Friday, November 26, 2010
...Because I'm sure we all didn't eat enough yesterday. I had to read this poem for one of my courses, and it got me thinking about Michelle Obama's infamous campaign quote ("for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country"), about the very conflicting ways I love America and about the reality that America will never be exactly what we want it to be. All the more reason to keep fighting.
A patriot is not a weapon. A patriot is one who wrestles for the
soul of her country
as she wrestles for her own being, for the soul of his country
(gazing through the great circle at Window Rock into the sheen
of the Viet Nam Wall)
as he wrestles for his own being. A patriot is a citizen trying to
from the burnt-out dream of innocence, the nightmare
of the white general and the Black general posed in their
to remember her true country, remember his suffering land:
that blessing and cursing are born as twins and separated at birth
to meet again in mourning
that the internal emigrant is the most homesick of all women and
of all men
that every flag that flies today is a cry of pain.
Where are we moored?
What are the bindings?
What behooves us?
from 'An Atlas of the Difficult World' by Adrienne Rich
Sarah Palin's patriotism is not the only patriotism. We may be a country in turmoil, but I'm confident we can work it out, we can find our bearings and rebuild the American Dream. We can recover from the last decade and the last wars. Midterm elections were less than ideal, but the only way to go is forward. Let's wake America up to the reality and hope inherent in our messy country. So a day late: I'm thankful to all Lefty's writers and readers for giving me hope that we can emerge from the bipartisanship, the fighting, the recessions, the inequalities. You make me believe that America is still a land of achievable dreams.