Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Casting votes before swine

Little known fact about Me:
I once went very much out of my way to cast a vote in a local election I had no intention of participating in, and NO interest whatsoever in the candidates nor the outcome.  I did it because someone whom I've known, loved, and respected my entire life told me she was going to vote, and was calling other white people to tell them to be sure to vote, too, because a black candidate was running against the incumbent, a white man who had held this office for decades without any significant challengers.
I was SO shocked that, even minutes later, I couldn't remember exactly what my reply was, but I know that I did manage to verbalize (poorly, I'm sure) my profound opposition to this blatantly racist and unreasonable attitude.
And that's how I came to "get out the vote" for a man whose name and face I cannot remember, in an election I had NO interest in, that he had not a chance of winning in the first place.  I had the power to cancel out just ONE single vote that I knew was being cast out of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and/or fear, and I felt obligated to do so.
P.S.  The incumbent won anyway, as everybody knew he would.  Did I make a difference?  In that election, absolutely not!   In my own heart?  Absolutely.  I was the tree that fell in the forest.  And I HEARD mySELF, even if no one else did.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving 2012

I am grateful for:

1    The ability to walk
2    and the ability to talk, and the (admittedly limited) ability to hold my tongue.
3   And the ability to love
4    And the ability to share
5    and the ability to laugh and
6    the ability to sing, or at least the ability to LISTEN with a joyful heart.
7    For the gift of comfort when I need it most.
8    For the dear ones who live on in my most precious memories.
9    For those who stayed when the rest turned away.
10   For those who are willing to share the worst, and in so doing, make the worst better.
11   For glimpses past armor, and disguises adopted in defense, to the vulnerable brothers and sisters sharing this space, this world, because, no matter what else changes, we are STILL each other's keepers. 
12    For every time another saw my pain, and simply...cared.
13    For every time another thought of me, during a moment of prayer.
14    For each and every time I felt a silent thanks when words wouldn't come,
15    and for each and every time another sensed the same from me.
16     For happiness that lingers long after a visit.
17    For learning to face  and trust the woman in the mirror,
18    and for learning to love and forgive her, too.
19     For chocolate, dark and light, in all its glorious forms!
20     For smiles shined on you from a child you've never seen before.
21    For women the world over, great with child.
22    For long, soft kisses that keep us young.
23    For moments of wonder, gazing up at the sky.
24    For seeing ourselves in others, and loving them anyway.
25    For standing against evil, despite our own fears,
26   For being willing to listen when another just needs to be heard.
27    For every time children sleep withOUT tears dried on their cheeks.
28    For every moment my body isn't wracked with pain,
29    For every moment my heart isn't breaking,
30    and for every heartbeat, and every breath that I don't have to struggle to take.