Our World Tuesday: Taking in the Town
When Adella and I rolled into New Haven on Sunday so she could do her photography homework, we were blessed with a special treat: a group of people were commemorating the anniversary of the 1916 Irish Uprising with an even on the Green. The actual event took place on April 24 just 98 short years ago. It was a school-teacher-led Rebellion that reminded everybody yet again that nobody in power grants you your rights; you claim them at a very high price. We heard speeches and music, and it was very lovely. As we wandered around the buildings at the bottom of the Green, we could hear a tin whistle over the roar of motorcycles and cranky cars. It was sweet. It's great that everybody gets a chance to do their thing on the Green.
City Hal is very beautiful. We're happy to report that the clock in the tower works just fine. We got there at 10.
There are three Christian churches at the center of the green, and they had their doors open at 10 a.m. I'm not a believer, but I think it's cool that a variety of churches can have their doors open and it's no big deal. It's a right and a freedom to worship (or not) as you please, and nobody is turning that choice into politics--or a reason to shoot at you. This is yet another reason I am happy to be a citizen of this country, the Cliven Bundys of our world notwithstanding. I know his right to be as stupid as he wants will keep him small as those who exercise their right to be as smart as they want will grow hearts and minds of greater vision and appeal. And people will stand in line to call themselves American--a definition they align with the noble virtues described in our Declaration and our Constitution, not in the small prejudices of the hateful and ignorant.
The great minds that make America are always looking, always questioning what they see, always aspiring to the art that is life. Always loving. The great gift of the digital revolution is to make both accessible and affordable the ability to claim our individual worlds as works of art and to give those worlds to others via the social media.
Lest we get too caught up in the moment, there is always Torosaurus to remind us that time and life and the world and beauty and art are bigger than we are. Some day, somebody will dig through what we leave behind to try to understand how we saw the world. I hope their efforts show them the beauty we see now.
Yale University's new business school building includes lovely little daffodils in the landscaping. This fills me with hope. I like to think that the person who thought up this building and what happened inside it realized that the people entering it would notice the spring and crave the yellows of new light and hope. I wonder how many students will enter the building wishing they had more time to spend with the jonquils. May there be many.
America, like every other place in the world, is an amazing place. I get teary-eyed when I think of how grateful I am for this place. By place I do not mean real estate; I mean the people that make this bizarre experiment in individual freedom a working reality. By place, I mean all of us. Which is to say, thank you for being here.