I voted for the rainbow.
I voted for the cry of a loon.
I voted for my grandfather’s bones that feed beetles now.
I voted for a singing brook that sparkles under a North Dakota bean field.
I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies South along the shores of two continents.
I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.
I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam, and the old democracy of worms.
I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen, thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.
I voted for the local, the small, the brim that does not spill over, the abolition of waste, the luxury of enough.
I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest, a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse for every colony of maggots.
I voted for open borders between death and birth.
I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain, and then a tree again.
I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers, more recess in schools to cultivate play, more leisure, tax free, more space between days.
I voted to increase the profit of evening silence and the price of a thrush song.
I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.”
That was a poem by Fred La Motte.
We, the people, we vote every morning as soon as we notice that we are still here, and decide either to look forward to the day and the waves that will rush to meet us as we stand on our shore, or to dread the sound of the surf. Or both!
We, the people, we have a lot to do whether our president is red or blue. Most of us in this zoom room tonight, our parents, and perhaps our grandparents, can no longer pretend that all is well in the lovely U S of A. If we were privileged enough to have looked away from what has always been off-kilter about the American way of life, we know now that to maintain that stance is folly, is dangerous and is frankly, beneath our dignity. We know if we didn’t before what it looks like when generations-old hunger, fear and resentment of so many fuming, simmering Americans boil over the edges of the melting pot.
I’m not a political creature. My go-to toolbox lives somewhere in what I’m happy to call my imagination, for it’s my imagination that carries me there. I send up for guidance, and sometimes I journey down. I ask my questions and I perceive responses. And what I have heard when I’ve asked, in the still place between dread and enthusiasm, what can I do, what can we do, follows: and please understand that although this spiritual Q and A takes place in the world of me, my heart tells me that the answers are universal, for all of us, because what I am, you are. Every week we affirm the unity of all being, of the All. The One Life. We are echod.
So over the past year, these statements have floated into my awareness noticeably enough, with enough heft, that I wrote them down. And here are some of them:
The world needs your Light.
You are here to build and to witness. To reflect and cast forth the Divine blueprint alive in you.
Modesty has no place in the healing of the world. Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is necessary.
You may show up but until you cease your avoidance of claiming your full capacity as a being divine in your ability to bless, forgive, and nourish, you are not present.
You are the incandescent light, brighter than
what you see shining. Your light is Light.
It doesn’t belong to you and it was
never yours to hide.
There is no strength – any more – in cowering in the dark.
Never look for the poverty in any moment. Always allow yourself to want, to aim for, to see, and to be filled by glory, for it is your being.
You are my joy
and I am even now
when the ground of the familiar has fallen away
I am even now
the ground of your being.
And I am the ground of your being
until you no longer breathe air
into your Earth’s body.
I am your foundation
and I thread your dreams
with what you need
to be able to soar into what is not yet.
I’ll wrap this up with another bit of wisdom from Fred LaMotte, who has become my favorite poet.
“You were not sentenced to this planet, remember? You volunteered. In fact, you waited in line for ten thousand years, a weeping angel.”
And as Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells us, “ I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement..”
I am honored to be here with you, holding hands.