Holding Truth

“We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon. . .

 

. . .When we come to it

We must confess that we are the possible

We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world

That is when, and only when

We come to it.”

–From Maya Angelou, “A Brave and Startling Truth”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Declaration of Independence, 1776

 

There are truths I want to say–

that the sun rises every day

 

whether we see it, or not,

acknowledge the light, or distraught

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Delaware River, West Deptford, NJ    I throw a stone in river, my morning and mourning ritual–grief acknowledge, a soul remembered.

 

by glowering clouds, tears, and fears

of what is or might be, and years

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suddenly darkened by plagues and death,

a beloved one’s last breath

 

that you want to catch and hold

lightly cupped in your hands, to fold

 

a flap of time over, like a page

marked, even as you rage

 

against time and the powers that be,

you forget, then remember to see

 

the light that shines, the people who fight

against darkness with kindness, who know right

 

can be funny and loving and true,

self-evident, you’d think, but not all do–

 

so, you remember, as you can,

unfold memories, like a fan

and wave them to and fro—

let them softly blow

 

across your face,

leaving a trace

 

of what once was, but cherish, too,

what is—the love (and presents) given you

the children, the pets, the friends—

all the beginnings, and all the ends

 

that circle round, and then again,

like sun and moon, birds in flight, and rain

from moisture in ground, flowers, and trees,

returning, rolling over and over, tides of seas

 

and rivers’ flowing–the startling truth, not of never,

but of always, now and forever.

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Puddle Reflection, May 2020 Upside Down World

 

We had a theater night at home this weekend and purchased a ticket to stream The People’s Light and Theatre Company’s production of Hold These Truths, “A Solo Play Inspired by the Life of Gordon Hirabayashi .”

“Play Synopsis:
As a young University of Washington student and practicing Quaker, Gordon Hirabayashi struggles to reconcile his deep admiration for the U.S. Constitution with the government’s 1942 orders to forcibly remove and intern over 120,000 people of Japanese descent from the West Coast. Gordon’s remarkable resistance ultimately leads to the famous Supreme Court case Hirabayashi v. United States, and continues to resonate today as we encounter questions of national security, citizenship, and what it means to be an American. Steven Eng plays Gordon Hirabayashi (and 37 other characters!) in Jeanne Sakata’s critically-acclaimed solo play.”

 

My daughters surprised me with a brunch (some mailed and some stealthily left at the door) for Mother’s Day, and we had a virtual brunch with them. We last celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom in 2018. Last year she had a stroke just before Mother’s Day, from which she did quite remarkably recover quite a bit. Today, my sister reminds me, is the anniversary of my father’s death over twenty years ago.