Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Question of Love

This commentary by Keith Olbermann about the vote on Proposition 8 in California is the best one I have seen. I hope that, regardless of how you feel about this issue, you will watch this commentary and listen with your heart. He puts into words many of the things I have been thinking and was too angry and too emotional and too heartbroken about that vote to say myself.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bending the Arc of History Toward Hope

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
Obama's speech last night was one of the most exciting and thrilling addresses I've ever heard. Like a friend of mine said with tears streaming down his cheeks, it's good to have an adult in charge again.
"All of those watching tonight from beyond our shores, in the parliament and in the palaces, those huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular but our destiny is shared."
It's stirring to have an inspiring and impressively intelligent leader. I think people all around the world are cheering and giving America another chance.
"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America. It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day."
I'm so elated I have lived to see this day and I'm inspired by a visionary president elect who elevates and speaks for the higher good of all. This is a very good day for America.
"We have proved that the true strength of our nation comes not from the scale of our wealth but from the power of our ideals - opportunity, democracy, liberty and hope."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Speak to me of Liquor

I went into Utah County today to vote and decided to stop in on a new bakery in Highland at the bottom of the hill. I was hoping to make another quick stop for some wine for an election victory toast, so I asked the girl at the bakery if she could tell me where the nearest liquor store was. Her eyes got wide and she looked at me blankly as if I was speaking some strange foreign language. I just waited, until finally it dawned on her what I was asking. With an adamant shake of her head, she leaned over to the girl on the cash register next to her and whispered in that stage whisper usually reserved for words like cancer or homosexual, "Do you know where the nearest liquor store is?"

I tried to soften the blow a little by helpfully adding "a wine store," thinking it might be the word liquor that was causing all the alarm.

Girl #2 just looked up incredulously, assessing me as if she was trying to figure out what sort of a person would ask such a question. With a solemn shake of her head, she walked back to the young guy bagging bread and whispered something in his ear while pointing at me. I looked down, suddenly feeling a little ashamed like I had just asked where the nearest crack dealer could be found.

He yells back to two other people working in the store, but neither of them had any idea either. So, they send someone to the back to ask a couple other people who shook their heads and proclaimed loudly that they have "absolutely no idea where the liquor store is."

Finally, overhearing the exchange, a sophisticated older woman standing in line next to me leaned over and said she thought the nearest one was the one in Draper.

Yes, Draper.

I know exactly where that one is.

So, I drove out to the freeway and over the Point of the Mountain, back to Salt Lake County to my obviously heathen town of Draper. Not exactly a worth-while trip. It turns out, the liquor store is closed on election day. Well, I can understand that. We wouldn't want anyone to be drunk while voting in Utah. They might just accidentally vote for a Democrat.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Trail of Leaves

My plants are a barometer of melancholy. It's during the times I fancy myself fighting off torture in the pit of despair or stumbling blindly through the fire swamp that my plants lose their luster, start to turn yellow from lack of water, and slowly start dropping their leaves in defiance, marking the path of their imminent demise. My one plant has been through this with me time after time. Like some of my friends, she gets less resilient to the low periods and seems to show the stress quicker and react more forcefully. Every day she is telling me that if I don't snap out of this soon, she will be naked and far beyond the point of no return.

She and I watched as the stand of scrub oak in the back yard put on a spectacular fall show of brilliant yellow and then dropped all their leaves in one afternoon exposing the gnarled gray branches like arthritic fingers beneath. We watched, transfixed, as it happened, willing the leaves to just hold on for a while--begging them fervently to delay that dark and cold winter for a few more weeks.

It's time, they said. It's just the natural cycle of life and our hope of spring lies deep within us and is just as unstoppable.