Saturday, June 27, 2015

Outdated Americanism and The New American

The kind of Americanism that wastes itself on bigotry and war is on its way out. You can hear the last of it in the mewls of the Trumps and pharisees. Good riddance.

The kind of Americanism that obstucts a President because he is black, not because he is idealogue, is also fading fast. I say a prompt good-bye to that, and shut the door firmly behind it.

Americanism and -  for my sense, religion - that seeks to separate instead of unite, to burn instead of to heal, can go suck it, too. I'm done with that.

The old American is gone. This middling child is aging too. And so a new American steps forward. And what will he do?

He can't be the risk-taker his forefather was - that chance was already taken in his name, so he wouldn't have to. Ironically, the country is no longer comprised of the very people some label global discards, so there's been a bit of mission drift. Do we still primarily seek to take in the tired, the hungry, the poor? It seems in many instances we are not.

We are now the fat and comfortable.

But we are also the environmentally interested, the urban farmer, the cyclist. We are a half-shade of brown, we've tasted curry and we like it, our music thumps. We care if we are cheated, yes, but we are also wary of war. We prepare with irony. We feast on an engaged faith.

The new American knows that the money comes and goes, not always at her own will, and she doesn't care. Really. She finds disinterest in my bedroom habits, cares not to judge me, won't allow it as she knows what is just.

It is a slow turn, to be sure. Still, the new American finds that we grow not just for our own bloom, but for others'. He is willing to share.

The New American is a different kind of smart. He reclaims the simpler ways using the tools of the day, always seeking the better solution. In that manner, he is like his father, in all his best.

This American, borne of the children of jumpers and poors, can write it new. He will, he will. I know he will.

Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor. And together, what can we do?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Not Exactly Perfect

The kids love to tell and re-tell the stories of their father coming up to their bedroom to do the night-time story and tuck-in. He'd climb the stairs slowly, creaking along the tired floors, step into their room, and turn off the lights. Then he'd begin even the most innocent story in a husky voice, 'Once upon a time,' building, building, the room quiet save for the sound of his voice rasping against the evening air. Softly and then more and more, up and up, until he was roaring "I WISH THAT I HAD DUCK FEET!", lights flickering, feet stomping, a din! Much to the glee and giggle (and not sleepiness) of the completely un-tucked audience.

Of course, I'd be wailing from downstairs, "That is NOT proper tuck-in storytelling," which would only elicit more giggles and the good, loud belly laugh of the culprit. I'm positive the kids' poor sleep habits come from that business. I'm also positive that's not true, but that's not what I tell them.

My kids are the ones with the stories now - this happened in school and that happened in band and this class is so hard. I think our children talk to us so much because their dad created this place, this home for us where all the stories, even the scary ones, could be funny and laughed over.

He made it safe to be yourself here, to be a little weird or silly, to tell fart jokes. That last one is probably not my favorite, but I recognize its value...

What I mean to say by all that is that he's not exactly perfect, but he's wonderful and warm and strong and good, good, good. I couldn't have picked a better man to be a dad to my children and they couldn't be luckier to have him.