I voted for you today….my dear daughter, granddaughter and all other female family members, friends and women of this country. I want you to have the freedom to make decisions about your own body. I want you to walk the path of equality with men. Never to feel that you are the lesser sex because of lesser pay. Never to feel unworthy as a woman and undervalue your spirit and soul. You are beautiful inside and out, no matter your size and without judgement of your physical looks. You deserve a place beside men and not behind men. You are nurturers and compassionate caretakers, not sexual objects for the fancy of men and boys. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…the racial minorities of this country. I want you to have the same advantages to succeed in this country without bigotry and hatred toward your ethnicity and heritage. You deserve to practice your faith, your traditions and your customs without retribution for being “different” than the white man who claims the throne. We are all immigrants here in a historical sense yet many of us deny our own ancestors in order to appear “The American”. You and I are the melting pot of our country, the rich and diverse culture that makes America the beautiful. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…the poor and the homeless, the forgotten ones of this country. I want you to have food in your belly, a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head. Everyone in this country deserves to have health care, including you. Many of you work full-time yet can not afford to provide for your family. You deserve decent wages for your work and a fair minimum wage. Your children need to have hope that their life can be better. They need to be able to see past the desperate lives of living day-to-day not knowing what comes tomorrow. I voted for you and them today.
I voted for you today…LGBT community of this country. It is your right to love another without the intrusion of society dictating to whom you may love or marry. You are entitled to the same economic benefits given to other married couples. You deserve equal protection under the law against discrimination whether at work or in your community. You are a beacon for others to come together in humanity as one and accept each other for our wonderful individuality. You are brave and true to your soul for declaring who you really are in life. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…men and women in blue of this country. Your everyday “life on the line” is truly that. You deserve the respect of the public and the support of your community in order to do your job well. You are entitled to be trained well to answer the call and give your best judgement in every situation. You deserve to have your community come together and work through the difficult issues together. The effort needs to be made to assist you in finding the path to walk alongside those you serve. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…the black men and women who feel that their lives no longer hold value in our communities of this country. Those who struggle to stay above the current issues yet are pulled down by feeling robbed of their dignity and life worth. Those that struggle to break the stereotypes placed upon their backs, heavy and burdensome. You deserve to have your community come together and work through the difficult issues together. The effort needs to be made to assist you in finding the path to walk alongside those you live amongst, with dignity and respect for both. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…our veterans and armed services personnel of this country. Your service should never be disgraced by our lack of commitment to you when returning from war. You are entitled to be respected and provided for…never left to be homeless, unserved by medical care or inaction towards your disabilities obtained by serving us. You deserve fair wages and benefits for protecting us. We should be committed to you by not sending you into battles that are not ours to fight…only ours to lose life. War is death, ugly and you deserve a Commander In Chief who will never forget the consequences of war, who will exhaust all conflict resolution practices and treaties. It is easy for Americans to say that we support you…but our actions need to support our words. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today…the adults of tomorrow of this country. The seekers of science and technology..the philosophers and deep thinkers…the musicians and artists and writers. You deserve to gain a full education whether it is in medicine, engineering, the fine arts or technical schools. We need you all to build a better future. You need us to make it affordable for you to pursue your goals and in turn give us a return on our investment…your growth and wisdom. You deserve to have a future on this planet to raise your families. Climate change must be faced and decisions made to give you and your descendants a place here to call home…like your parents and grandparents have had. I think of you often and wonder when we will finally wake up to realizing that your physical future on this planet is even more dire than your economic future. I voted for you today.
I voted for you today….those of you consumed with anger and feeling that nothing has changed these past 8 years in this country. You have not seen jobs bills created, infrastructure created and changes to our way of life to make your hard work pay off. Your taxes seem to take it all, your hours of work are endless and some of you are being phased out…(coal mining is hit hard for one) You deserve the truth about your future and the support to provide you with necessary skills to change for our evolving world. We must make changes and you are being fooled by corporate America in thinking otherwise. While I understand the frustration and anger, I truly wish you would understand who is holding back the cogs of the system. It is Congress and obstructionism. They must be shown that we will not tolerate their playing politics above the good of our country. I want change too. I want a strong economy, a healthy workforce and lower taxes…for those of us not at the top. I want loopholes to be closed and the top 1% to pay their fair share. I want you to understand that it is not the woman at the checkout line using food stamps that is taking so much out of your pocket…it is the corporations. I want you to see beyond the glare and ugliness of this campaign season, beyond the fear mongering and hyperbole fed to all of us. I want you and I to be able to discuss our views and opinions without insults thrown and emojis strewn without forethought. I care about you. I care about our country. I care about humanity. I voted for all of us today…except Donald Trump.
Capturing the right words to express my pure love and gratitude for you…well it is much like trying to take hold of the sweet summer breeze that gently brushes my face. A daunting task as I cherish you beyond description.
Life can bring many storms upon my door. I find that you unselfishly provide me with a shelter of warmth, compassion, respect, safety and stability…when the clouds have gathered and the thunder roars.
Life can bring darkness, despair and a chill to my heart. Your love is my sunshine that chases away the bitter cold and brightens my soul.
Life can bring many challenges and obstacles. Difficult days yet with you I feel hope, encouragement and a precious peace. I look towards tomorrow and dare to dream with you by my side.
But not to forget, life can bring laughter, celebration and exquisite joy. This I have found with you. I absolutely could not imagine life any other way. I believe that I have known you forever and a day and I will love you every bit as long…or longer.
This time it was not a certain song possessing poetic words that tugged at my soul whisking me back to times once known. It was not a particular sentimental fragrance that pulled me into my yesterdays. It was but a simple floor tile of yellow, green and black. That fifties tile recently uncovered during a renovation after many years of being hushed and hidden beneath our feet. A flood of memories to be true, that rushed through my head and heart as I stood in wonder. Memories of paper dolls, coloring books, and my beloved chalkboard where I taught school to the empty chairs lined up proper before me. A rare cherry cigar or pipe smoked by my father as we watched Wild Kingdom and Walt Disney with popcorn and Pepsi Cola. Adventurous winter days of cooking hot dogs in the fireplace or just watching the fire snap and crackle while wrapped up in a favorite blanket. Days with cousins, aunts and uncles as we filled the house with constant chatter and much laughter. Projector screen and slides shown at days end with the curtains drawn, ooing and ahhhing to life as remembered with simple reverence to days gone by. Music being played on the record player- careful not to jump and skip the vinyl while dancing to the Twist and Cha Cha Cha. Oh the days brought back by the simple floor tile…Christmas trees, Thanksgiving tables and hidden Easter eggs. Grandchildren and their first steps as well as family together grieving the loss of my mother….all memories held in the space of this room supported by the tile floor underneath So strong, so sturdy, yet silent. Only asking for a buffing and wax in the early days. But as style dictated, covered with various carpets throughout the years. The old carpets are gone…torn out and rolled up and thrown away. But the tile…ever faithful to this day. Alas, we both know that soon once again to be covered and tucked away for discovery sometime in the future. I only wonder if it will be me peering upon the yellow, green and black or someone new …someone who has no idea the richness of the memories quietly possessed within.
If life were only painted with a thick sable brush using midnight black and winter white. Clearly showing us right from wrong with a broad stroke. But it isn’t. There are no clear lines just a blurry smudge of grey as we struggle to find our moral boundaries. I have come to accept this as I have tried to find my way- looking for the “real answers” to life’s questions.
So many social issues confront us daily. It is up to each of us to decide how we will respond. I believe that my best choices are those made with compassion and thought. Sometimes it seems so clear and easy as to what is right- especially when we believe we will never be in the position to need to consider the alternative. But empathy brings the full picture into better view and makes it less fuzzy for me. I find that if I put myself in the place of another, I can begin to see how that alternative may be a necessary surrogate option.
Yet there are many individuals out there who carry such anger and fear for the rest of us. The self-righteousness is blinding and does not let one view the world as perfectly imperfect place that it is. Instead the world is seen as rigid, casting people into lots of right and wrong, good and bad, and alas sinners and saints. This attitude never gives one the opportunity to explore another view and steals the ability to compromise- right out from under them.
I don’t know how some people can be so rigid in their thinking. So bound by their thoughts that they can not see beyond- trapped in a sense, by their own choosing. For every ideal, value and thought that fills my head, I try to also see that it need be fluid, mercurial in a sense. For what seems to fit today in the puzzle of life, just can’t be jammed into the same spot tomorrow.
Dear science I respect you greatly, testing your theories and determined to find out the truths in life. But I have one simple request.. One secret that I must hold distant from my mind. One denial that I must forever keep. So I ask you…
Don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue. I can handle just about everything science has quantified …evolution, black holes, and even a dabbling of quantum physics. But don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue. I grasp the threat of global warming and I understand time is a man-made concept. I understand some basic principles of space and atomic structure. But don’t tell me when I lie in the grass and gaze upon the deep blue sea above me that it is not really what I see. Watching the white wisps and cotton ball clouds silently drift as they are brushed by the wind – to then discover that beautiful blue peeking through teasing me. Don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue.
Don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue. I understand that life is hard and unfair. I realize that I make my own choices and participate in my own destiny. I know that there is a time for all seasons and change is good. I realize that there is good and bad in the world yet not every thing is black and white. But please, don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue.
I need the sky to be blue. Blue is my favorite color and gives me peace. It is a rich blanket that comforts and assures me like an old friend. A sky of blue gives me reassurance that the day will be filled with sunshine and warm to my skin. So again I plead, don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue.
I want the sky to be blue. Blue is full of imagination and hope. It calms the heart and steadies the soul. Blue is the perfect color for the sky above me. The blue sky is living beauty in a sometimes dark and stressful world. It taunts me to reach out and touch it full knowing that I can’t. It teaches me to reach for my dreams no matter how far away they seem. And let’s not forget, it is that amazing blue sky that creates the breathtaking sunsets. Don’t tell me the sky isn’t really blue. I just plain refuse to believe it.
(author’s note: a scientist Lord Rayleigh discovered that the reason we see the sky as blue is because of the particular gasses in our atmosphere and the way blue light rays are dispersed when exposed to sun radiation. In other words, the other colors of light travel through and the short wave length of blue is reflected. I claim ignorance of this fact.)