for all of us

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.

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I March For Soul Force

Writers avoid writing. There is always something more pressing or entertaining or distracting than sitting in the Photo+of+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+Orator1stillness to pound out the words racing inside one’s head. Always. That is until those words get so thick and fanciful or loud and obnoxious, growing exponentially inside your head, until you feel, in the most visceral way, that unless you pound them onto your screen you will know no peace.

Today is that day. Racing words are forcing me to write because ever since August 28th there has been too many to ignore. Why August 28th? Well, that date is remembered as the greatest March on Washington; on the recent anniversary, President Obama stood on the same steps as Martin Luther King, Jr. and reminded us that 50 years ago King โ€œgave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.โ€

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Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skiesPride comes in a myriad of forms for multiple occasions and in June particularly there are countless reasons to feel that swell in your chest. A month of wonderful graduations, grand weddings, and my sons would remind me, nail-biting NBA and NHL championships! As pride hits we in pews or stadium-seats cheer and clap and are caught in emotion. Gay Pride struts along our avenues in full technicolor during June too, causing us all to remember what is so easy to forget, that for many Americans who they love not only defines them, it targets them. Although the Supreme Court overturned section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), there are still many places where fear and ignorance shape our youth, dominate our lives, and restrict our liberty.

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