(1621 - 1678)
Had we but world enough, and time...
World Enough and Time
Time and opportunity made me again aware of this absolutely fascinating world of which we are a part.
Each day, stepping out of my room at an 'Inn' in the vicinity of Du Pont Circle, an area of non-official Washington, D.C., my first encounter was with a nude manikin sitting on the edge of her wooden bathtub (one of several tongue-in-cheek bits of humor tucked around). Amused by this absurdity, I was ready to boldly step into the street, where I experienced one delightful surprise after another.
Only thirty-three steps down the street and nine steps down to a below-street office, I discovered an organization whose publications I had, over the years, gratefully received -- The Middle East Institute (founded in 1946 to expand American knowledge about this complex and critically important region). Further down, at the corner of the block, I emulated a pro halfback threading my way through the buzzing traffic to see whose statue was being ignored by all. It turned out to be that of John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister and president of Princeton who also was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Walking on, I glanced down five-steps and saw a sign which read, "Crisis Magazine." My steps slowed and I walked back, down and in the door. I inquired as to which crisis they were referring. It turned out this was a Texas foundation (an original bottle of patent medicine made by the family founder [who lived in Austin] was framed and hung on the wall). The magazine deals with "Politics, Culture & the Church" and promotes a resurgence of the theology of thirteenth-century St. Thomas Aquinas in order to address the cultural 'crisis' of this current age.
Two doors further down was a non-descript, six-story office building. Walking in and looking at the list of occupants, I discovered the office of the Death with Dignity National Center. Following an intriguing conversation, I left with another handful of literature.
A couple of doors away from the huge National Association of Broadcasters building (left for a future day) was the intriguing sign: "Heldref Publications -- Freedom Press." A foundation supports the press which publishes several dozen journals, among which were "Weatherwise," a Magazine About the Weather, and "ReVision," a Journal of Consciousness and Transformation ("Connected Knowing: Exploring Self, Soma, Empathy, and Intuition" being one of its more obtuse articles).The same building housed several national headquarters, including the United Nations Association.
So many fascinating discoveries, so much literature to read, so many conversations. Fortunately, a Godiva chocolate shop provided a bit of mid-day rest and nourishment.
I thought, "What else would I encounter if I had more walking days?". Until I return to find out, I need to write the Death with Dignity National Center and tell them to take me off their list. The world continues to be far, far too enthralling .
...The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace...
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