Amazing to think it is twenty-five years since we've lost John Lennon
-- which means it is almost
25 years since Jackie Hillyer
and Kathy Nagle
helped me found Ashtabula NOW. I was coming
from a rehearsal at the Ashtabula Arts Center
(in Ohio) when I lost control of our almost new Subaru on ice, went off the road, and turned the car over 1 and half (?)
times. My immediate thoughts before this happened was a calmness, an ontological moment: "I'm going to die, just like John
Lennon -- oh well." Then the car stopped rolling. The radio and lights were still on. "I'm alive. God wanted me alive. I've
gotta start that NOW chapter." So I didn't join John in death, but in continuing his legacy by contributing to bettering the
world for women and their families. And 25 years later, 10 pages of John's records are still held by the FBI and I too am
probably written up for my work with the National Organization for Women
as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation
. Oh well....
Sadly, my path has led me to learn how the US, at least the government, has betrayed
its ideals. I'm not giving up hope. I cannot. But when they vote for huge tax cuts in food stamps and health care and college
loans and then turn around and vote to give tax breaks to the wealthy that equal that and more, I am amazed and disillusioned
and angered. God, how can they do this?
Then I listened to Wednesday's Democracy Now
show on my iPod and heard Amy Goodman
's account of US involvement in the massacres in East Timor
a number of years ago. We helped Indonesia kill a third of the East Timorese people and allowed Indonesia to snuff out 6 foreign
press in trying to hide the story. Fortunately, Amy survived and her story is chilling. Check out the archives at DemocracyNow.org
but we have to stop training and subsidizing killers. (And allowing our armament industry to make a killing in the deal.)
In accepting his Nobel Prize, Playwright Harold Pinter
just made a stinging but apt statement
-- I wish it weren't true, but these and other facts
speak for themselves, if you just look for them. Too many of us are blind, perhaps because we can't bear the truth, thus
allowing more damage. John, John -- help us imagine and make
a better world. Please, God, Amen.
through all of this we need music, such as John's, and we need LAUGHTER. As I previously reported in my friendly/political
, I was fortunate to catch Laughing Liberally
a few days ago with Oklahomastan!
author Marc Crawford Leavitt
. Check out my comments there
on Kate Halper
and the show and/or check out their website, http://www.laughingliberally.com
and take advantage of the healing power of laughter. It all helps us continue.
Through music, through action, through
laughter, we will get our country back. It isn't easy going, but we have to face the truth, and talk about it, not hide our
heads in the sand -- or in the diversions of television, movies, celebrity gossip, computer games, etc. -- though there is
a place for some of that. All things, well at least MOST things in moderation. Nothing is perfect, but it can be better. With
God's help, with OUR help, with music, with laughter, with truth and justice. When we talk about "My country, right or wrong",
note the whole quote of Senator Carl Shurz
], which continues "if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Let's set it right -- and live, love, laugh
and be happy. Amen.