I hear it in the moaning wind moving through trees. In the dull hum of cars on the road. I hear it in people’s voices. It’s a certain sense of torment, an underlying grief. A mourning for a life source lost. Cryptic messages on the tongue unable to be deciphered because we’ve misplaced the code, the key. So we move through our days with feelings bottled up. So wanting to speak, yet fearful that what we say may land us in hot water, stuck in jail, deported, or dead in a grave. Grave days indeed, these be. Those cracks in the ground aren’t earthquake fault lines. More like you and me fault lines. All of us scratching our heads, wondering where we went wrong. Retracing our steps back to a time when words were more easily spoken. When our hearts contained the codes for those cryptic words on our tongues. A time when we could speak to one another we greater love, truth, and ease.
America, when I say I do not love you, it only means I do not love what has become of you. I do not love the chaos-mongers continually hurling hate and shame in the guise of defending your good name. I do not love the venomous racism, sexism; the hollow jingoism. I do not love the demagogic logic chipping away at your dignity and grace. What I do love about you, America, is your homegrown jazz, blues, and rock. Your diversity of cultures, and the huge-hearted generosity of so many of your people. I love you for your natural beauty—your oceans, mountains, and deserts. I love you even more, America, when I hold you close, and you—with your battle-weary eyes, and ever-flowing river wisdom—whisper those words I long to hear: “Liberty and justice for all.”
No blindfold, no last cigarette, no last words: self doubt’s firing squad shows no mercy.
Just like that, things can vanish: Compassion, generosity. Those well-trusted roadsigns guiding us towards sanity. Just like that, things can vanish: Unity, you & me. Felled by bullets & bombs. Our blood’s most natural rhythms cut off from the drumbeat heart. Just like that, life’s sweet music gone. In its place, a mashup of chaos & criminality. Songs that shatter, strangle & shame. Bully, belittle & blame. Songs for the killing floor, not the dance floor. May the DJ of enlightenment create a more transformational mix. Sing light into the dark & empty spaces. Illuminate where others choose to decimate.
This perpetuation of purposeful paranoia & pandemic-witted pandemonium spewing from such unpresidential lips only generates more kisses & kindnesses, more huge-hearted solidarity amongst the peaceful-protesting, wisdom-seeking citizens of the world.
This song of We: forged from centuries of working hands & durable hearts. Heavy tears & spirits soaring. Europeans to Haitians, Mexicans to Native Americans. Our vibrant song: so courageous & enduring. Written with the sweat & blood of slave-wage workers & whip-scarred slaves running for freedom. Methodists to Muslims, Jews to Buddhists. Scientists, artists, teachers & farmers. Veterans & the vetted. Rule makers & law breakers. The LGBTQ & countless masses that stood in Ellis Island queues. Our immigrant tongues, immigrant voices, immigrant lives & immigrant stories. All our pain, promises, disappointments & elations. Hear our voices rise in this binding & abiding song of We.
Voices of truth & justice have spoken. Voices soulstitched from the rich fabric of democracy. Sane voices. Let-it-rain courageous voices. Those Ninth Circuit voices have temporarily abated the White House beast. Still, I hear his engines of hate whine; his autoeroticism of antagonism working overtime. Sane voices. Let-it-rain truth & justice voices. Eschew the screw-loose beast. Cut through his fog of fear & lies; shine a light on his mendacity & hypocrisy; exorcise his bad faith & wraith-like ways. May all our voices, from sea to shining sea, continue to fight. Continue to rise. Continue to shine our light on love.