Thursday, November 6, 2008

it's still like a dream, almost

there are so many things i think i want to say...but then i type them and erase them because they, in fact, are not what i want to say. or they don't necessarily embody what i'm trying to say.

i will say that i grew up with parents who were pretty racist. i don't know that they ever would've been moved to physical violence by their ideals, but there were many things i heard as a child that i just knew weren't right...were cruel and were false. it made me feel sorry for my parents, yes...but it also made me watch people of color. since we had none as friends, i watched as often as i could.

i still hear my parents say things that make me cringe. although now that i'm older and own my own car, they are much more careful in what they say. i received so many emailed forwards from my mother this election about obama. none of them true, all of them pretty exaggerated, all of them focusing on his "otherness". and it made me uncomfortable. because i knew my mother would talk about taxes, but i felt pretty sure, as her daughter, that her motivation was a little deeper and a little older than that. and it challenged me in a lot of ways.

we all have a tendency to view those we share with...either traits, activities, ideals, location, same, and those we don't share with as other. when i watched obama's acceptance speech, and mccain's speech, too, for that matter, i was struck by the message of unity and same-ness in each of them. it is so damned easy sometimes to just chalk some one up to being on the "other" team and avoiding them or hardening off to them, forgetting them. but we've made our bed as a nation, and now it's time to lie in it...all of us together.

i saw this in a clip on a friend's blog this morning. it was beautiful. this poem was part of the clip and i thought i'd put it here, too. it is such a beautiful, beautiful poem... again, i'm typing and erasing...haha

Still I Rise

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.

Maya Angelou

we all rise...

1 comment:

LanaTron said...

That's one of my favorite poems!

And I needed it today. Thanks, mama.