Monday, November 17, 2008

Sometimes You Need No Words

I've been trying to decide how to respond to the "other" news from election night. I can add nothing to this:

In Gassho,


Thursday, November 06, 2008

And now . . .

It happened. The forty-fourth President of the United States is going to be a young, inspiringly articulate, keenly intellegent, African-American father of two.

Over and over again I find myself returning to the creation myth J.R.R. Tolkien wrote for the Silmarillian. In it--and this is the short version--Illuvatar, the One, sends out a chord which the Ainur (think angels) turn into a harmonized melody. Again and again, as Melkor introduces dischord, Illuviaar sends out new chords which incorporate the dischord, and on and on the Ainur sing.

At the end of all their singing, Illuvatar tells the Ainur to open their eyes, to see what their singing created. They behold the universe--their song made manifest. And then, of a sudden, all that they have seen vanishes from their sight. "Now go," says Illuvatar, "and make what you have seen."

Barack Obama's election shows us--many of us, at least--a vision of what the future of America can me. But we cannot rest in that. The success of the ballot initiatives in California, Arkansa, Arizona, and Florida which restrict the rights of lesbians and gays are stark reminders that it is not simply "a new day for America."
The vision which many of us see through Barack Obama's election is both beautiful and powerful Yet President Obama will not be able to fulfill this vision, will not be able to realize the dream on his own, just as Senator Obama was not able to bring about his remarkable victory without a groundswell of support.

We must now go forth and make what we have seen.

If we want affordable healthcare for all, we must work for it.

If we want civil liberties for all of nation's citizens -- and not just the ones who look like the majority, or love like majority, or think like the majority -- then we must work for it.

If we want the United States of America to be a shining example to the world of what a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, truly diverse society can be, then we must make of our lives--each one of us--such an example.

Barack Obama is not the Messiah. (And even the one who holds that title didn't "magically" make "everything okay.")

We must realize the dream.
WE must realize the dream.
We MUST realize the dream.

In Gassho,