Love Note: Celebrating Freedom

Dear Ones,

This poem by our own Patti Lister are what accountably addressing systemic oppression looks like… acknowledging our nation’s past history and present.

The message here is not meant to be a killjoy, nor to trivialize the history of a nation which has done, and continues to do, some great things. Moreover, it is wonderful that many of us presumably joined in festive activities yesterday, enjoying food, fireworks, and fun.  With all of our world’s hardships these days it’s good to celebrate.

As we wind down from the celebration, however, let us not overlook the less festive, but just as (or more) stark realities of independence…that there are those who enjoy it and those whose access is denied or severely limited.
Now that the sights and sounds of colorful explosions in the night sky and the smells of sizzling bratwursts on grills are memories, let us be mindful of the millions within our nation’s borders who do not – cannot – celebrate so freely.

Last night, as the pops of firework after firework penetrated the walls and sealed windows of the house, my dogs barked and whined with discomfort, unable to grasp that their safety was intact.
As we move forward from this holiday, may we be ever aware that, although some of us live with assurance of the safety and benefits of American freedom, others’ experience of discomfort continues.
May we continue to bark about these injustices, working toward making these United States of America truly united and actually free.

Blessings to each of you,

You may talk to Black men
About freedom and hope;
They were free
Until the slave ships
Dropped their anchors
In the ports of our cities
Up and down the coast
Of this New World continent
Just a few hundred years ago.
But do not talk to women
About hope and freedom;
They were slaves
Before slavery had a name;
They have endured life
With no voice, no choice,
No hope and no freedom
Since Homo sapiens evolved
A few hundred thousand
years ago.
                                Patti Lister