, or corporation have for turning a blind, unbelieving or hostile eye towards the overwhelming evidence of science when it comes to drastic climate change and the ensuing death of biodiversity? Several thoughts come to mind:

  • Many religious fundamentalists and creationists really, truly believe with every fiber of their being that anything and everything which occurs in this life and on this planet is part of God’s plan - whether we understand it or not. Among these, one will find folks who believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old; that dinosaurs and homo sapiens were contemporaneous; and that the death of various species has nothing to do with human action, but, once again, with Divine Will. To my way of thinking - and with all due respect, one simply cannot love God and and ignore the earth. Then too, there are those who have lapped up the Kool Aid and simply believe that scientists are all part of the “fake news” conspiracy.

  • Within the realm of politics, many oppose the findings of science not because they are intellectual pygmies, but rather because they fear the so-called “New World Order,” a cabal, working in secret as well as through official-­seeming, above-­ground means, seeking to establish an all-powerful, possibly Luciferian, one-world government. The very thought of signing on to such international pacts as the United Nations-backed Paris Agreement on global warming - to their way of thinking - merely opens the doors to other countries or international bodies telling us what we may or may not do. While this may well be a sop to a more America-central version of foreign policy, it may also an obedient response to those who fund reelection campaigns and fear losing market share.

  • One also suspects that opposition to the conclusions of science has little - if anything - to do with either religious scruples or political philosophy, but rather the bottom line. Let’s face it: in order to stem the tide of gross climate change and the incipient shrinkage of biodiversity, corporations will have to spend trillions of dollars. Retooling industry - moving from nonrenewable sources of energy to solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of energy - is not cheap. Success cannot be measured in terms of fiscal quarters or years; rather, success can take decades, if not more. Unfortunately, corporations are far, far more concerned with the next quarter than the next generation. The same goes for government: keeping taxes low today makes reelection a greater possibility tomorrow. The senator or representative who votes to raise taxes for the sake of tomorrow is going to run afoul of those who provide the majority of campaign dollars.

Research shows that every day, we use - and then toss out - over 500 million plastic straws here in America, most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.  In response to this obscenity, many cities, towns and counties here in Florida passed local ordinances banning their use in restaurants and fast-food joints. In response to an avalanche of lobbying by cash-wielding representatives of the plastics industry (who contribute tons of $$$ to politicians) the Republican-led Florida legislature caved and passed by a vote of 24-15, HB 771, which would have barred any local government from adopting or enforcing a ban on plastic straws until July 2024. Their reasoning?

  • That banning single-use plastic straws is beyond the scope of municipal governments, and

  • That there is yet insufficient proof that all the trash emanating from these millions upon millions of straws is harmful to marine life . . . that a thorough-going study by a committee of the legislature must first investigate the situation . . . which many legislatures declared “bogus.”

  • During floor debate, one legislator actually said ‘Straws make up a tiny portion of America's plastic litter, which in turn makes up a tiny portion (about 1 percent) of global plastic pollution. Banning them will have approximately zero impact on the world's oceans.

I’m happy to report that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis - a conservative Republican who is a stalwart Trump supporter - vetoed the measure. Good for you Governor!

OK, banning single-use plastic straws isn’t going to solve the worst of all possible crises . . . which we may dub geo necrosis (the death of the world). But hey, a journey of a billion miles does begin with a couple of steps.

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is, perhaps, the greatest pro-environmental text in all Human history. For in very first chapter of the first book of that mighty tome, one finds God’s very first commandment. If one will thumb their way to Genesis 1:28, one will find:

. פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֛וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁ֑הָ וּרְד֞וּ בִּדְגַ֤ת הַיָּם֙ וּבְע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וּבְכָל־חַיָּ֖ה הָֽרֹמֶ֥שֶׂת עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ

(Pronounced p’ru ur’vu umel’uh et ha-aretz v’khib-shuha; u’rdu beeg-daht ha-ya u’va-ofe ha-shamyim, u’khol khayah ha-romeset ahl ha-aretz)

Translated from the original Hebrew, God’s very first commandment states: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky and all the beasts which walk the earth.” It all seems pretty straightforward . . . with one exception. That is the Hebrew term וְכִבְשֻׁ֑הָ (v’khib-shua), normally translated as “conquer it.” Sorry, but without access to commentary, people have long mistranslated what God expects of us with regards to the Earth and all its gifts. No, it does not mean “conquer,” which has long given humanity license to do whatever they bloody well please with the world and its wonders - and with Co’s Divine imprimatur. But digging into commentary, one learns that v’khib-shuha means something far more akin to act as “protectors” than as “conquerors.”

To oh so many of you who contort and pervert the original meaning of this, the very first commandment, I say “If you really, truly want to do God’s will and fulfill Co’s (“His/Her”) word, protect and mentor the earth and its many, many creatures. Come to grips with the fact that In order to safeguard a healthy planet, we need to shift from a sole focus on chasing economic growth and doing what is best for corporations to doing what is best for all that which God has created. And if it costs hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars, Euros, Yen, Rubles and Shekels, so what? Saving the world God created; rescuing the creatures co created . . . these acts can also create an awful lot of new employment. Saving the earth; protecting as much biodiversity as we can - it’s as religious an act and can be imagined.

While it is crystal clear that ‘45 and a majority of his acolytes are more interested in cutting taxes, overturning Roe v., Wade and propping up the Second Amendment than in saving the bees, butterflies and the biosphere, the 20-odd Democratic candidates for POTUS are all deeply concerned. To get a sense of where they stand and what they propose, check out what the various candidates propose. It might just give you a modicum of hope.

Remember: This planet is our one and only home. We have no other choice; we must care for it.

541 days until the next election.

Copyright©2019 Kurt F. Stone


There's Going To Be a Morning After

                         Manoj Bhargava

                         Manoj Bhargava

Introductory note: With each passing week, there are an increasing number of critical issues, personalities and inanities to write about.  Invariably, selecting any particular issue or crisis upon which  to devote a weekly column will result in many people asking me "Why didn't you write about X instead of Y?"  Any attempt to offer an explanation or give a defense is futile - and in my humble opinion unnecessary. In point of fact, the very process of choosing a topic is almost as difficult and time consuming as researching, pondering and writing it.  Why just this week alone, I could be writing on the senate election in Alabama, the President's announcement concerning Jerusalem (and all it entails), the resignations of Senator Franken and Representatives Conyers and Franks, the annual White House Hanukkah gathering to which not a single Jewish Democrat was invited . . . and on and on.  Whenever selection becomes more insuperable than composition, opt for a change of pace.  Remember, the subtitle of this blog is "Politics and a Whole Lot More."

So this week, let's opt for a lot less "politics" in favor of "a whole lot more." This essay is about the future.  It is decidedly more positive and upbeat than any essay about the present. It is planned to the first of several occasional pieces on people, ideas and projects which ultimately will make tomorrow far more hopeful, nurturing and civilized than today . . . 

For every 10 people who know the name Manoj Bhargava, there are likely 100,000 who have used the product which made him a  multi-billionaire: "5-hour ENERGY." Manoj, who was born in Lucknow, India in 1953, is the  founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures L.L.C., which, among other things, produces 5-hour ENERGY. Manoj, who is worth an estimated $4 billion, is a member of the Giving Pledge Campaign and already well on his way to giving away 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes.  Towards that end, he has created the Billions in Change Foundation which includes an "invention shop" called Stage 2.  This Farmington Hills, Michigan shop creates "useful solutions to the world’s most pressing problems." To date, Stage 2 and Bhargava's Han Foundation have invented a diverse array of devices and techniques to capture and generate free energy, clean, purify and make potable water that is brackish, overly salinized and thus undrinkable, and make non-chemical manure that permits soil to absorb water even while increasing crop yield by an exponential amount.

Stage 2 has created and put into use:

  • A stationary bicycle which, if pedaled for but an hour, can create and store enough energy to light a home, charge a cell phone, and run a fan.  
  • A solar-paneled briefcase-like device which can can generate and store even more energy.  In both cases, the net result is free, non polluting energy. 
  • Two devices, the "Rainmaker for Grey Water," and the "Rainmaker for Brackish Water" which simply attaches to a well and starts working immediately, cleaning water at a rate of 5-10 gallons per minute. And unlike other water filtration devices, this one uses very little energy. It takes just 1.5 kilowatts, which is about as much as a hair dryer,.
  • Shivansh Fertilizer - a cost-free fertilizer that can transform unproductive land into a thriving farm, enabling farmers to reduce reliance on chemicals and increase profits. Shivansh Fertilizer is made by gathering whatever is laying around—dry plant materials, fresh grass, crop residues, animal manure—and then using a simple-to-follow layering method to construct a shoulder-high pile.

To date, these devices  and techniques are already in use and making an important difference in India.  Manoj's plan is to introduce them to the poorest parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. 

We who live in the world's developed countries might find it hard to grasp that easily more than a billion people on this planet don't have access to electricity or a source of clean water, and can barely make a living through farming.  Manoj Bhargava and his colleagues have already made vast inroads into solving these problems.  Besides saving lives and bringing light where there currently darkness, Manoj is also helping clean the atmosphere by creating non-polluting, free sources of energy (which I am sure the oil, coal and gas companies are going to hate), and above all, giving hope . . . a desperately needed commodity. 

I strongly urge you to take less than a half-hour to watch the following video. Not only will you be amazed at what is happening; it just might restore a bit of faith in the human race:

45 years ago, Maureen McGovern gained instant fame when she sang "The Morning After"  for the 1972 blockbuster hit "The Poseidon Adventure."  Its lyrics are, in light of this week's essay - and other such future pieces about the future - especially poignant:

There's got to be a morning after
If we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let's keep on looking for the light

Oh, can't you see the morning after? 
It's waiting right outside the storm
Why don't we cross the bridge together
And find a place that's safe and warm?

It's not too late, we should be giving
Only with love can we climb
It's not too late, not while we're living
Let's put our hands out in time

There's got to be a morning after
We're moving closer to the shore
I know we'll be there by tomorrow
And we'll escape the darkness
We won't be searching anymore

(© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc)


324 days down, 1,136 to go.

Copyright©2017 Kurt F. Stone