Yesterday’s violence at the US Capitol saddens me. My last post was for Old Glory. That glory, has it faded, or are we jaded? Listen to one side, it sounds right. Then, the other. Activists with hearts for the downtrodden. Intellectuals with Harvard degrees. High or low, black or white–or pink or yellow, rich or poor, gay or straight, how easily we can slip into judging others as if we knew for sure.
As I reflect upon the last decade or two of political polarization, my grievous thoughts took me back to high school. It was the 1970’s. Richard Nixon shook his jowls and held up a peace sign. The word IMPEACHED splayed across the headlines. Visions of nuclear holocaust fueled my steps to school and George Orwell’s 1984 was our dreaded future. My favorite poem was by Ben Jonson. It went like this:
Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed;
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art’s hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th’adulteries of art.
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
In all my teen and adult life, I’ve never known exactly who or what to believe. Action, inaction, which is worse? Talk? Lies? Manipulation? Who knows? So, I believe nothing but my gut, as I look in your eyes, and see your actions. Time will tell the rest.
Political lies and unrest striketh not mine eyes nor my heart, folks.
Truth is between us. Not out there.
I’ll still salute this country, its freedom values at core. I’ll still salute you, no matter how we differ. Not because I’m a blind follower, but because I stand for love. Because I value simplicity as a grace.