This morning I awoke trying to break the code of “what’s next?” to follow the opening post of my blog. I’d opened up a vast and unknown territory with my introduction: lots of hope, thousands of thoughts, hundreds of pages of notes and ramblings but not clear plantings to grace the landscape. So in that moment, as I picked up the folder of hard copies crafted and penned and scratched over time, I came across this “rumination” (I love that word, hardly used anymore) which I jotted down as I awoke from a nights’ sleep in the Fall of 1989.
“The vision of our future for ourselves is no more than the patterns of our past making itself explicit”.
Provocative, debatable still. It seemed a reasonable assertion at the time and worthy of holding onto. I knew not “why” or “what for.” It didn’t matter, “who cares?”
Over the years, while it seems life’s mosaic gets clearer and clearer, there are moments that change it, add more meaning, are a relived reflection or honed insight brought forth springing from a painful jab or a laugh that refocuses the moments past. My “Offering” below was drafted in November 2005 and read at a reunion of friends and family around the Thanksgiving table. It wasn’t provoked by a joyful laugh or prods but rather the growing hate in our land toward Muslims and, by extension, “different” peoples. Added to that were the increasing headlines and research reports of our uncontrolled damage to the environment. Somehow it seemed the theme of “diversity” pulled those jabs and prods together.
A Thanksgiving Offering
In this hour of darkness and hope, let each of us vow to love and cherish the other and this fragile earth we inhabit. Let us take responsibility for our mistakes and learn from them. Let us realize that we can dream of a more perfect world and that we have the power to make this world evolve and become. Know that we must honor and respect the diverse religions and belief systems of the world and permit them to thrive. They represent the creativity and creative possibilities of the human mind and spirit which are infinite. They are the human reflection of the vast and seemingly endless diversity of nature before which we stand in awe and love. Its diversity is our diversity. We must commit to sustaining and embracing it in all its forms if we wish to achieve a hopeful, harmonious and generative future for all living things. However we choose to imagine and create that future, and from our diverse beliefs and faiths, let us join in celebration of this moment of renewal and mutual hope.
Mutual hope and renewal. Hmmmm. If you are like me, we have lived our life, so far, moving between moments of doubt, fear, and disappointment to those bursts of optimism, renewed faith, and celebration of life’s joy and opportunity. Both are real. Both validate life and living. In between, we go “h(u)mming” along (pardon the pun). And yet, I believe that we’d prefer the latter conditions more which make those difficult times acceptable and tolerable as part of, well, life and without which we’d live in endless warm sunshine or cloudy cold. Either would be really boring to me anyway. Good news: life is not pure either/or. Maybe it is both/and.
The following attempt to write a poem about the moment of Obama’s election in November of 2008 tried to capture what I expected might be the unfolding future in front of us for the next few years. Whatever you believe happened in the following 8 years, and what it means for the future, seem to be united around one strong belief I have: that our better angels do now, have over the eons, and will continue to guide the future unfolding of our species’ evolution.
Our hopes raised high once again
Amid those whose fears spike as mirror of us.
But to find the calm in reason and honor the contrasts of reality
And to embrace this long moment with love and that same hope,
Breathe deeply and imagine that chaos may be harmony
Whose vibrations may confuse us
While we seek a way forward together;
To share joy and happiness and peace
Joined by more than words,
United in spirit,
Touching, holding hands, embracing,
Knowing our oneness in life’s eternity.
Drafted January 27, 2017