Let’s be gentle with ourselves. Try to stay calm. And if not calm, a little less anxious.
This has been a pretty rough election cycle. But as an old political science major, I can’t deny it’s also been strangely exciting and gratitude-provoking. What…?
It’s true, gratitude sometimes arrives in paradoxical packages.
Meaning of course, we can’t be grateful for what hurts or harms. Just like we are not grateful for the nerve-jangling, gut-wrenching, heart-stopping political ups and downs. And of course, not for the ugliness either.
But… what about the fact that we are now talking about things that are critical and real? What about the opportunity to see things change and grow?
Like the great poet, Derek Mahon I believe in these prophetic lines from one of his best poems:
The sun rises in spite of everything / and the far cities are beautiful and bright. / I lie here in a riot of sunlight / watching the day break and the clouds flying. / Everything is going to be all right.
A few days ago during my morning writing, I was not consciously thinking about politics. In fact, I happened to glance at a William Stafford poem that made me think about all the “borders” that exist in our lives.
That’s when these few lines came. As is often the case, I had to wait for the words to let me know what they wanted to say.
Walking The Borders
by Dale Biron
On some days we vote with our feet too,
so that a whole new country might arrive.
It squeezes in magnificent, between us and
all the things we want, but are not quite real.
Some say we need the army’s protection,
and whole oceans to keep our tribe safe.
That’s when fierce winds start to blow,
and maybe strange ideas begin to howl.
Ideas that brag and swagger their big flag real.
“Ours is better than yours,” they say. Then we
understand how any constitution might blush
and shudder to include these words, “We are free.”
So what to do? I say, “Never trust a border of walls.”
They’re mostly made by a God who pretends. Truth is,
we’ve always belonged to each other, and so no one,
and no thing really, can ever be cast away.