Sunday, November 9, 2008

A retrospective.

The last month of my life has filled me with dream-like memories from which I refuse to wake up. Theo mentioned, as he said goodbye to me before he went to work, that he hoped I was able to do 65% of the things I wished to do while I was home. I'd say that I exceeded that percentage by quite a bit. Concerts, dinners, drinks, parties, walks along the lake, drives with the top down and my spirits up--if I had any doubts about where my heart called Home, they are but a distant memory, like the smoke trail behind an airplane.

I couldn't have chosen a more ideal denouement to this novella than watching Barack Obama become our next president from Grant Park. Although I haven't always been the most ardent supporter of (H)is campaign, it fills me with a patriotic pride I've never known before. Is it homesickness or home-wellness that makes my eyes well up with tears each time I read a new biographical sketch of this man or watch as yet another eloquent personality describes her new-found hope for our country? Of all the post-election interviews, my favorite is by far the CBS interview with Dr. Maya Angelou. Amidst the happiness, I wrestle with reality as Proposition 8 and its fellow-initiatives sow discrimination into the soil of our country's fields. Nevertheless, I hope that one day I will be able to look back at my own subculture's struggles and proudly declare, "Still we rise."

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

1 comment:

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.