Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Rain. Clear. Sun. Cloud. Hail.
Wind. Black sky. Torrent. Puddle.
Crazy quilt weather.
April is National Poetry Month. Isn’t it interesting how we use our words in lyrical, rhythmical, and rhyming ways?
I attended the Angela Davis lecture provided free by my local university. Listening to her words, words repeated these last fifty years, and intoned for hundreds of years before, I was so grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to hear her words, to continue my education at no cost except my time and willingness to listen, to see the vast diversity of people who wanted to hear her words as well.
Davis was a revolutionary, a member of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list, fired from her professorship at University of California for her beliefs and activism. 50 years later she is still a revolutionary and still believes the revolution to be possible. She thinks our young people no longer believe the revolution to be possible. To believe in that possibility you must also behave as if it is possible. Our young people see no hope in the future. They believe the politic rhetoric instead of in themselves and their power to make change happen.
As Davis described Freedom Summer of 1964, aka the Mississippi Summer Project, I could nearly hear a collective gasp from the young people in the audience when they heard college-aged youth from all over the United States risked their lives as they traveled to the American south to help other young people and adults of all colors, but specifically African-Americans, to register to vote. This resulted in a literacy project and one of the lasting effects was the elementary school national Free Breakfast for all students. The project also resulted in violence: at least three African-Americans were murdered, four youth participating in the program were killed in a car crash, more than 30 churches were bombed or burned during the 10 weeks of the program. This is Americans against Americans, just because of a skin color. It’s appalling this information is not required learning in history class. All the professional educators in my school district can’t even figure out how to get kids to be proficient in math and basic English; they certainly wouldn’t want to teach about history and revolution. But warehousing kids in schools to our detriment is another essay. Let’s pause for a musical interlude provided by Stevie Wonder whose words recorded in 1973 seem just as pertinent today.
Angela Davis’s words were powerful, lyrical, rhythmical, inspiring.
The son wants the revolution to be possible, but he thinks the way is with violence, with guns, as peaceful revolution hasn’t worked yet. Peaceful? He does not know enough history yet to see the increase in the military industrial complex, the constant wars, the power struggle for world control of oil and opium and nations and people. He does not read enough current news events to see Trayvon Martin is not the exception but the rule, and not just for our young men of color, but for all our young men. He does not see yet that all it’s ever been is violence perpetrated not by the constituency but by the power structure to control the status quo and the money.
I encourage the son to believe and behave as if the revolution is still possible, but not through violence. Violence never solves anything, no matter who perpetrates it. True revolution comes from your passion, from your heart, and must include love or your soul dies a little. True revolution begins at home, one baby step at a time, enlisting like minded people and acting conscionably to create change.
He thinks I’ve given up the fight and he asked what weapon I would use against the power structure. My weapon of choice is my voice, my words, my willingness to share my opinion, verbose or inspirational, whichever way the tone shall flow. My action is sharing the information I know, the truth I find, to inspire others to action. My responsibility is to never give up, to speak against the wrong and suggest solutions for change.
I hear and read other voices with similar aspirations. National Poetry Month celebrates voices of joy, of dissent, of nature, of the sheer sound of words. The New York Times called for New York City haiku and received more than 2800 entries in 10 days. That’s so awesome, how alive words are! Read some New York haiku here. The Borzoi Reader poem-a-day courtesy of Knopf is another fun place to get daily inspiration from words during April.
So for National Poetry Month behave as if the revolution is still possible. Read, listen, and write. Learn history. We cannot change our future if we do not understand our past. Our words still have power. Write your legislator, write your newspaper, write your blog; use your voice, share your words, your joys, your dissents. Create your words with love and novelty. Inspire others to peaceful revolution and action. Wear your heart on your page. In the beginning was the word. And the word has power.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – one of our pineful pollinators; tulips of all colors looking like Easter eggs on sticks; a tumble of golden yellow allysum; unidentified blue beauties;some purpley pinky pretties; a tiny pink surprise among the evergreen; a better picture of the dogwood stained glass window and creamy white dogwood tree; hellebore; a mass of light pink deep pink throated rhododendron; another mystical moment with tree, moss, and shades of bluebells; a wildly unpruned pink dogwood looking like pink in flight; this azalea looked much more peachy to my eyes and appears brighter in the light of the sun and my camera; a geranium (?) presenting with foliage the colors of autumn; golden chain tree; sweet columbine in purple and pink; two shades of lilacs, light behind dark; and the promise of next week’s blossoms.
Currently Reading – Whole-Body Dentistry: A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health (2011, holistic medicine) by Mark A. Breiner; Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution (2012, cannabis economics and politics) by Doug Fine; My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and The Search for Peace of Mind (2014, clinical psychology) by Scott Stossel. Yes, concurrently. Check out my From Me 2 U Book Review page.
This week I have been grateful for:
- A friend who went through a few rounds of cancer therapy celebrated a birthday this week. This one’s for you, dear.
- Every day.
- The gift of waking up.
- The semblance of sleep.
- The amazing job my lungs do.
- Fresh air.
- The smell of rain on soil and grass.
- The moments the weather cooperates for me to grab flower pictures as I watch the rain pour down now.
- How many neighbors come out their front door just when I want/need to ask permission to go into their yard to take pictures of their flowers. Could be they have been watching from their window as this crazy cranky lady takes pictures and they want to know what this weirdo stranger is up to. They always kindly say yes, and I’ve met several neighbors.
- Enjoying the music of Stevie Wonder while writing this post. Signed, Sealed, Delivered always gets my rocking going on.
- A friend understanding some deep private feelings and emotions with support and without judgment.
- Owning my grief and feeling the power of my mother within me, above me, over me, behind me, beside me. Since she is no longer here to physically talk to, I feel her within my blood, inside my heart, in every cell of me, helping me be strong in this crazy world.
- Opportunity. The ability to recognize and take advantage of opportunity.
- Sharing. Inspiration.
- Words. Sentences. Essays. Sense.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch