the inevitable truth of the seasons:
the leaves of the bigot-tree
sooner rather than later,
whether by storm or wind,
gathered up to become
for a million gardens
where the seeds of
again . . .
once long ago
you and I walked home
late at night
you giving voice to rare joy
now I can’t remember the last time you texted me
tonight she sleeps in the loft with the lights on
holding tightly to her bun(ny) from childhood
worried that He
this other elected one
is going to come and get her
this is what we’ve done
my how the arc has swung
and I wonder
who will be sliced by the pendulum?
When I am struck with what I do not understand
I find comfort in the mundane.
I drive carefully through the rain.
I listen to my child’s chatter about school.
I drop her off at the carpool.
I read over her shopping list.
I give my lover a good-bye kiss
and take a little longer to look into her eyes.
I ask that I do not become what I despise.
The dogs are impatient for their walk.
Later today I am scheduled to have a talk
about spiritual things and school progress.
Then I will do my best
to apply the lessons of my elders to wood inlay.
I will pray.
I’ll get supper ready and enter into an evening of homework, conversations, maybe some Netflix.
Then I’ll walk the dogs again through the wet leaves and fallen sticks.
I don’t know if the world is radically changed by any of this,
but somehow it gives me solace.
So hate seems to have triumphed
and the end of common decency is near,
And the hope from the choice of earlier years
has succumbed to the politics of anxiety and fear.
Love, peace, and justice have wandered off to join the disappeared
And the prayers of the righteous have been lost in the atmosphere
of the dark clouds of this machine with its grinding gears.
Outside it is raining.
Inside I am too dry to shed a single tear.
I deleted the Washington Post app from my phone this morning. I mean it’s a good app. Works well. Very informative. That’s the problem.
Unfortunately the 24 hour news cycle is virtually (and literally) impossible to avoid.
But I’ll give it a whirl.
Pavlov has created a lot of salivating dogs and I have decided to remove myself from the pack.
I am tired of having my fears accented and manipulated. I have used the excuse of being informed, but the question is what is the information doing to me?
Do I have a better or far worse view of my fellow humans? How many stories about ugly behavior can I stomach? A lot it seems.
Good news is too boring I guess. Anxiety keeps the presses turning.
So I am going to try and spend the time I spent obsessing over the news in prayer instead. God’s got the whole world in His hands right?
Remembering the stories of compassion that are too mundane too tell.
It will be tough.
There, my mouth is watering again.
I have been trained well.
Go ahead, news anchor, keep ringing that bell.
Last night as my son and I walked back from a neighbor’s house where we watched the election results, my heart was bursting as he whooped and hollered, running on the wet streets and leaf strewn sidewalks, his hands waving in the air like a glorious tree.
“Obama won!” he shouted. “Obama won!”
Oh, yes, my son.
And so did all of the rest of us.
Well, I voted. And I must say it was quite invigorating (not simply because it’s 18 degrees outside and they’re calling for snow showers). No, mostly because I always feel a sense of empowerment when I vote, like I have a voice in the process. This year, I am especially gratified that people seem to be so engaged. Voting is a privilege. I have never understood those who enjoy living in a democracy but refuse to participate in it by not voting.
I also never dreamed in my lifetime that I would have the choice between a woman or an African-American for President. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I feel a little like I did when the Berlin Wall came down. I never thought that would happen either. Unfortunately, we went right back to killing each other and building other walls between us.
White men (the folks who look like me) don’t have a very good track record in running this world. Things aren’t getting any better and it’s time for some out-of-the-box leadership. The old paradigm of an over-reliance on the military for protection does not work and needs to be discarded. The sense of entitlement from children of immigrants that leads to hate towards present-day immigrants needs to be replaced with humility. The fear that drives a violent reactive policy of security should be distrusted and replaced by a sense of openess and participation as an honest global citizen. The time for Empire-Superpower thinking is over.
Again I do not know the outcome. But my hope is that we as a nation will participate in the process, that we will be honest and compassionate in our interactions with each other, that above all we will be a people of integrity and respect.
And that real change will come like a healing stream to a barren land, flowing out into all of the world.