Emma

It was magic. Unquestionably.

The timing that is.

The miraculous decision to shave her head at that precise moment. Lobbying her parents with a Powerpoint presentation on the benefits of a hairless head.

A teenaged Bruce Wayne.

A wide-eyed Peter Parker.

Imagine her list: So much cooler. No more shampoo. Money saved. Free-flowing drains.

But what about these?
They’ll listen to the girl without hair.
A modern day Samson in reverse.
And, most urgent:
Please release the magic.

How miraculous that the sheering occurred at the moment it was needed. Mere moments before tragedy struck.

The tragic and magic coexisted on camera for 11 minutes. “I call BS” flowed through tears from the fierce bald-headed girl with an unwavering gaze and ferocious courage.

And the nation listened.

It was magic that the timing was perfect for a hero’s birth.

Then she lead with a devastating “would never” refrain before standing strong, blinking through the pain.

And the excruciating silence.

Silence

Silence

Silence

The courage to be silent.
A superpower.
Pure magic.

A hero was needed and she was born with an electric razor and a kind resilient heart. From mind-numbing tragedy she emerged with a spellbinding look. An unwavering heart.

And razor focus.

She’s hope for our future.

True magic.

Wake up

They’re so late this year.
The cherry blossoms are due but
Barely a bloom and the peak is
Pushed back a month.

The tall handsome ranger just told
Me it’s the first time since 1937
They didn’t follow “the model”
“Of course they didn’t” I say out loud.

Chilled and confused by
The prevailing uncertain sadness
Who knows anymore what “the model” is?
It’s easier now to stay dormant.
Hiding from stresses is easier for all of us
Who are living through this tumult.

Exhaustion combined with endless worry.
Who can blame those burrowing?
There is comfort in the mindless.
“I had to turn it off” they say of the explosion of daily news.

But these kids have sent a rallying cry.
“Enough” they’ve said while still suffering.
Hamilton sings “The Unimaginable”
The saddest lament
The senseless loss of a child

Our children.

Now these kids are embraced by what’s good in our nation.
Millions have listened to their call

To wake up
To listen
To March

Wake up cherry blossoms.
You can’t sit this out.
Your beauty is a buoy in dark water.
Like these unstoppable outspoken kids.
These beautiful kids who will save us.

Silence is Complicity

The theme of my client holiday letter last year was “I didn’t see that coming.”
Or rather, how we respond to “I didn’t see that coming.” My letter told the story of my five-year-old great-niece’s love of wrestling and how when she was pinned by her older and bigger cousin she looked up at her dad in surprised disbelief, saying “I didn’t see that coming!” Then she popped up for round two.

After, I heard from a number of clients with words of agreement and encouragement. But one man sent an email suggesting I exclude “veiled” political statements in the future because there were many like him who “suffered” over the prior 8 years. My sister, the wrestler’s grandmother and an English professor, said “Well it wasn’t very veiled and sheesh who doesn’t feel that way (incredulous)?”

Today I’d like to have a conversation with that man. I’d ask if he still feels vindicated and proud of the president he helped elect. The president whose litany of “last straw” behavior seems so endless that 3-day-old news is a lifetime ago. And every day another transgression perpetuates our great country’s spiral toward an abysmal end. This is an uncharted story in which nuclear war and nazis are on the table. How could we see this coming?

It seems I’ve said almost daily “it can’t get worse than today.” But yesterday was worse. It is unquestionably worse than the child abuse masquerading as a boy-scout speech or the X-rated Access Hollywood tape or the off-handed “fire and fury” threat of nuclear war. That list is endless and so shocking the memories blur in my horror. But yesterday, he excused nazis and white supremacists, saying there are two sides.

He said those who stood bravely against hate, who stood stalwart for what’s right and who clamored for decency were also to blame for the violence. Was he blaming the dead woman for her own violent death? That is our president, showing us again who he is: twisted, vindictive, hateful, small, shameful. My little niece popped up again in my holiday story. Heather Heyer cannot. I mourn for Heather, killed from hate by an evil young man emboldened by the president. I mourn for your country.

We all should have seen this coming. Sadly, I think I did. I just didn’t want to believe it. Now, for those of us who believe in decency and know there is right and wrong, our only choice is to gather the strength to get up again and stand against this evil.

Silence is complicity.

Closing Eyes

Her closing eyes resonated suffering, dismay, sadness and the deepest sense of empathy, The old white woman simultaneously revealed all those emotions along with an ocean’s depth of despair. She demonstrated each feeling in a slow deliberate closing when she listened to the account.

Immigration officers in flak jackets raided the mushroom house in the next town over. They took away eight terrified workers, foraging elbow deep in compost, in a handcuffed line. It was a different eight taken than the four who were sought.
In the panic and despair no one checked the warrant. Or checked for a warrant for that matter. Actual details were sketchy but of this it was clear. The owner had shuffled in the shadowy space, speaking noncommittal mumblings wondering who would grub tomorrow. And tomorrow wide-eyed brown children waited pointlessly for parents who were not coming home.

The old white woman absorbed the account in despair and submerged in a silent meditation for love.
And a silent prayer for empathy.
And she silently raged against all that’s gone missing in this callous cruel time.

Patriots

We boil over with dumbfounded outrage
Stumbling disoriented in our disbelief
Feeling blindly for reason in the absurd
Maze of bigoted hate devoid of decency
While Camus chuckles “I-told-you-so”

We convulse uncontrollable gushing tears
In disbelief as swift hateful actions spawn
Tsunami waves flooding our cherished values
Rampaging an unknown path of Un-American
Torture casually threatening our morality

We resist hate and division as patriots
Screaming loudly “inclusion and justice for all”
Crowding terminal prisons with stalwart
Intention roaring for decency stretching toward
Downtrodden refugees huddled, tired and poor

We deliver freshly born shaky legged protestors
Born out of need ascending steep escalator
Canals flooded with brave pink-hatted women
And men who tightly grab loving hands and kindness
Fresh-minted activists homemade signs held high