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The Hill We Climb

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Today I found myself feeling a lightness of being that I haven't had in months (and on another level, years). In recent weeks I've all but given up my focus on eating to become lighter in body as I sank deeper into a heaviness of spirit. This morning I tuned into the presidential Inauguration event and watched it from start to finish, and the more I watched, the lighter I felt. A new day is dawning for the country and inside me as well.
It was all extraordinary and spectacular, from the president's address to Garth Brooks' Amazing Grace. Here is one of the pinnacles for me:


A musical and literary vignette with Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate and brilliant musician, Jon Batiste
Here is the complete poem of 22-year old Amanda Gorman, with her initial remarks:

Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world: When day comes we ask ourselves, 'where can we find light in this never-ending shade, the loss we carry, a sea we must wade?'


When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never ending shade?
The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.
We braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn't always peace, and the norms and notions of what just is isn't always justice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we'll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.
If we're to live up to our own time, then victory won't lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we've made.
That is the promise to glade.
The hill we climb, if only we dare, it's because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It's the past we step into and how we repair it.
We've seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.
But within it we found the power to author a new chapter,
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So, while once we asked how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain.
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children's birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
With every breath my bronze pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the west.
We will rise from the windswept north, east where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.
The new dawn balloons as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it.

Reading the complete poem:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I remember the day more than 4 years ago when the weight of the choice the United States made then affected we Canadians and people from all over the planet. We now feel the lightness of that weight lift this year as your new government takes office! I gotta say, that those 4 years showed HUGE contrast, which made me sure of what I don't want. I may not have a vote, but I have a vibrational desire to which the Universe does respond. And so does everyone else on the planet.
    Thanks for posting this wonderful poem!
    109 days ago
    Yes, her poem really ignited the moment -- and was the topic of my blog today too!! Loved her interview with Anderson Cooper where she spoke about how she wrote it . ..
    110 days ago
    Totally wonderful. Today is a new day and the beginning of the end of a dark point in our history.
    111 days ago
  • CHID1972
    Love this!
    111 days ago
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