Thursday, January 1, 2009

And When I Die

Just so you know, when I die, you will be the only ones to notice my absence since I seem unable to shut up. Oh, yes there are a few here in the "real" world who might miss me for a moment, but it is you who have paid the most attention to my thoughts, and that means more to me than almost anything. It's you who have given me the confidence to believe, and maybe even know, that I can write. None of the men I have loved and lived with, sadly in some cases even married, have ever read a word I wrote unless it was a letter. Tom's comments on my impassioned letters were, "Nice penmanship." How insulting is that?

But many of you have taken me seriously as a writer. Fancy that. You have allowed me to help start blogs here and there for all of us solitary, unknown writers to write, and receive editorial help, to encourage, and make suggestions. And most importantly to grow and gain confidence.

So you have become a family for me, a woman with no living blood relatives of her own.

Yesterday I posted my blog roll to wish you a Happy New Year. And many of you came to say thanks and Happy New Year, and even offer words of appreciation. What surprised me most was the appreciation of a couple of men I didn't know were paying any attention at all. Dada of Dada's Daily was so lavish in his kind words. I do appreciate it.

But the words of one, thepoetryman, say best exactly what I'd hope I might wish to be, to become. This is the kind of immortality to which I aspire. And were anyone to ever read or speak a eulogy for me, these would be lovely words. So thank you Poetryman. Now I am going to publish on my blog your words without your permission. I hope you'll forgive me. But I want someone to know and remember. To be able to find this archived back at least twenty years and say...
That a Poetry Man said, "Utah,

When the wind has your breath within its throat
And the moon reaches you down within our grasp,
You enter a flame, a glimmering ember, a guide, and
We know you by your friends, whispering who you are.

When the rain drops your laughter upon our gardens
And the snow perches your spirit upon a window sill
Like a songbird warbling of our sloping lives-
We sense you; savage, tender, candid, thoughtful, loved… "

Twenty Days and Counting Down

I don't ever remember looking forward to anything as much as the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Oh yeah, I have volunteered for other presidential nominees, but this is the first time in my long voting life I've given money on a regular basis, written a letter to my local newspaper (and had it published), walked my neighborhood offering lawn signs and made phone calls throughout the primary. By the time Barack Obama had clinched the nomination my block in Salt Lake City was called Block Obama--a sea of Obama lawn signs on both sides of the street.

My next door neighbor went to the convention. I'm afraid to ask her if she's going to the Inauguration, as I'll turn green with envy, but green is now going to be the fashionable color to wear so...

I've never longed for anything more that I have for this change in our zeitgeist. If we can elect a black president, we can do a great deal more than any of us ever imagined. Even in this time of the worst economy in our history, even in this time of war on two fronts and others threatening, we can reexamine our alliances and reorder our military priorities. And just maybe we can broker peace in the Middle East.

It will take a mighty effort on all our parts to make this happen. Young people will need to really get involved in a big way to make the change possible, but their participation in this past election is a very good sign that they know much will be expected of them. But young and old will need to pull together to turn this ship of state around. And there are obstructionist forces aligned against us in this effort. Nothing short of conversion is going to be needed to convince the right wing religious fundamentalists to join forces with us to make this a country that respects the rights of all.

It will be complicated and challenging to restore our civil rights. But if all of us work together, even when we don't agree on every little detail of what needs changing, maybe we can right the wrongs of the past eight years.

So I am starting the new year in optimism. Call me crazy. You won't be the first. But I am still hopeful.