—From If I Had A Million Onions, art by Yayo
I lived down under for almost a decade. It changed everything I thought I knew about what it means to be a Canadian and almost everything I thought I knew about "Americans" and taught me even more about being human. We had neighbours -good ones-- who voted opposite each other. That was an eye-opener. Then again, I've always been wary of generalizations. Everyone loves their children and all that.
Except, it matters who wins this election. It does.
Folks can analyze the debate 'til the cows come home but it's pretty simple to me—Obama said it last night. He's not perfect and never promised to be perfect. Last night, he wasn't. Last four years, he hasn't been.
If the Americans gave George Bush a second term after they discovered the lies about weapons of mass destruction, lies which were the basis of justifying a war that killed thousands and the economy and any faith in American foreign policy, surely they can give Obama a second term. Yes, he needs more time to find some jobs and restore hope. Time to inspire more faith in a re-visioned future of re-humanized (not de-humanized hard bottom line) America—a country the world can start to like a tad better if never love—maybe he can even chip away at some of the historical hatred that does exist and finish up the hard task of cleaning up the mess he inherited.
Today I kept thinking of the TV sportcaster Earl Ross who, every night when I was growing up, would finish his report, throw his pen in the air and say—remember folks—it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
Politics is one very nasty game.
I do not get it. At all.
I thought I wrote that poem for my child. Then I realized I wrote it for myself. I think now I wrote it because asking "what does it mean to be human" is the question I ask every day.
Look through the eyes of a child
even with your broken rumpled adult heart
live for a while in the country that is childood
remember time before words
wander on sensory alert
listen to your beating infant heart
blow bubbles of impish joy
you're getting close
write for that child you once were