The very best films break open your heart; or remind you of something very important that you may have long forgotten or buried in some dark corner of your mind; or delight your heart and your mind with a new recognition of the stunning beauty and power of the human potential.
The German drama Remembrance (2011) directed by Anna Justice is precisely such a film. It does all three with a rare poignancy.
This movie is an incandescent confirmation of deep, meaningful, true love and its wondrous power.
This is the story of Tomasz, a captured Polish-Catholic resistance fighter, and Hannah, a Jewish woman. In 1944 both were imprisoned at the Auschwitz Concentration Death Camp.
In the presence of senseless, depraved evil and in the midst of…
inconceivable human cruelty…
How deep, meaningful, and true is your love?
and the stifling, heavy aroma of death perfuming the air,
love found a way to seed, to grow, and to even flourish.
One man found a way to a love one woman, to nurture her physically, to give her hope, to save her life.
And what struck me as hauntingly breathtaking is that this love seeded and sustained itself without…
a common language…
the deception of makeup…
or professional definitions.
All the things we—with our comparatively easy lives—think we need to love and to be loved.
Yes, two ordinary people ripped from their homes and their families, thrown into the hell that was a labor/death camp, and stripped naked of all their human dignity found their way to hope… and to a deep, meaningful, true love.
The movie is even more exhilarating, because it was inspired by true events. Imagine that!
And I can’t help but wonder: Is it possible for those of us with comfortable existences and our superficial checklists — Does he have a college degree? Is she hot? Does he have blue eyes? Is her hair blonde? Does she have a big arse or breasts? Is she white? How about 50 shades of stupid? Whatever! — to ever be certain that the untested love we find is deep and meaningful and true?
Call to action: In the comments, share: When do you know that love is deep, meaningful, and true? Have you been lucky to bear witness to this kind of love?
Ask me how I know this.
What price are you paying for the appearance of “normalcy?”
And if this is you too, take a load off and rest…
Call to action: Share in the comments if you can relate. It just might help someone else feel less alone.
Am I the only person, who thinks there is way too much nothing going on in our world today?
So many — a lot — nothing books… Everyone Is Italian on Sunday by Rachael Ray comes out later this month. I have to ask: Do we need yet another cookbook on how to cook pasta and tomato sauce?! Do we?!
So many noisy, ridiculous nothing movies… Yes, I am looking at you Fast & Furious 8, Iron Man 3, et al...
So many inane, vapid, dull, tedious nothing TV shows… Really, why the frack is everyone desperately keeping up with all these silly women on reality TV shows? Why?!
So many g-d awful nothing magazines… Seriously, do we need another “revolutionary” how-to on getting the holy grail of fitness, a flat tummy?! And why does a certain section of my local magazine stands resemble a porn site?!
So many truly horrible song lyrics like “But you wanna say no… What do you mean? Hey… When you don’t want me to move… But you tell me to go… What do you mean?” and so forth, ad nauseam. This is the load of ca-ca that sits at #2 this week on Billboard Top 100 Songs.
What are you about? Nothing or Something?
So many conversations about nothing—the weather is, well, the weather—when there are so many important thoughts, ideas, and feelings that need to be shared…
And saddest of all, so many people, who are about nothing… no decency, no integrity, no character… Nothing!
Oh, the dreck… the dreck… And because I like threes, I’ll say it again: the dreck!
What I know is this: What the world needs desperately right this minute is more people who are actively committed to daily choices and behaviors that will better them mentally, emotionally, and, most of all, spiritually as individuals—and as a natural consequence, better civilization as a whole.
Call to action: Are you feeling me? Am I asking too much?
My name is Janine. I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a rare, “benign” brain tumor, four and half years ago. And today is my birthday.
Where should I begin…
Facial numbness on the entire left side of my face… You know, that truly horrible feeling you have after you’ve been to the dentist and gotten a shot of Novocaine, except it NEVER goes away!
The sensation of hauling around concrete on the left side of my head…
Inability to chew food on the left side of my face… Yep, the teeth on my left side have seen no action for five years…
Facial twitching and spasms on the left side of my face… I am still terrified when these happen.
Drooling is so humiliating and gross…
Dizziness is so inconvenient when you like cute shoes…
Feeling like the world is spinning like a top while I am absolutely still… also a deterrent to cute shoes… (And don’t try this when you’re driving!)
Total loss of hearing in my left ear, except…
For the nonstop and vexing — did I mention, really vexing — buzzing, beeping, roaring, or ringing in my left ear. Sometimes, it is so loud I can barely hear myself think and what thoughts I do have are about ending my miserable existence…
Unbearable hypersensitivity to loud noises and sounds in crowded places, i.e., restaurants, airports, movie theaters, malls, everywhere these days… Seriously, it is like hell has invaded my brain.
Migraines that last for days at best or weeks at the worst — that’s right, weeks, and then leave me with a headache hangover for another week… Shoot me!
Extreme mental fatigue… No one has any idea. No idea. No idea.
The loss of ever experiencing again a single moment of peace or my beloved silence… except
When I sleep and even that eludes me…
I am strong!
Yes, I have lived with these symptoms for the last 1,643 days… 39,432 hours… 2,365,920 minutes… four and half fracking years.
Yes, two MILLION, three hundred and six-five thousand, nine hundred and twenty minutes, which is rather amazing to me when I remember how I prayed that I would be able to endure these symptoms for six months until my treatment of choice, Gamma Knife, “cured” me.
Hmm, silly me.
Sadly, I am not cured. And I will never be cured, so I’ve been told by my oncologist neurosurgeon.
And this stinking, rotten “benign” brain tumor is really not so very benign at all. Besides all the daily bullsh*t I cope with, if the growth of my tumor does not stay halted, it will press against my brain stem/cerebellum and interrupt vital functions, say like, breathing — and I kill me. So brain surgery — sometimes, I still can’t believe I have a brain tumor — may be part of my not too distant future.
BUT I am here today, October 5, 2015. And today is my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me. And, if I may, I would like to say to myself: “I am so proud of me. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.”
Call to action: Do you believe in your own strength? Has your strength been tested?
Check out my post from last week: I Need to Soar.
Lately, life is kicking me around again. What a “it rhymes with witch,” right?!
My bones ache and creak with the heavy burden of the business of life…
My heart is exhausted from caring and pretending not to care…
My soul, a void…
My mind, a desolate place…
And, frankly, I have nothing much that I want to say… this week.
So I will take a little time to try to soar above it all—and find my way back…
Call to action: Do you ever feel like you just need to take time away from it all as a way to regain your sanity?
What a hateful week it has been! At times I felt buried under a tonnage of stress: taking care of my mum; giving her shots twice a day (yuck!); witnessing her pain and despondency; dealing with my own health concerns; coping with my fears of the future, of failure, and of impotence; and, sadly, having to observe emotional callousness, too close to home and out in the world.
It has been arduous.
It has been maddening.
It has been heartbreaking.
It has been enough to make this woman almost take to the streets and start S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G!
The constancy of real love is our salvation.
When we are at our lowest, we all need to know that those who profess to love us, consider our lives NOT separate from them, but tightly intertwined—and that we are an actively included in their daily circle of concern and love for their sake, as well as our own.
Real love is never too busy and does not make excuses and is not callous. Real love gets up and shows up regardless and especially when it is inconvenient. And its constancy is our salvation.
Call to action: Let us choose to love better.
This weekend my mum and I have been caught up in the maelstrom that passes for “health”care in this country.
Poor communications of critical information…
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
Inadequate to downright poor quality of care…
Did I mention the waiting, waiting waiting—for just a measly few minutes of a doctor’s time?!
Call to action: Starting now, do every thing and any thing you can to maintain a high quality of health so that you can stay the he!! out of the way of the “health”care system! It’s no guarantee, but do it!
Today, those of you that have labored over the last year to provide a roof over your family’s (your) head, clothes on their (your) back, and a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator, please take this day to slow down to a snail’s pace, relax, and enjoy your leisure.
You’ve earned it!
Call to action: What do you think of the idea of a four-hour work day? How would you use those extra hours to enjoy your loved ones and your life?
NOTE: If you think I’m nuts, don’t get mad. Instead, give me the total ignore you think I deserve. Ladies, continue to spend your life resources on whatever you wish and try, try, try to please an audience that does not want to appreciate you. And, men, continue to embrace your narrow concept of beauty and shrug it off as a preference.
Anyhoo, this week, these are just a few of the questions sizzling on my mind, which proudly resides under barely a smidgen of hair:
Did you know that black women in the U.S. are supporting a $500 BILLION industry of weaves, extensions, wigs, relaxers, beauty products, styling tools, and appliances?!
For a little more perspective, $500 BILLION — also known as a half TRILLION — is double the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Greece — a country!
And did you know that the women on the Dark Continent are shelling out another $6 billion for the same?!
A half trillion. (I have no idea how you write that with a dollar sign.)
Seriously, how are black women here and on the Dark Continent paying for all this faux hair and its upkeep?!
Well, get this: In Detroit, Michigan, The Weave Loan Store really wants to help “the cause.” They will give you a loan [PAUSE] so that “you can afford to be beautiful!” Sadly, this is not a fracking joke! See for yourself:
Clearly, black women’s hair acquisitions and the subsequent care of it is colossal business, here and abroad.
I won’t bore you with what has already been said and written on this matter, except to ask that you please consider these notable points:
- In the U.S., black women make up just 13% of the population.
- And that the poverty rate among black women in the U.S. is 28.6% (13% for white women; 10.8% for Hispanic women).
- And that there are reports that the average black woman’s net worth in the U.S. is a whopping $5 — yes, that bill. The one that sequentially follows the $1 bill and features a portrait of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.
So again, I ask: How are black women paying for all this faux hair and its upkeep?!
And one last question: Why, why… is it that black people love to be trendsetters in every other area of life — music, art, language, clothing, food — except one: Hair?!
Obviously, women of other races also buy weaves, extensions, and wigs, etc. Whatever. That fact still does not make one single thing said here any less true. Plus, for black women the internal motivations are different or at the very least more extreme.
Finally, please let us not engage in a fruitless argument about the numbers. Because even if some of the statistics provided above aren’t exact, all you or I have to do is look around in our real lives, on TV, and on the Internet and we know — we can see — that when it comes to black women and the issue of their hair that whatever the $$$ numbers (and they are too high)… there is definitely a scary, hairy problem.
Call to action: Am I the only one who thinks this is beyond incomprehensible? I would love to hear your comments.
We had Medgar Wiley Evers, who fought valiantly until June 12, 1963 when he was shot in the back. As the bullet slashed through his heart, he staggered 30 feet before collapsing. He died 50 minutes later for the cause.
We had Nelson Mandela. On June 12, 1964, Mandela was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent 27 — yes, 27 — years of his youth in an 8×7 cell for the cause.
We had Martin Luther King, Jr. He went up the mountaintop and came down with a dream. On April 4, 1968 at 6:01 PM, he was shot. He was dead just an hour later for the cause. Later, an autopsy revealed that while he was chronologically 39 years of age, he had the heart of a 60 year old man. That is how much he cared for the cause.
And Harriet Tubman.
And Solomon Northup.
Black people, we cannot afford our current way to be. We never could.
And Abraham Lincoln.
And Rosa Parks.
And Booker T. Washington.
And Ruby Dee.
And Colin Powell.
Currently, we have President Barack Obama of the United States of America. He made just about everyone — black, white, and otherwise — believe change was possible.
And we have his lovely lady, Michelle Obama, who provides all women with a beautiful example of how to be a First Lady in our everyday lives.
[I love the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. Yum!]
And yet, too many black men still aren’t stand up guys, won’t pull up their pants, and have chosen a life of crime as their vocation.
And still too many black women are having babies with worthless arseclowns… and baring their arses and other “assets” at malls and grocery stores, on the Internet, on popular magazines, and in music videos as cheap, sleazy entertainment, for another buck, and/or for cheap compliments.
If the admirable — if imperfect — human examples listed above, who have risked and sacrificed so much, haven’t made a recognizable impact on how the majority of us (black folks, that is) choose to live, what impact can rest of us hope to have?!
Honestly, I am disheartened.
But I still can’t help but ask the question:What will it take for us to see a better way to be?
Call to action: How do you feel about the choices that black Americans are making?
Check out this excellent article at the Huffington Post: Why Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech Is the Greatest Speech of the 20th Century: Line by Line Analysis
NOTE: These words were originally posted on January 30, 2015. Over the last week, I have been reconsidering who I am in the context of my world, so I thought I would share them again — re-edited and spruced up a bit — with you.
Moments that re-define our life can happen anytime and anywhere. For me, well, one such moment involved a simple pair of much-loved, worn out, navy blue slingbacks that led the way to me embracing my truest nature — without apology.
Years ago, when I was a younger woman, I went shopping to replace a pair of lovely, navy blue slingbacks that I had previously bought and worn until my two big toes were surfing the pavement.
So I decided to return to the shoe store where I purchased the original pair, hoping desperately on my way there that I would get very lucky and be able to replace my beloved, worn out slingbacks with the same pair.
I can hear you thinking: What’s the big deal? It’s just shoes. Well, the big deal was that at the time I only had two pairs of shoes to my name. Yes, two.
Why? Well, because for me a shoe had to be (and still does) all things: pretty, feminine, stylish, very reasonably priced, and comfortable. Price, comfort and style were non-negotiables! And those slingbacks were all that!
Sadly, Lady Luck had business elsewhere that day. Many months had passed since I had made the original purchase, and those slingbacks were out of stock, forever.
Upon hearing this, I felt a little frantic and began to wonder what would I wear on my feet now that my beloved slingbacks — remember, one of only two pairs shoes I owned then — were over and done.
The saleslady probably sensing my disappointment and panic asked, “Is there anything else I can show you?” And show me she did. Lord knows she tried.
But in a store full of shoes of all styles and colors, there was not one pair that appealed to my sense of style combined with my need for comfort. Ugh!
Finally, feeling difficult and silly for not liking anything, I decided to save her any further trouble and be on my way, so I said very apologetically, “I guess I’m just too picky.”
And then, out of nowhere she uttered something so simple, so profound, so priceless that to this day I still turn to that moment when I need a swift kick in the arse to remind myself to fully embrace me.
The details of her face has faded from my memory, but, strangely enough, I can still see her expression. It was matter-a-fact, warm and sincere as she said and I quote: “You’re not picky. You’re simply a woman who knows exactly what she wants.”
“You’re not picky. You’re simply a woman who knows exactly what she wants.”
Again, please: “You’re not picky. You’re simply a woman who knows exactly what she wants.”
In that moment, a dark room in my mind became flooded with light. In that moment, I understood something fundamental about my nature. In that moment, those words became permanently etched on my heart and mind. In that moment, my own heart embraced me, completely.
Yes, navy slingbacks and a shoe saleslady taught me how to embrace myself and changed my life.
Call to action: In the comments below, share, share, share. Do you have a re-defining moment? Is it easy or difficult for you to embrace your true self?
As I mentioned in my last post, Michael came to see me last weekend. Yeah! It was fun and too short.
And since he was coming, I wanted to look my best, of course, so on the Thursday before his arrival I went to the barbershop to get my hair cut so that I would look fresh and feel pretty.
And this is the absurd exchange that ensued from the moment I hit the door:
CB, the barber: Don’t you return phone calls?
[Picture me with a stupefying look on my face.]
Me: You have the nerve to say that to me! On three separate occasions I have called you and/or texted you to find out when you would be in the shop and I have yet to receive a call or a text back! Not only will I not be returning your calls, I will not ever call or text you again! I am not a chump!
CB: Well, I was calling to ask you to dinner.
Me: What?! You got bored and had no one else to call, so you decided to pick up the phone and call me!
CB: Why can’t you just let the past go?
Me: I am NOT a chump!
CB: You are judging me based on what others have done.
Me: No. I am judging you based on your past and present bad behavior and indifference. Were you raised in a barn?!
CB: Well, can’t you just learn to accept idiosyncrasies?
[What an arseclown!]
Me: No! (I am actually thinking that would be a hell, hell no!) This is not an idiosyncrasy. This is rudeness and indifference. I place a very high, high value on myself and I will not tolerate this!
Ladies, too many of us are settling for just “breath and britches.”
CB: Well, what do you want?
[Seriously! Can he really be asking this silly question?!]
Me: Actually, I am not looking for anything. And I have never led you to believe otherwise. What we have and have always had is a professional [I should have said unprofessional] relationship. But if I were looking, I am certainly not interested in a man who is a lazy, rude, trifling arseclown who does not return phone calls! I would much rather be reading a book! I want so much more than “breath and britches!”
And then he uttered a simple string of sad and confounding words…
CB: Truth is, you scare me.
Me: Really?! Why?
CB: You’re a lady. I’ve never met a woman like you… (He’s 50!)
Call-to-action: Ladies, are you settling for just “breath and britches?” Guys, what do you think about this ridiculous exchange? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This has been a very good weekend. On Friday, Michael came up from South Florida to see and just be with me and do nothing. And it reminded me that it was again time to give pause and remember what I can be grateful for.
I am so grateful for my mum and dad who have always given me an oasis of certain love in world where love is difficult if not impossible to find and keep. I am so lucky to still have BOTH of my parents here to talk and share with Every. Day.
With my circle of four (David, Catalin, LLJ, and Michael), I am grateful to have such “serious” relationships built on loving constancy that shows up Every. Day. When I told someone that my friend Michael was coming for a visit, he asked if it was “serious” between Michael and I. I said: “Yes, it is very “serious.” In fact, we’ve been “serious” for over 34 years!”
I am grateful that today I have this roof over my head (even though my neighbors are thoughtless arseclowns), that my tummy is sated from a breakfast of a cheese omelet and a refreshingly delicious green drink, and that another meal is highly likely later on.
I am grateful that even though illness came for a visit and made itself permanently at home in my body, I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.
I am such a lucky girl!
No, my life ain’t what I had hoped. It never was — and it will never be. And most days I cannot help but be a little — or, sometimes, a lot — cockeyed pining wistfully after my cherished delusions of happiness.
But it is clear that I have so much to be thankful for. So even when life drags me through a steaming pile of recurrent physical discomforts and emotional defeats and disappointments, gratitude sustains. Yes, gratitude gives me cause to stand up and spurs me to tread back into this jumbled, insane turmoil we call life.
Call-to-action: What about you? Share with us in the comment section what sustains you through life’s insanity and what you’re grateful for today?
I love the movie the Long, Hot Summer (1958), starring the beautiful, blue-eyed Paul Newman (Ben Quick), a very young Joanne Woodward (Clara Varner), and a husky, swarthy, bearish Orson Welles (Will Varner).
This movie has a definite tone of the America South. And the dialogue is, well, good. Here is one of my favorite pieces expressed passionately by Miss Clara to Mr. Quick:
“Mr. Quick, I am a human being. Do you know what that means? It means I set a price on myself: a high, high price. You may be surprised to know it, but I’ve got quite a lot to give. I’ve got things I’ve been saving up my whole life. Things like love and understanding and — and jokes and good times and good cooking. I’m prepared to be the Queen of Sheba for some lucky man, or at the very least the best wife that any man could hope for. Now, that’s my human history and it’s not going to be bought and sold and it’s certainly not gonna be given away to any passin’ stranger.”
PSST! You decide.
You decide your worth.
Not he or she or “they,” but…
Whatever the price on your head, you decide.
So how much do you think you are worth?
Yes, you decide.
Call to action: What is your price and when did you decide your worth?
Check out this related post: Priced Above Rubies
This is my sister. Isn’t she just darling?!
She died when she was just 17 months old. Today, July 22, would have been her 49th birthday.
I’ve always wondered so many things about her like:
- Would she look like me?
- Would we be close, inseparable even?
- How would my life been better for having her in it?
- Why her, not me?
Today, I just wanted to make a small footnote in the continuum of life that Joseyann Elizabeth was here.
I wish she still was…
Happy Birthday, Joseyann Elizabeth!
Call to action: Is there anyone you need to remember?
Annie Lennox, par excellence British songstress, once said: I can’t wait to go to bed at night. The world is quite exhausting.
Oh, Annie, I couldn’t agree more.
Often, I pause… in the midst… and look at the throng of humanity that encircles me… this ever bustling collective that I am a member of…
Scurrying to and fro… to and fro… in a flurry of motion… always in a hurry… to get somewhere, anywhere, nowhere…
And I cannot wait to be unstirred and enveloped in a soundless void, me, myself, and I…
Where I blissfully E-X-H-A-L-E into the whispering hush of twilight…
And dream a childish dream of lying in a cheerful field of daisies, all eagerly stretching their petals up, up, up to touch the fabric of the soft, blue sky…
And I am not fiery… I am not discontent… I am not “blue”… I am not lonesome… I am nothing…
And for a while there is the briefest intermission…
before I must crawl back into the light of another dawn with its frenzied to and fro, its infinite grind up the cliffs of life, its unbroken demands for my attention, and its outcries of woe, woe, woe…
Call to action: At what time of the day do you find stillness? Share with us in the comments below.
IT DOESN’T MATTER. Whatever you think matters–doesn’t. Follow this rule, and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late, or early; if you are here, or if you are there; if you said it, or did not say it; if you were clever, or if you were stupid; if you are having a bad hair day, or a no hair day; if your boss looks at you cockeyed; if your girlfriend or boyfriend looks at you cockeyed; if you are cockeyed; if you don’t get that promotion, or prize, or house, or if you do. It doesn’t matter. (Rule 1) ~ ROGER ROSENBLATT, Rules For Aging
Okay, I am just gonna fess up right now! Since my very first memory of myself, I have been neck-deep in my awareness, my feelings, and my reactions.
I take things seriously. I care deeply. I feel things passionately. I believe intensely.
And to what end?!
Maybe I treated my body like a temple and I got chronic illnesses anyway…
Maybe I invested almost two decades in a friendship and she just tossed it away like a Dixie cup anyway…
Maybe I handed the best parts of me over to him and he love bombed, devalued and discarded me anyway…
Maybe I was qualified for that position and they gave the opportunity to someone less qualified anyway…
Maybe I am really a beautiful butterfly having a really bad dream…
Maybe all that happened and more over the years, but here I sit still, living and writing this post.
Oh, how I have raged against the shock, the pain, the disappointment, the harsh realities. And, oh, how I have plotted to be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, enough…
But I am glad to say that I am over and done with all that now.
I wish I could say that this change in my way to be is solely the result of my becoming wiser from experience and better with age. There is some of that to be sure.
BUT, honestly, I am absolutely and positively bone weary from the futile melodrama of worry and the delusion of control.
I’m not mad, I’m not sad, I’m just done.
Yes, I still believe in doing my best, being my best, living by my professed values, and not settling for any nonsense… But I have a more serene, muted perspective now.
I have finally embraced with my whole heart a very hard truth: Life is not concerned with me — or you. Yes, you too. (Please, do not shoot me.) She just goes merrily, merrily on her way doing whatever the hell she feels like doing whenever and however she likes, regardless of how much it pains us.
And when most things are considered side by side with the vastness of our Universe and the certainty of our oblivion, what is the point of being so furious, so grieved, and so frantic?!
So lately, when Life is insensitive, narcissistic, downright stupid, and completely insane as she is often guaranteed to be, I stop and remind myself: It does not matter.
And almost instantly, my panties get untwisted, my mind goes still, my
racing galloping heart slows to a trot, and my sweaty armpits begin to feel a cool breeze…
Call to action: What about you? Are you still in the ring, getting boxed around and knocked down by Life? Or, have you discovered a way to peacefully co-exist with her, ringside?
Last night as I lay in the black of night, away from the collective consciousness of the world, deep in slumber, I had a dream:
We danced with our hearts close,
rather than separated by oceans of defenses,
of pretenses, of fears,
of towering walls of mistrust.
So afraid of the other’s truth.
Rather we pulled each other in close.
And placed our warm hand on the thumping heart of the other
and talked and shared,
and trusted and cared.
I deep into you. You deep into me
We stripped “naked.”
Dropped our defenses;
forgot our pretenses;
lay waste to our fears and flattened those towering walls.
Our souls bare and defenseless to each other,
exposed to the gaze of the other for just a moment…
or an eternity.
Protective of one another.
You deep into me. I deep into you
Our eyes were open like those of a newborn babe
gazing on the world for the first time;
our ears waited patiently;
our arms open, beckoning, eager to be filled;
our hearts already full.
I deep into you. And you deep into me.
Then, I turned to go deeper into my dream, but instead I blinked and squinted at the bright light of a new day peeking through my bedroom window. It was already morning.
And I realized, oh, it was just a dream… and I was very sad — for it was a sweet, sweet dream while it lasted.
Call to action: What do you think is the meaning of my dream?
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice will not sleep forever.” ~ THOMAS JEFFERSON, a Founding Father and 3rd President of the United States of America
The 4th of July, Independence Day, is the United States’ federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the original 13 colonies from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.
The “gift” of independence for some… but definitely not for all.
It wasn’t until December 18, 1865 — 89 years later — that the last 45,000 black slaves were freed in the last two slave states of Kentucky and Delaware when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States, was finally ratified.
And it wasn’t until 1924 that Congress passed the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, which finally granted Native American Indians legal U.S. citizenship. Hmm, Native Americans who were indigenous — that is, originating and living or occurring naturally in an area — are graciously granted citizenship to their lands.
Ha. Crazy, right?!
So today as you laugh among friends and family, fill up on burgers and fries, and set off fireworks, please pause and consider this country’s history of oppression, injustice, “independence,” and privilege.
Call to action: Read President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation proclaimed and issued on January 1, 1863.
Other related post: Memorial Day: It’s a Sad Day