Tuesday, November 24, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume XI, Issue XIX

Pontifus, the Bridge Builder's Tale
By Bob Kirchman
Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

The Bridge Builder's Tale [click here to read].
Table of Contents [click here to read].

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor



ICL Map of Siberia [click to view larger].

Alaska 2060 [click to view]. Alaska 2050 [click to view].
Alaska 2054 [click to view]. Alaska 2040 [click to view].
Alaska 2051 [click to view]. Alaska 2020 [click to view].

Alaska 2059 [click to view]. Alaska 2058 [click to view].
Alaska 2057 [click to view].

Siberia 2060 [click to view]. Siberia 2045 [click to view].
Siberia 2055 [click to view]. Siberia 2040 [click to view].
Siberia 2050 [click to view]. Siberia 2020 [click to view].

Bering Strait Bridge Complex at Wales. Enlarge [click to view full size]

Tundra Farms in 2060. Enlarge [click to view full size]

Trucks at Big Diomede Service Plaza.

Bering Strait Bridge Authority [click to read].

Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale XXIX

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor


Some people care too much. I think its called love.” – A. A. Milne

Joe and Kate had followed in the Greene's footsteps, but their path had taken them back to the 'lower 48,' where they pastored a church. The great bridge and her economic vitality were indeed infusing something into the spirit of a hungry world. In centuries past it had been known as the 'Great Awakening.' Jonathan Greene and Kris had unwittingly followed in the footsteps of men like Jonathan Edwards. Indeed it almost seemed like the Divine's patience with mankind was finally paying off. The world in 2060 was a bit different than the prophets of doom had predicted.

There had indeed been wars, and even more rumors of war. The sins of mankind continued to play out on the world stage, and many suffered as a result. In the Northern hemisphere, Elizabeth Zimmerman's geothermal greenhouse farms, populated by refugees of these conflicts, offered a strong alternative! If the truth be known, more people around the world were discovering the 'hope and a future' that Rupert Zimmerman had first tasted over the Greene's macaroni and cheese! Though the news media was not reporting it. In every nation of the world, little 'Priscilla and Aquilla' groups were quietly changing the world.

Indeed, on a lazy Summer afternoon in a garden on Big Diomede, a group of ladies sharing sweet tea and sweet fellowship seemed to profess that all was right with the world. Yet, unlike the fat complacency of ages past, that had led to apathy and forgetfulness, they all shared that delicious feeling of anticipation! It was something like the feeling you have the day before your cherished daughter is given in marriage to a son-in-law who you yourself have come to love!

What could it be? The work in the world was far from finished, yet a new era of peace and prosperity seemed to be coming. With the world looking to the Northern Hemisphere for direction now, the Middle East was attempting to overcome her own convulsions with the establishment of the World Centre for Peace on the outskirts of Baghdad. The project of a young, charismatic visionary from Hungary, this could only help to settle the seemingly unending cycle of world violence...

But today, the light through the now mature trees of the biosphere was so... GOLDEN! so RICH! Not an ordinary day! And what was this? The MEN of these families were returning EARLY from their tour of 'Zimmerman's Folly.' That NEVER happened. The ladies had even put a later time on their reservations at Big Diomede's Asian restaurant for dinner that night, knowing full well that a short tour of the great bridge never was. Yet, the men too seemed to sense the wonder of the sunlight... and the desire to be close to their loved ones. Think of Christmas morning or the day of your wedding... or the last bell before the first day of Summer vacation... none of these can come close to the feeling our little company now shared.

Golden sunlight seemed to fill the little garden now. The hollyhocks had never seemed so brilliant!



For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth all things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." -- Isaiah 61:11

The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow." -- Isaiah 62:2


Kris vaguely remembered the feeling of floating... it seemed she was floating above her brilliant garden on Big Diomede... then stepping from the still pool into a beautiful wood! Oh, the colors! This place was so new and yet to her it was also strangely familiar, like the woods she'd played in behind her house as a girl, but the colors were so deep! Somehow she'd always known the wonder of this place.

The illumination of this place was like the first light of dawn. Golden light spilled into the little grove! Somehow the source of that light seemed very close... as if moving toward her to greet her! Her first desire was to sing, and sing she did. Her beautiful voice filled the little grove. Her song seemed to add color to the place, and indeed as she sang flowers and brilliant leaves seemed to come into being! She was aware now that she was singing harmony to someone else's beautiful song! There He stood! A Man so magnificent that He appeared to be the Force that illuminated this world! Indeed He WAS! He finished His song and greeted her:

Well done!, good and faithful servant! You were my light in the world you have come from, now you shall be called..." and he spoke a name so wonderful that we may not speak it here, but it loosely translates as 'Daughter of the Morning Star.' "Daughter, come and see what I'm working on!" He seemed eager to show her the inner secrets of His Creation, and indeed He was. But as she stepped into this world of wonder she realized that she was not alone! Indeed her husband and her brother, who shared the same name had been singing her song as well. The man who had been her partner in life and the brother she had lost in childhood now stood embracing her in the presence of the Magnificent One!

Time is not the same in this world and for what might have been eons the little family shared joys that we can only imagine, since they are private to them, but just imagine the best Christmas ever when some favorite relative showed up unexpectedly and the house was filled with joy, laughter and forever memories! Yes, the smell of wonder that seemed to spill forth when a beloved and magical aunt opened her suitcase... those imprinted joys of childhood that are never forgotten!; these are but a hint of what joys our travelers now savored! Oh, how the circle grew bigger as grandparents and others joined the happy group!

Kris would always remember a couple of wonderful things about this moment, as if she was uniquely created to notice them. First of all the eyes of the Magnificent One were seemingly made up of every color in the rainbow... and more colors that are beyond the ability of eyes in this present world to see at all! If Kris could have seen her own eyes now she would have seen that the beautiful green of them had been joined by all those colors as well! Her eyes were a mirror of the Master's! Now she noticed that when her loved ones drew closer to the Redeeming One, they seemed to grow younger! Now she came to the joyous realization that in the presence of the Magnificent One, she herself became as a little child. She lost no knowledge or wisdom in doing so. In fact, one only GAINED wisdom as one came closer to His presence!

She thought of people she'd met who'd seen and shared visions and dreams of this place. An Egyptian woman had said that Jesus was surrounded in Heaven by children! Now Kris saw how this could be as another person, who had died and been revived as a child had said that Heaven was populated by people who appeared to be in the prime of their young adulthood. Kris had once painted a mural on a church wall called 'Journey to Jesus.' In it children from around the world approached the Saviour in their native costumes. Now it seemed that Kris' painting had come to life. Young and brilliant, from every nation, they came to greet... or more correctly, to be greeted by the Magnificent One! Now she saw that this vision was indeed a reality! She hadn't noticed the wider wood before, but now she saw the full sweep of the wonderful new world.

When Kris had painted her mural, a hallway had forced a break at the Bering Strait. In her lifetime she'd seen herself transplanted to the place where that divide had been bridged. Now mankind joined together, with no seas to separate them, in the presence of the Magnificent One!

There were others that Kris recognized as well. Abdul, the handsome Turk, walked with his wife and his sons and daughters. Rupert, Pat, Elizabeth and Martin strolled through the wood. Elizabeth joyfully pointed out new wonders as they walked! Each of them greeted Kris with the deep warmth one has for the teacher who has opened new vistas to them! Here were Willa and Joe, with their loved ones strolling through what could only be called a grove of hollyhocks... or were they hibiscus? The flowers were ENORMOUS! Willa carried a smaller one... brilliant blue, picked for her especially by Joe, who knew she loved that color. Butterflies and hummingbirds, some more brilliant than any ever seen on the old Earth, abounded here. Joe's granddaughter Kate seemed to be their family's guide through this wonderland. They each embraced Kris warmly when they spotted her. Each embrace seemed tied to the Magnificent One's blessing: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Kris' daughter and Kate, who had painted Zimmerman's reproduction of the 'School of Athens' together with her joined arms with Kris and together they shared the ongoing discovery of new wonders.

Some theologians will likely have problems with the notion that there are people, with arms locked, SKIPPING together in Heaven. I offer them no apologies, for the three women in our story were most assuredly doing just that. For their comfort it might be best to omit the description of some of the more magical creatures as well. It is safe to say the three women had come pretty close to describing them in their childhood sketchbooks! Now they patted their noses! All the while they recognized and called to friends they had known in the old world. They called to them as well. Kate, Kris and Kris' daughter were caught up in an ongoing and glorious reunion.

It is worth mentioning at this point that these are the names they were known by on the old Earth. Kris called them by names that seemed to overflow with some deep knowledge of the Magnificent One! Somehow she knew these names, though she'd never been told them. Women she'd first met as tough truck stop workers now gently embraced her with their loved ones and she addressed them with similar holy names! Families born of redeemed lives eagerly embraced the instrument of their redemption! Also, it is worth noting that Willa, who had lovingly introduced the World Unseen and the Magnificent One to scores of preschool children was also one of the few like Kris and her husband who heard the commendation; "Well done, good and faithful servant."

In fact it was Willa who, if one bothered to count (and in this new world you don't), received the most and the most sincere embraces. She instantly remembered the faces of children she'd taught in her first fourth grade class in rural Virginia. Now seeing them as grown men and women, she nonetheless recognized them instantly and knew their new and holy names. Their wives and children also had to embrace the one who the Magnificent One had used to breathe His life into their families. There were parents and grandparents too. Her love was the unspoken sermon that won their hearts. There were the twins she had known as Anthony and Antinio, though she called them now by new names... once mischievous children, now strong and brown young men! Indeed they were son's of the Magnificent One!, captured by His love as seen in the vessel of their slender young teacher! Joe was caught up in the wonder of the stories that sprang like fruitful branches from the life of his wife. It did not matter to him that he did not have so many as he immersed himself in the joy of learning hers. Joe did see Chris. Though neither of them was wearing an 'Intercontinental Logistics' shirt with the name embroidered on it anymore, they needed no one to tell them the NEW names by which they greeted each other. Chris could argue all he wanted with Joe's words and thoughts, and he could poke holes in Joe's failures to live up to what he professed to believe, but he was hard pressed to try and explain away the way Joe was sustained by WHO he believed in. In the end that was what Chris knew was real as his rig plunged into the icy waters of the Bering Strait. Both men embraced Abdul when they saw him. The young Turk had hungered for what he saw in men like Joe. He had endured the withdrawal of his family and threats on his life to find it. He had had dreams of this place, and the Man who gave it life. He had been blessed with a lovely wife and children... who walked with him now in this garden. They had suffered much and died at the hands of those who opposed the Kingdom they now knew as their home.

One often wondered what you remembered in Heaven and what you forgot. Now it was clear that knowledge had only GROWN. Knowledge of the Magnificent One filled places in your being that you didn't know needed to be filled. Indeed one could remember as but a cloudy dream, things from the past. Earth had been remade in a fiery rebirth. One knew that, but it was rather like the time Zimmerman had read the words 'Citizen, Soldier, Educator' on that statue in a college quadrangle. The man so referenced had also lost a leg in battle, but here on the quadrangle there was no smoke, no pain, no blood, only the peaceful light through the trees and the memory of a life that had been lived... no man's life is totally well-lived, but that is the part that remains vivid in the memory. In fact, Kris saw this man and Rupert strolling together in a deep and animated discussion. It reminded her a little bit of the dialogue that had long gone on between Rupert and her husband. The difference was that now Zimmerman wore no anxiety and suffered no torment in the process. The man who inwardly had struggled so hard to find his place in the world seemed quite content and at home in the world he now occupied.

History was remembered, but the Master of History had made it His Story. There were indeed some who were not here that one had known in the Old Earth. Their lives were not forgotten, but they were remembered in the context of the Magnificent One's patience, "Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Indeed, one was aware of how the Magnificent One had wooed them. The Magnificent One wiped away tears; and His presence so filled you, that somehow you were made whole.

But now something new was about to happen. "Come!" said the voice Kris had first heard joined with her in song. Now on the Hillsides of a New Earth, all were gathered as the Great Jerusalem came down to join the Earth... "as a bride adorned for her Husband."

Behold, I make all things new."

Now that light that had first filtered through the trees was seen to have its origin from within the Great Jerusalem that descended. If you think of the finest feast of celebration you have ever enjoyed, the best family or church picnic on a beautiful day; you will come closer, but nowhere close to the feeling of this time when mankind sat down to enjoy a shared meal with the Magnificent One at the end of the world... or was this the BEGINNING?, yes, I believe that is a more truthful observation; and that, dear reader, is the one I will leave you with


Photo by Kristina Elaine Greer
Oriental Poppy. Photo by Kristina Elaine Greer

Photo by Kristina Elaine Greer
Hibiscus. Photo by Kristina Elaine Greer

In Isaiah 60 [1.] and in Revelation 21 Believers look to a New Heaven and a New Earth where a Heavenly Jerusalem descends to join the Earth. Here is a Kingdom that needs no temple, needs no sun to light it, for G-d Himself is the force that illuminates it! [2.]

And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from G-d out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of G-d is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and G-d himself shall be with them, and be their G-d." -- Revelation 21:1-3

West_web East_web
Journey to Jesus, a mural depicting the nations coming to Jesus in the New Heaven and New Earth described in Revelation 21. Mural by Kristina Elaine Greer and Bob Kirchman

Journey to Jesus [click to view larger images].

Our Christian hope is that we're going to live with Christ in a new Earth, where there is not only no more death, but where life is what it was always meant to be." -- Timothy Keller.

The hope of Heaven and New Earth.

Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale XXIX

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor


We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet. Even longer,' Pooh answered.” – A. A. Milne

That is where Kate and Kris had become friends. The two women had balanced childcare and muralling as they worked on Zimmerman's recreation of "The School of Athens." Zimmerman could have hired any famous living artist he'd wanted to but on his frequent visits to the Greene home he was always delighted by Kris' paintings there.

If the truth be known, Zimmerman preferred the strong hand of a trusted colleague over the acclaim of the culture in choosing his partners for any project. Elizabeth and Martin had laid out the Big Diomede campus and designed the modest, but tasteful buildings joined by simple colonnades. The campus was set on the edge of the island, perpetually open to the East and the rising sun. Since no classroom was bigger than a suburban living room, Zimmerman's Swedish friend produced the campus buildings in his Virginia production center.

Kris had even shown Rupert the painting she was 'hiding' as a discreet mural in the parsonage. The tradition of their faith was that they would often move on to a new field of ministry. One of Zimmerman's favorite stories from a childhood book was that of a Methodist minister who always planted a young tree at each parsonage that he would never enjoy the shade of. The purpose was to bless the families that would come after. Generations later children would play in the shade of a stately oak. The Greenes brought that story to life as Kris sought to do that with her murals.

Inside Kris' house on Big Diomede. The college is visible through the window. 
Painting by Lola Dalton (the author's grandmother)

She had initially protested Zimmerman's request that she paint "The School of Athens," but in the end reluctantly agreed. Taking Kate under her wing made the project sweet. As the two women wrestled with the folds of tunics and the contorted coffers, Kate shared the hopes and fears of every young woman. Kris was a wonderful mentor, sharing from her own story to encourage her young apprentice. That Summer flew by... the one Kate had so dreaded. It was a tearful ending as Kate returned to school in the 'lower 48.' She looked forward to her return the following Summer.

One of Kate's most voiced laments was that: "good men were hard to find in the lower 48!" With few meaningful career paths left to them, many lived in a sort of perpetual adolescence... like actors in a beer commercial, they played and sought 'experience,' but few of them sought significance. Encouraged by the Greene's love story, she had been given a larger perspective. Indeed it was the NEXT Summer that Kate had met her husband, one of Greene's seminary students at the new college. Here was a man who indeed quietly planted so that others who followed might reap the bounty... a man of the NEW American frontier!

His name was Joe, just like the name of her beloved grandfather! Joe had had an interesting life. He'd tasted redemption after a troubled youth. He was a serious student of the Bible... but not as a detached interest. He'd seen it as a blueprint for remaking his life! He came to Big Diomede as a supervisor of the installation of the Virginia-built houses. Greene was offering some course that interested him and he ended up as one of the Pastor's favorite students. Naturally, the friendship began around the Greene's dinner table. When Kate returned to school in the 'lower 48,' the letters flowed regularly.

Kris, though she enjoyed new technology, never lost the sense of the flavor of a hand-drawn card or letter. She seemed to carry over the sensibilities of a bye-gone century as she inhabited the 21st. How she enjoyed mentoring Kate in the art of high romance! Indeed, she was an enabler... she had snuck the colored pencils and deckle-edged paper into Kate's grandfather's room as he reconnected with Willa! Now she was at it again.

Stairwell window at the college. Painting by Lola Dalton

(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale XXVIII

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor


From these principles and our labors together emerged one of our country's great airlines and further developed our great heritage of pioneering. In the years ahead young, strong hands will carry them into a future which you and I, with all our dreams, can scarcely visualize” – Captain Eddie Rickenbacker in a letter to Eastern Air Lines employees

Eventually the administration agreed to release Zimmerman upon payment of the so-called 'tax liability.' The airplane and a sizeable number of Petrodollars would secure his freedom! No charges would be levelled against Rupert upon payment of this 'debt' and he would be free to travel in the 48 United States again. Elizabeth wired payment quickly, knowing her father would be furious! She knew he'd rather rot than fund the lower 48's insatiable appetite for money, but in the end all were glad to have the ill feelings of the war behind them.

Rupert had actually been quite grateful to Elizabeth. Prison food was such that vending machine fare was fine dining in comparison. A man like Zimmerman fares poorly in captivity, his mind pacing like a caged tiger even as he seems to be calmly working in the facility's sterile kitchen. Pat made sure he had regular visits but she had to remind herself that he was a stallion fighting being gelded. He did seem to have grown calmer, though he still felt free to share strong emotions with her.

When he walked out of the prison, Pat drove him back to Virginia. He knew his daughter would take good care of things in Wales, so he and Pat stayed a few days in Lexington. Here in Rockbridge County the leaders of Texan Independence had lived before they went West. Taking one of Rupert's old Porsches, the couple drove through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Here was the site of the great Cherokee Nation, part of the heritage of Kris and her husband... now but a memory, but indeed a nation as great as the Yupik, who now shared representation in the Alaska assemblies. The Cherokee had built a modern nation in the midst of the white settlers only to be undone when gold was discovered in Dehlonega, Georgia. Alaska's Yupik had been quietly enfranchised during the war and hopefully would never be removed from their ancestral lands.

Motoring South, the Zimmermans entered the foothills of the Appalachians in South Carolina. Zimmerman wanted to see Abbeville, where the Confederates had drafted their 'Articles of Secession.' He was curious to visit a place where men had sought to control their destiny as a people... and had paid dearly to do so. The Porsche started acting funny, spitting and missing as he pulled into a little town that was mainly a college. There, among the signs for campus buildings, a matching sign directed you to 'Top Notch Auto Repair.' "Do you guys work on Porsches?" Zimmerman had asked. The owner of the shop not only worked on them, but was a fellow enthusiast, proudly pointing to his own. Zimmerman was impressed with this 'Academic Village' where a car repair shop rubbed shoulders with college buildings, even sharing their signpost! Professors frequented the hardware store and the campus seemed amazingly CONNECTED to the town that sustained it!

He found a nice little bed and breakfast and left Pat to 'pretty up' for dinner. It was growing late and Zimmerman noticed that some of the college food service workers were walking home. The college lawn opened onto the street where their simple homes were arranged like an extension of the academic community. He had visited the University of Virginia, but was dismayed to see how Jefferson's Lawn had once opened to the surrounding countryside, but did so no longer. Stanford White, a New York architect had decided to 'improve on' Jefferson's original design by closing off the lawn with his Cabell Hall. That is where Rupert saw a nice rendering of Raphael's 'School of Athens.' It had been painted by George W. Breck, a muralist from New York in 1902. It was the university's second comissioning of a copy of Raphael's famous painting in the Pope's private library in the Vatican. The first, painted in 1853 by French artist Paul Balze was destroyed by a fire in 1895. Breck's copy was scaled four inches different from the Vatican original to avoid violating a Vatican policy prohibiting exact copies.

Cabell hall also contained a more contemporary mural painted as a companion to 'The School of Athens,' which followed the life of a student in the early years of the Twenty-first Century. Its painter, Lincoln Perry, called it "Student's Progress." The most interesting feature of the newer painting was a recreation of the open vista of the original lawn, now obliterated by Cabell Hall! The open lawn, revealing rolling hills and mountain vistas intrigued Zimmerman. He stood in deep contemplation on the Rotunda steps, trying to imagine the scene as originally constructed.

The Lawn of the University of Virginia originally opened to the surrounding community and countryside. Photos and rendering overlay by Bob Kirchman.

There was an inescapable irony in these walls. Historians tell us it is very likely that the author of American liberty had employed slave labor in the building of his university. Any remaining vestiges of this foul institution were nowhere to be seen, but the thought that this might be true troubled Zimmerman greatly. The more he understood his daughter Elizabeth's heart, the more he cherished her work to promote human freedom. Yet Jefferson was the one who had penned, borrowing from Locke, the description of "Certain Inalienable Rights." Years later the work of Abolitionists and later the Freedom Riders had indeed opened the vista of freedom to the children of slaves. Man in his folly needed a vision of himself perfected by lofty ideals as a starting point. Zimmerman was now convinced that the promotion of such ideals was indeed a worthy work. His own sense that he was inadequate for the work was a necessary admission, yet he could not allow it to become an excuse!

He'd once visited Nils Frederick Larson's attempt to recreate Jefferson's Lawn for a university in North Carolina. Larson had initially closed off the Quadrangle, as it was called, on all sides, modeling White more than Jefferson. Jefferson's buildings had colonnades and archways that connected the buildings. You could walk from his Rotunda to the farthest room under cover. Larson's arcades and colonnades did not connect... they were a sort of false promise... sort of like the separation he saw in the tribalism that passed for 'diversity' in the classrooms. Eschewing the notion of high and noble ideals for humanity to aspire to, modern thinkers sought to recreate institutions rather than enlighten the heart. Their notion that 'man was basically good' and that the institutions were the problem did not resonate with a man like Zimmerman, who needed no-one to remind him of the dark places of his own heart.

In the end it was Jefferson's Lawn that had impressed Zimmerman the most. He tried hard to imagine the original layout as conceived by the patriot. The Rotunda occupied a high place and two colonnades framed a view from the Rotunda steps of a manicured lawn flowing freely into the rolling hills of Albemarle County. A noble institution to address the frontier... and indeed a part of it at the beginning. The closing off of the Lawn bothered Zimmerman deeply. Here, however, in the countryside of South Carolina, was a campus that still freely mingled with the world it inhabited. Zimmerman was inspired.

In the center of a large grassy quadrangle. Zimmerman found a statue of one of the college presidents. The man, like Zimmerman, had been wounded in battle during America's Nineteenth Century Civil War. The Statue inscription read: "Citizen, Soldier, Educator, Servant of Christ." Zimmerman strove to be all of these, but felt woefully inadequate for the task if the truth be known.

The next morning, with his car repaired, Zimmerman continued his journey but the seeds of his next project were now firmly planted in his mind. When he returned to the Autonomous Republics he met with Greene to begin his plans for an institute of higher learning.

(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Bridge Builder's Tale XXVII

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor


On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values.” – Charles Linbergh

The aircraft was cleared for landing at Baltimore's BWI Airport. An ambulance met the Greenes and whisked them to Johns Hopkins. Kris' daughter had passed the hours watching the Disney 'Princesses' movies on the plane. Now she wore Pat's robe like a royal one as she was hurried off to Baltimore. Though the administration had tried to put institutions like Johns Hopkins Hospital under government control, the administrators of that institution had skillfully avoided it. Kris carried a sizeable amount of Alaska Petrodollars, handed to her by Rupert, in order to ensure her treatment under the "Private Option."

Zimmerman planned to remain on the plane and quietly slip out when they were no longer needed. Unfortunately he had parted with his Petrodollars before they might possibly have come in handy. This was no small airport where Zimmerman-friendly staff ignored the bounty on his head. This was Baltimore Washington International -- thirty minutes from the nation's capital! Some officious little weasel of a security official ran the obligatory check on the plane's tail number. He was not satisfied with the Calgary registration and started cross-checking the recorded flight plans. Obtaining a warrant, he and a small detail of security stormed the plane on the tarmac. Zimmerman's crews were required to be expert marksmen... and women, but Zimmerman ordered them to surrender. No one should have to die when Rupert's surrender would end any need for force. Besides, Zimmerman knew the lower 48 depended on the fruits of his labor for their economic survival. Negotiation just might work.

Zimmerman was taken into custody and the plane seized by the IRS. A tax charge had been fabricated by the administration in the hopes of just such a moment as this. While Rupert was incarcerated, Kris' daughter responded wonderfully to her treatments. Elizabeth O'malley provided them and the plane crew with commercial tickets home on Alaska Air. Alaska Air even 'loaned' the BSB a temporary replacement for 'BSB One.' Elizabeth's mercy flights continued even as her father languished in a US Federal Prison.

Elizabeth O'Malley pressed the Alaskan Autonomous Republic to pursue diplomatic measures to secure Rupert's release. Zimmerman took advantage of the time to write her lengthy letters in which he mused on how quickly a great culture like the United States could be reduced to the state she was in now, unaware of her heroic past, anxious for an uncertain future, she had sold herself out all too quickly to the rhetoric of "Hope and Change." Indeed there had been change, but now things had become all the more hopeless! A great nation that had rolled up her sleeves and faced obstacles with Faith and Tenacity was now reduced to the status of victims who blamed others for their lack of progress. Liberalism had moved from advancing mankind's condition to warring against the noble instincts of man... and man was being reduced in the process.

Pastor Greene was concerned about this too. An interesting round of correspondence between Elizabeth, Greene and Zimmerman ensued where the three thinkers opined as to how best address the problem. Zimmerman valued Greene's insight, as both men had a low tolerance for most of the bull-crap that passed as 'modern thought.' Elizabeth, who saw most of the world's suffering as a direct result of bad political choices, wondered at the revolving door of revolution, where the people overturned their rulers, identifying those in power as oppressors, only to establish regimes that were even more oppressive than the ones that they'd replaced. The great universities had been established to bring Christianity to the wilderness, but now they spurned their beginnings and promoted this endless cycle of violence. [1.]

A year went by. Kris' daughter grew strong and became the darling of the Big Diomede community. Elizabeth became the acting president of the BSB organization in her father's absence, presiding over the reconstruction of the Eastbound span's 'blind hump' into a more gradual ascent and descent. The president of the trucker's association gave her a plaque, but the burly presenter's sincere bear-hug represented more accurately the drivers' deep sentiments!

"Eschewing the notion of high and noble ideals for humanity to aspire to, modern thinkers sought to recreate institutions rather than enlighten the heart. Their notion that 'man was basically good' and that the institutions were the problem did not resonate with a man like Zimmerman, who needed no-one to remind him of the dark places of his own heart." Greenstone Replacement, St. Francis' Church, Staunton, Virginia.
Photo by Bob Kirchman 

Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda, Clad in Scaffolding for Reconstruction.
Photo by Bob Kirchman

Capitol Dome in Scaffolding. Photo by R. S. Kirchman

(to be continued) [click to read]

Copyright © 2015, The Kirchman Studio, all rights reserved