Who could forget that cold December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when a 20-year-old deranged man murdered 20 elementary children, as well as six school staff members? At the time our collective outrage was visceral and visible. The cold-blooded and senseless murders prompted an immediate demand for universal background checks, and for legislation to ban extremely dangerous semi-automatic firearms. And yet, as we face the 4th anniversary of this tragedy, and the 998 mass shootings since, there is little forward movement toward ending this violent epidemic ravaging every avenue along our collective landscape. Continue reading
What a treat to play the tourist in a city we know well! It seems like forever that we made time to visit some special spots, like Lincoln Center, or were able see the World Trade Center Memorial. New York City is rich with history and story and life at every turn, and over the Thanksgiving break we took full advantage of our days there.
From Oprah to your child’s daycare provider, one hears endlessly about the transformation power of gratitude. Today, on this uniquely American holiday, as many of us gather around long make-shift tables, headed by the matriarch or patriarch, perhaps a little one passed from lap to lap, the chatter, the delight, the joy of reunion, allows gratitude to flow easily. At least that is the idealized vision of Thanksgiving. For families splintered by the recent election, or still carrying an ancient grudge, the temptation might be to settle the score over the turkey, however, I hope, no matter where you are or who you are sharing your table with, I hope, you shift the conversation to love.
I wonder what it must feel like. From businessman to president-elect. Without the popular vote. Without the support of 18-25 year old voters. Without the endorsement of any previous US Presidents, regardless of political party. Without the support of even the conservative newspapers such as, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, The Detroit News, to name only a few. Without the overwhelming number of black voters. How hollow it must feel as you peer down from any one of your penthouse views and see so many lights blinking blankly back.
Thank you. Those two small words can’t convey my gratitude but I offer them anyway. Your service to the people of this country is public record, and is nothing but lengthy and mighty. From the earliest you sought to better the lives of those less-fortunate than you. In general, I am in awe of those who seek careers under such scrutiny, but to do so when your honorable years as Secretary of State were boiled down to misinformation, your impressive years as US Senator dismissed like hot air, even your noteworthy years as First Lady glossed over to nothingness was painful to witness never mind what it must have done to your psyche. The least we could do was dismantle the hate talk and misinformation spouted by your opponent and remember the truth. Many of us did. Many of us still do.
We will not forget Hillary. Your sacrifice. Your professionalism. How you went high when your opponent asked you to go so very low. You may not have broken that glass ceiling, but you made women, and men, believe it was within reach, for ourselves, our daughters, for our sisters and granddaughters. Let anyone dismiss us as a pussy to grab, and we will indeed show ourselves to be more formidable than passive. Let anyone tell us that global climate change is a hoax and we will haul our science to the Senate floor and demand facts be checked. Let any of our elected officials think that it will be business as usual in Washington, and we will flood them with calls and letters and tweets and emails and our own bodies until they get our meaning. We will break the back of the NRA. We will continue to demand equality on every front. We will not return to the butchery of back-alley abortions or begging for health care for our elderly. You may think you have lost, but you will find an eager army ready to champion your every ideal. For we will continue the work you started Hillary, and we will not tire, until our collective, beautiful, inclusive, responsive and innovative vision becomes reality.
As we returned this week to our libraries, schools, town offices, shops, our daycare facilities, our places of industry, we only did as we imagined you would do: we held our heads high. For truly, what was defeated on November 8th?
I have loved the same woman for a quarter of a century, and together, like millions of Americans, we attempt to face each dawn with strength and vigor. There is no defeat possible that will keep us down. Long before our government allowed us the right, we wed. There is no defeat possible that will untangle that love. Together we raised caring sons and a resilient daughter. There is no defeat that will diminish their moral compass. Together we have built a community that rises when occasion calls, be it celebratory or tragic; and likewise, no defeat will diminish those bonds.
The millenniums voted, overwhelmingly, blue. As their day is cresting the horizon, the older, whiter, and frightened red will fade, as anger often does, to confusion and regret. But in the meantime Hillary, go to the beach with your grandchildren. Order something fruity, in a coconut, with an umbrella. Let the sunshine warm your tired soul. Know we love you, for all your decades of service, for the dreams you dared to voice which we wholeheartedly believe, and the vision of an united world that some tomorrow will bring. Thank you Hillary. You’re still our hero.
Nine Cent Girl
All the thanks in the world for tuning in every week,
for letting me know when my writing touches you,
for reaching out when it’s so easy not to.
I so so so appreciate each and every one of you!
Her voice broke into my dream state like a prophetic warning. My eyes opened to an empty bed and a racing mind. Did I sleep through the alarm? Was there something worse awaiting me? As tempting as it was to languish in drowsiness, I pulled myself awake. She called my name again.
“Do you need me?” I managed.
“Can you come down stairs? Come down right now? The cellar is flooded.”