I had a blogging dream last night. In my dream, I had found a way to activate the Comments feature of the blog (I still can't seem to make it work in real life), and I had a ton of comments, in large red font, from pro-Bush folks upset by my last message. In my dream, I almost considered shutting down the blog, but then I realized that would just give them more power. We need to find a way to create dialogue, to not just shout at each other, to not intimidate each other into silence. It seems like an almost impossible bridge to gap. But we're all human beings, and I hope we can find some common empathetic ground. Right now it all feels more pathetic than empathetic. Bush made lip service to reaching across the aisle, but I know he's just going to build bigger walls.
Rather than build my own walls, I want to be sure to shore up my roots, to know I'm grounded, connected to this planet we all share. This morning, I sent donations to the ACLU, NARAL, and the NRDC to help them continue to protect our most basic and precious rights and resources.
I've probably mentioned this before, but when I was 18, my essay on the liberty of the imagination was one of three "meaning of liberty" student essays included in the Centennial time capsule of the Statue of Liberty. During the celebration, I was named a "Steward of Liberty for the next 100 years" by the Secretary of the Interior. At the time, this seemed like just a token dubbing, but I have been taking the title more seriously since Bush has been in office. I want to do what I can to protect our freedom of expression, our freedom of imagination, our freedom, period. I will be ever vigilant to look for ways to make sure we as artists and as citizens can continue to express ourselves fully and freely. Liberally.
The word "liberal" means, among other things, "ample, full". It means "open-minded". It means "bountiful." (These are all taken from Webster's). How did this word become so dirty in the minds of so many? It is a beautiful word. A generous word. We need to reclaim it as a source of pride, a badge of our own ample hearts.
The word "conservative" feels so stingy, so small, to me, but I know that many people see beauty and take pride in those four syllables. It feels like a language I don't understand. But I hope language is where we can finally come together and learn to speak, openly and rationally and passionately, with one another.
Until I learn how to start the comments feature, please feel free to send me your thoughts--blue or red.
I also dreamed recently that I was commissioned to write a song about how a piece of toast is like a part of the body. I wrote about how toast is like a broad back. I think I'm going to have to write this as a poem in real life. Food is definitely one way for us to find common ground!