Why does it have to be?

I heard someone ask on Inauguration Day “why does it always have to be about race?”

Hmm.

Let me think about that for a second.

[At this point, imagine a runner at the starting line with an Olympic-style torch.  The gun goes off and she begins to run very fast towards giant soap box that she is about to set ablaze.]

Deep cleansing breath.

IMHO:

Well, if we ever have forty-three black presidents in a row who won’t stop talking about what it means to be a person of color elected to the highest office in the land, maybe I’ll ask that same question.

Or, if it hadn’t only been a mere few generations ago where one color enslaved another color in our country, I might wonder why the infamous “card” keeps getting played.

If there were not still people alive today who survived being segregated, kept back from a decent education or job, held out of restrooms, bus seats and restaurants, and seen loved ones hanging from a tree, then perhaps I would lean on the side of caution when bringing up my color.

Or, if there wasn’t still discrimination, bias and prejudice that either silently or overtly exists in the hearts of so many – I could possibly be persuaded to think it is inappropriate to discuss the triumph of the “first time in history” type of election.

The tables are not turned where white in this country has had to endure what black has.  The tide has not yet fully receded on hate and bigotry.  And the thought that someone who has not had ancestors kidnapped, sold and enslaved, or parents and grandparents beaten or looked over because of the color of their skin, simply refuses to see yesterday as one of the most historical moments in defining our country’s history – totally baffles me.

It would be like a man saying to a woman, “Look, I know I have never physically given birth to a child but would you stop sharing your bodily trials and triumphs after having one?  Even if it is your first?”

Would parents who only have healthy, living children dare to say to parents who have lost a child that even though they can only imagine what they must be feeling, could they please stop bringing it up because it makes them uncomfortable?

Is that what it is?  Because it makes some people uncomfortable and not want to remember or acknowledge the truth of our not so distant history?  Is there some deeply recessed shame that some feel for knowing what happened was wrong and instead of bringing it into the light of day where we can deal with it and heal, want to squash it deep down where it only comes out in tasteless jokes, inept interactions with others who are different, or worse?  Much worse?

I want to remember.  I want to acknowledge the painful past mistakes our country has committed so that we don’t ever repeat them.  EVER.  Does that mean I want to live in the past and make all of my decisions based on how our country used to be?  No.  I want our country to move forward as one people, one nation, under whatever God (or not) we believe in.

When it came time to pull the now proverbial lever on who I thought best suited for the job as President, I compared beliefs, records and policies.  I did not have skin color or religion or even genitalia in my list of criterion.   My vote was for who I believed to be the right person for the right job at the right time.

And, as it turns out, I am extremely happy with my choice and the opportunities President Obama gives all of us.

[The soap box flames have dwindled to a small smolder now.  The flames are not so hot, but lingering coals and plenty of oxygen promise its rebirth on another day, another topic.]

BTW – would there have been no less mention, discussion or celebration had a WOMAN been inaugurated as President?

I know I will cry just as much, praise just as long and celebrate just as hard the first time we finally, finally elect the next right person for the job of President who also happens to be a woman.

ABOMO – Take Two

Forgive me, Universe.  It’s been many months since my last post.  I lost track.  I got scared.  Who was reading you?  Would they say something to me?  What am I writing about?  Why am I writing?  I know, a cardinal sin for a writer to commit – questioning the purpose of words on a page.

So, I began an affair.  I have been putting parts of myself out onto Facebook where I know there are people who love me.  It’s easier in a comfort zone to be consistent about updates and sound-bites for status. There is a limit to characters on what anyone is doing or feeling or saying.  A false freedom amidst conveniently confined posts.

All the while, backlogs of emotions, tirades, deeper meanings, hidden truths, soap-box rants, totally biased opinions and eviseratingly verbose releases have taken their toll on the previous deconstruction of my impenetrable great wall.  The wall has subtly begun a phoenix-like rise among the disconnected pieces of my life.

This is not to say that my life is going badly or that it sucks.  Quite the contrary – there are more wonderful things today than there ever have been:

  • A loving family with two beautiful, healthy and intelligent children who continue to amaze me everyday.
  • A marriage and relationship that continues to withstand the tests of time, monotony, and the daily grind.
  • A new puppy!
  • Enduring, evolving, reconnecting with old and finding new friendships.
  • A career shift and definable boost in opportunity and growth.
  • The most historical Presidential campaign and election many generations have ever seen!  (Yeah!!)

Exciting stuff, right?!  It is and I am truly more grateful than I have ever been.

Do you hear it?

“And yet…”

Can you decipher the buried grumbling?

“But still…”

It’s not much, but it’s there – aching body parts, restless sleep, disproportionate reactions to relatively insignificant incidents, and selective bouts of the dreaded lack-n-worry combination.

“Will there be enough money for Christmas AND the new air conditioner we need for the house?”

“Why is my body doing that, now, after all I’ve done to try and repair it?”

“When will there ever be time to accomplish everything I am supposedly, supposed to to accomplish in one waking day?  Nurturing and caring for the kids, being present with my husband, focusing on work, cleaning the house, walking the dog, spiritual ritual, give/receive love, dance class, swim practice, washing my car, Christmas shopping, balancing the checkbook, homework upkeep, keeping in touch with my friends and family, volunteering, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, participating in the democratic process, sleeping, exercising my body, resuming my theater career, being brutally honest with the universe, updating Facebook, developing the perfect haiku, and writing my ever existent, constantly neglected blog.”

Are there really, truly, honestly humans out there that actually DO all of these things and check off the day as a success without yelling, crying, screaming and/or whining?  Seriously?!  Where the hell are they?  Can they show me a fool-proof way to get it done that doesn’t involve adding one more $^&@ing thing to the schedule?  NO reading books or attending group therapy?!  Forget the cliches, Nike slogans and fear-mongering!  I won’t take drugs, toast away the blues, or hire a nanny/housekeeper/counselor/accountant/gigolo/spiritual adviser/handy man.

Whew!

Dear Santa – How are you?  I hope you have had a great year with the Mrs. and all your elfin companions.  This is Kathleen.  I am 41 years old this year and, by all accounts, have been very good.  I have been honest and worked hard all year for myself and my family.  I even got a promotion at work!  Sometimes, I forget how great my life is and my feelings get hurt.  And then, sometimes, when my feelings are hurt, I am not very nice to those that I love and cherish.  I wish I didn’t do that.  I wish I was happy all of the time and everyone knew it.  So, this year, all I really want for Christmas is to TRULY BELIEVE I am whole, safe and loved. That is all – Wholeness, Safety and Love.  Thanks, Santa – if anyone can get this for me, I know you can.  ;o)  Love, Kathleen

P.S.  If you happen to have a really cool black leather designer handbag that perfectly fits my style and personality, I’ll take that, too…