Don’t Forget We’re Waging 2 Wars, Alienating the World, Preaching Intolerance, and Killing the National Park Service
It is hard not to flinch at the beauty of the world when my perception flickers like a radio station interrupted by static.
Working on the side of the Black Mountains on Joe’s farm this morning the beauty was unparalleled. Black cohash, wild geranium, peony, schezuan pepper plant, trillium, pea moss, wild ginger, blood root…the list goes on and on, each plant like earth-gifts of some bountiful creation.
But still, a voice echoed in my mind and stitched a slow and steady wave of terror into my blood: “I decide who’s good and who’s not. I decide what’s right.” These, the words of President Bush [or some close approximation to them, precision failing only due to my memory], spoken with regard to his true partner in crime Mr. Donald Rumsfeld himself.
I stab my spade into the chocolate brown soil and hit rock. Nothing gives, the wave grows; a ripple effect.
Later, driving across the valley to a going away party at the craft school, I keep my eyes on the road by my senses are pulled to my left forearm, which rests in the windowsill of the driver’s seat. There the sun warms my pink-hued skin quickly, triggering the slight stinging sensation from yesterday’s sunburn. It is a quiet moment, one of connection to the sun and my life on a healthier path.
But then, I listen to the National Anthem in Spanish. It is a recording made last week by numerous pop stars in support of the marches and protestors who spoke out against the actions of Congress on December nineteenth (?), 2005. The immigration law they passed demolished basic rights for millions of people we know, love, trust, and depend on in this country. President Bush is quoted following the triumphant song in Spanish, and what he has to offer to the plight of immigrants now can only be called a righteous combination of ignorance and hubris: “Anyone who wants to be an American should learn to speak English. And they should learn to sing the National Anthem in English too,” [paraphrased].
I roll up my window and hide from the sun, hesitant to get burned again, cursing the number of days until 2008.
JesusBuddhaMuhammad save our souls.
Give us a sign.
Show us how can we persevere in the face of such injustices – injustice taken in “our” name, the “land of the free,” – yet taken without permission or blessing from the majority of Americans and the majority of the world community.
Let me love without feeling shame for my country.
Let me bring a child into the world, someday, who does not blush at being called American.
Let me smell the sweetgrass on the side of a mountain, feel the sun kissing the back of my neck, work calluses into my palms through virtuous hard work…all of it, the birth the death the joy the pain…let me feel it without the burden of taking these privileges at the unjustified expense of others.
For I did not ask. And I never would.
And one man should never have so much power
to act unquestioningly
in the name of a country
whose constitutional vision
is beyond his heart’s capacity.