WOW! OH WOW! I am so happy that I can say that I am proud to be an American! I have missed that part of me. Welcome back! I am beside myself with joy. Let the healing begin! I did not realize how emotionally involved I was in the last four years. I was grieving. I was grieving at the same time the loss of Steve. And the loss of Missy. AND I was grieving for the loss of my country.
In 2017, I predicted what would happen. But it was worse. Friends told me, “Just give him a chance to prove himself.” I did not need to give him a chance. I KNEW what he would do. America was just one more thing to possess. And I was filled with hate. I became the very thing I hated. And, then I began to grieve for the loss of ME. My “friends”. And my Country. Where was that resilience that had gotten me through devastating circumstances? Was it gone forever? Giving up? I always said, “Giving up is unforgivable!” “Rough Seas Make Good Sailors”. “Always work to be better”. Where was Daddy when I needed him?
And, then I read this. Historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote on January 18, 2021, the following words, “But there is a big difference in this world between having and doing.
America has never fully embodied equality, liberty, and justice. What it has always had was a dream of justice and equality before the law. The 1776 Report authors are right to note that was an astonishing dream in 1776, and it made this country a beacon of radical hope. It was enough to inspire people from all walks of life to try to make that dream a reality. They didn’t have an ideal America; they worked to make one.
The hard work of doing is rarely the stuff of heroic biographies of leading men. It is the story of ordinary Americans who were finally pushed far enough that they put themselves on the line for this nation’s principles.
It is the story, for example, of abolitionist newspaperman Elijah P. Lovejoy, murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837, and the U.S. soldiers who twenty-four years later fought to protect the government against a pro-slavery insurrection designed to destroy it. It is the story of Lakota leader Red Cloud, who negotiated with hostile government leaders on behalf of his people, and of his contemporary Booker T. Washington, who tried to find a way for Black people to rise in the heart of the South in a time of widespread lynching. It is the story of Nebraska politician William Jennings Bryan, who gave voice to suffering farmers and workers in the 1890s, and of Frances Perkins, who carried his ideas forward as FDR’s Secretary of Labor and brought us Social Security. It is the story of the American G.I.s, from all races, ethnicities, genders, and walks of life who fought in WWII. It is the story of labor organizer Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, and Fannie Lou Hamer, who faced down men bent on murdering her and became an advocate for Black voting. It is the story of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who 60 years ago this week warned us against the “military-industrial complex.”
And it is, of course, the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life we celebrate today. King challenged white politicians to take on poverty as well as racism to make the promise of America come true for all of us. “Some forty million of our brothers and sisters are poverty stricken, unable to gain the basic necessities of life,” he reminded white leaders in May 1967. “And so often we allow them to become invisible because our society’s so affluent that we don’t see the poor. Some of them are Mexican Americans. Some of them are Indians. Some are Puerto Ricans. Some are Appalachian whites. The vast majority are Negroes in proportion to their size in the population…. Now there is nothing new about poverty. It’s been with us for years and centuries. What is new at this point though, is that we now have the resources, we now have the skills, we now have the techniques to get rid of poverty. And the question is whether our nation has the will….” Just eleven months later, a white supremacist murdered Dr. King.
These people did not have a perfect nation, they worked to build one. They embraced America so fully they tried to bring its principles to life, sometimes at the cost of their own. Rather than simply trying to own America, the doers put skin in the game.
Today, the Trump administration issued the 1776 Report that presented the United States of America as a prize to be possessed. And yet, the country is demonstrably still in the process of being created: tonight, there are 15,000 soldiers in the cold in Washington, D.C., defending the seat of our government against insurgents.”
And, then it rounded a bend. It turned around. We came through. The people were the people I always thought we were!!! WE DID IT! Inauguration day– with all of its pomp and circumstance was spiritual medicine for me. The “unending shade” turned to light. I could breathe again.
The hope that was filling my soul was a young girl named Amanda. I will continue to live past these 80-some-odd years. In the youth of tomorrow. In Tyler. In Jamie. In Mark. In Katherine. In Julia. In Amanda. In Greta. They are American treasures. “Amanda Gorman is an American treasure. We should raise her up, cherish, celebrate and protect her. That kind of vision, spoken so eloquently is rarely seen in one decades older. Generations will be blessed with her insights – Marta Waller (my friend). ENJOY!
“The Hill We Climb.
“When day comes we ask ourselves, ‘where can we find light in this never-ending shade, the loss we carry, a sea we must wade?
“We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. And the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
“We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.
“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide, because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew; that even as we hurt, we hoped; that even as we tired, we tried; that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.
“Scripture tells us to envision that ‘everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.’ If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made.
“That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it, because being American is more than a pride we inherit – it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
“In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption we feared at its inception.
“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. So while once we asked ‘how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe,’ now we assert: ‘how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’
“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our enaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
“Our blunders become their burdens but one thing is certain: If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy in change, our children’s birthright.
“So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the winds swept north, east where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the lake-rinsed cities of the midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.
“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.” ~ Amanda Gorman
As Carl Jung said, “I don’t have to “believe” there is a God. I KNOW.”
LET THE HEALING BEGIN. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LIGHT.