Mens sana in corpore sano

lush fields

That’s Latin for “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” It’s literally all the Latin I can remember from a semester’s worth in junior high.

I was a terrible student.

What does this have to do with the image above, a lush June hayfield with an amazing view over this area’s rolling hills?

It’s part of my view when I go for my early morning stroll along a rural road. Few vehicles that early, I have it mostly to myself. You have to get movement in; it’s the only thing that really helps in this year of disease and strife.

Healthy body, healthier mind.

Of course, physical activity doesn’t solve all problems, it just helps out. Another thing I’m doing is reading, right now I’m stuck into a two-book series, “Britain’s War” by Daniel Todman. Very good reading, and it is really fleshing out my understanding of the role England and the British Empire played in World War Two. I could review these books when I’m done, but I don’t know if I could do them justice. So far I can recommend them; other non-fiction books I was impressed by in the past were “The Pity of War” and “War of the World” by Niall Ferguson.

I think it’s important to have a grasp of the world wars in order to understand the situation we find ourselves in today. (And as an aside, it really helps when writing books.)

Ignorance, however, abounds.

This is clearly on display right now here in the US. We are going through civil strife as a direct result of the US Civil War and the Jim Crow era.

When I stand back and look at this, my jaw wants to fall open. The Civil War ended 155 years ago. Some say it was about “state’s rights.” Yes, it was. The right of states to elect to be “free” or “slave-holding.” It’s very simple, and a historical fact. Those who say the war did not have slavery at its roots are being disingenuous about the history.

A personal vignette as to what Jim Crow looked like, and you tell me if this is right or fair. If this is the way you would treat a fellow human.

After World War Two, my Grandma married my Grandpa. I guess they were in Texas for a while, sometime in the late forties. My Grandma, a freckled young redhead, went into Killeen to shop. She walked down a sidewalk, a black man walked toward her. She thought nothing of it. He passed her. No big deal.

In the Jim Crow south, it was.

A group of local toughs saw what happened. They grabbed the man and beat him to a pulp in front of my horrified Grandma.

She said “What in heaven’s name did you do that for?”

One of the toughs answered. “This (expletive) should have made way for a white woman.”

My Grandma didn’t know what to say. What did they want, to be thanked?

One of them muttered “Yankee” and they walked away. The beaten black man eventually got up. My Grandma, shaken, left.

This. This was Jim Crow. As a direct result of the Civil War and World War Two, my Grandma witnessed it.

I read about history. I listen when the old people tell me how it was when they were young, and life was still fresh. The “good old days” weren’t, and things were never black or white.

So yeah, in between bursts of writing I try to exercise the body and mind. The body with lots of walking, the mind with books.

This is how I’m trying to cope with a mind-bendingly bad 2020.

I count partial success as a victory.


2 thoughts on “Mens sana in corpore sano

  1. Agree completely. I dropped four kilos recently as well as rehabbing a bunch of old injuries and while i feel better physically and mentally its still a struggle with all that is going on in the world currently.


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