As illusive and fleeting as youth, summer days come rippling through our lives, but we panic. What to do with a sunny Saturday? That one long weekend in July? Quickly, family gatherings, backyard barbecues, tasks only completed in warm weather, and much more, fill our calendar. Can I request we all collectively push the pause button? Stop for a moment? Take a look at green? And blue? Listen to the cardinal’s song and walk along the water’s edge? Exhale America, here comes our Independence Day. A time to feel the freedom.
Last week while still in Louisville I had the good fortune to hear Richard Blanco retell his story: from immigrant to inaugural poet for Obama in 2013. The story he shared is fabulous, filled with colorful elaboration, detailing his parents’ bold move from Cuba to Miami, recalling his fascinating childhood to his own journey as a poet. He moved his audience to tears and laughter, from the nostalgia of the past to the shared hope for the future. His story touched us all as pieces of it became our own. How he was picked by the White House is a mystery, even to him, but once we all heard his voice ring out over the capital on that cold January day, that no longer mattered. Richard Blanco is all of us.
Seriously, I am the last person in the world to discuss politics. Not that I don’t have an opinion, because, of course, I always have one. But politics is a broad term that encompasses lifestyle, money, business, education, housing, basically infrastructures in every area of our America. I don’t have the wherewithal to blog about such a complex and tangled topic because I don’t have the background or understanding or library to support claims unequivocally, but I would love to at least discuss the politics of my little home state, and the possibility of listening to a politician who has built his career on caring about real people like me. If you go to work each weekday and at the end of the month wonder about paying bills or how your children might repay their college loans or how your grandchildren might have clean water to drink and a climate that isn’t completely compromised by our carelessness in 20 years, then you are like me. I believe we all need to begin the discourse of politics, even those of us who have degrees in literature and not law, even those of us who feel inadequate to express our views, and within that discourse begin to truly educate ourselves.