July 4, 2011: “Mirror Logic”

One of the things I love to do on the 4th—don’t know why, exactly—is to read the Declaration of Independence on The Boston Globe‘s editorial page. (Yup; they print it every year.) No longer a home subscriber (Yup; finally gave up), it took me a little while to actually find it online but eventually, there it was. (Yup; reading that lofty document online does give me that same mysterious thrill!)

Like other online articles, The Globe’s annual Independence Day offering included the opportunity for comments. And although an inward voice screamed, “Don’t do it, Patricia!” I did read a few. Not surprisingly, given the deep, deep divisions in the good ol’ US of A right now, many nasty, “vitriolic” comments were there to marvel over. (Apparently, Patriotism really means Freedom to Own Guns. I had no idea!)

One commenter, wasting a perfectly lovely summer day to sit at his/her computer arguing with another commenter at some length, used the words “Mirror-logic.” Which, I take it to mean, interpreting the world—or, in this case, an historical document—from one’s own (limited/flawed, all too human. . . ) perspective.

Loathe to waste a perfectly lovely summer morning sitting at my computer AND eager to address my residual fearfulness re riding my bike in the city (what better opportunity to get my bike mojo working than on a holiday when all the traffic’s on the Cape?!), I strapped on my helmut  and took to the bike lane on Somerville Avenue. And eventually to the bike path out of Davis Square. Final destination: Spy Pond.

Seeing my Somerville-Cambridge-Arlington world from my cushy seat ( a HUGE consideration when I’d bought my Trek Allant for my 65th birthday), I saw connections and patterns and features I would otherwise never be able to see.  How the wetlands near Alewife T Station relate to nearby ponds, for example. Or how a couple of co-housing developments celebrate their  bike path access.

And, I gotta say,  I thought I saw The Beginnings of Something Working Right. That in the current course of human events, when dependence on the automobile MUST be severed,  we are declaring our, well, not independence, but Getting Ready.


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