For my own access later and for posterity...the link to the video showing the parade route that shows what #notmypresident 's support actually looks like. More to come on this and other thoughts as I resurrect my long-neglected blog.
It is WAY too early for this, but since it has happened....Let's enjoy it.
This tree shouldn't be blooming until the end of March. But here in northern California we have almost completely skipped winter and gone right to spring. We are in the midst of a horrible drought with water rationing and lots of warm, sunny weather. I fear for the agriculture industry.
However, in the spirit of appreciating what is, rather than stressing about what isn't or what is supposed to be...may I offer you this bit of beauty.
If you can't stop and smell the roses....well....you know how that goes.
I'm grateful on this day for bits of beauty and for this glorious weather and that this bit of nature is present right in my front yard.
You bet I was. Not because of the ad itself but because of the reaction it got.
It showed the US and Americans from coast to coast, border to border. It very accurately depicted people of all colors, religions, and cultures singing America the Beautiful in several different languages. That IS America.
What shocked me was the immediate reaction it got. "What? That's not America!" and "What's with all of the different languages, we speak English here" and even "That's bullshit."
Have we completely forgotten why and how the US was formed? Have we completely abandoned all of the principals on which this nation was founded?
From the poem by Emma Lazarus which adorns our beloved Statue of Liberty:
"From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
"Glows world-wide welcome" doesn't mean "Come on over but only if you speak English or plan to learn it right away. Oh and by the way, you have to stop doing all of those things that remind you of where you came from. Stop speaking your language and stop wearing clothing that represents other countries or religions. No more quinceanaras or Chinese New Year celebrations. Unless you want to have a St. Patrick's Day parade. That's OK because it is based on white, Christian, English speaking traditions."
The poem was written in 1883, well after our country was founded, but it exemplifies the spirit of the day. Why do we think that it should be different today? What are we so afraid of?
There is, of course an economic impact of immigration, legal or otherwise. But that's not what sparked the reaction to the ad. The reactions were based on what people heard and saw in the moment. Why does an America with many cultures, colors, languages, sexual orientation and religions frighten people so?
And let's be clear. Negative reactions to differences are based in fear. Fear of what is not understood. Fear that if you are different it must mean you are automatically either better or worse than the other.
Nobody is better or worse than anyone else based on culture, color etc. It is our actions that differentiate us from one another. Period.
I, for one, loved the ad. It made me proud to be an American. It made me visualize how diverse and eclectic and culturally rich we are.
It reminded me of the Coke ad from the '70's that sang about "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" only it showed that you don't even have to tavel outside of the US to "buy the world a Coke" because the world is right here. THIS is the America that I want to live in and that I'm glad that my children have grown up in and that I want my grandchildren to enjoy and be proud of. This nation that holds so much wealth of diversity is exactly why I'm proud to say that I'm an American and damn it, I loved that ad.
With less than 2 weeks between today and our trip to London and Paris, I could easily be just marking time. Counting the days and going on auto pilot until the magical day.
Life is too short for that nonsense. Yes, I'm counting the days. I'm also enjoying the beautiful Northern California sunshine. Filling my hours with music and books and great friends. Today is today and it is the greatest gift I have been given.
Snacking on summer peaches and nectarines, listening to Kenny Chesney sing about guitars and tiki bars, all in the name of carpe diem. The sun on my shoulders and the memory of a wonderful dinner with close friends from last night remind me that although I may have great things coming in the future, I also have beauty around me right here, right now.
"I'm trying to tell you something about my life Maybe give me insight between black and white The best thing you've ever done for me Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable And lightness has a call that's hard to hear I wrap my fear around me like a blanket I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain There's more than one answer to these questions Pointing me in crooked line The less I seek my source for some definitive The closer I am to fine. " - Indigo Girls
I'm about to turn 46 and I've had some turbulent years in terms of "finding myself." What I didn't know then is that I didn't need to find myself. I was there all along. I just needed to strip away all of the bullshit that was floating around in my head and listen to my soul for a while.
"Oh, THERE you are."
"I was here all along. You just forgot where I was and what I looked like."
"I remember now. Nice to see you again. Let's hang out for a while."