Sunday, January 25, 2009

Elizabeth Alexander’s “Praise Song for the Day”
Posted: 24 Jan 2009 10:27 AM CST
Alexander did a tremendous job on Tuesday with her simple and brave inaugural poem. She held her own in the company of inaugural poets who include Robert Frost who recited The Gift Outright (1961), Maya Angelou who read A Rock, A River, A Tree (1993) and Miller Williams who offered Of History and Hope (1996).

Praise Song for the Day
An Occasional Poem for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama
by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Born Again American

Here's a video which I think you'll like.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mama Mia

We were able to rent Mama Mia last week and view. We have been awaiting this view since last summer when folks up in Juniper were exclaiming over it.

We viewed it twice. I thought this necessary because after all the exclaiming sometimes I build up an idea and find disappointment because my idea was in error. So I began with this. It is a rollicking adult musical, first of all.

Meryl Streep has a 5 star performance.

What I mostly wanted to share is how I surely teared up with her number near the end. I believe it was "Slipping Through My Fingers". Wow! Just the thought and mention of it! How my girls slipped right on through my fingers. Yes. And it was my sons, also. From where I stand now those maybe thirty years were much to short. Even though the 'old lady after Sunday Mass at St. Michael's in Orland Park' told me love them and appreciate them now for the time is so short', I heeded. I still missed most and this song is the proper treatment of all that was left.

Happy New Year, all of my children. Michael, Patrick, Kevin, Joan, Robb, Chris, Buffy, Amy, Jaime and your lovely lifelong companions and our beautiful grandchildren, all

I viewed this film as an adult musical. I am thinking one needs to have lived a piece of life to see more depth to this artistic piece. I saw the film as a deeply spiritual venture. Adult because one cannot put it into a 3rd grade mentality of righteousness, of sin, of Hell, of guilt. The spirituality went much deeper than that. This was about family and friendships and community, of love lived. Human judgment held no place here. This told a story of how I face my life bravely and joyously, every day a new day. I trust my Creator that I will never be abandoned. How difficult this is for me with my truly large issues! Yet to live so will be a life well lived and the feeling of serenity. Trust. Be my best in sharing human love about me and leave the rest to God, my heavenly father/mother who is with me through all. Will make the rough places smooth. Live well. Appreciate all the gifts of nature I am given.