Inspiring, powerful, reflective, alliterative, genius. Not to mention a profound reminder of the power of art, voice, youth, and the message of unity. Thank you, Amanda Gorman, for this beautiful presentation of your insightful picture on our country and democracy.
I love to observe the parallels between our macro and micro worlds. Micro--our work on connecting with our inner compass; sorting through large and subtle internal, historical and ancestral traumas; finding our outward expression; and creating an empowered life aligns with all that must be done to unite our people, country and our place in the greater world--the macro. In the trials, the polarities, the conflicts seen in the world, if we pay attention we can see and feel these same struggles in ourselves. We work on ourselves powerfully to create powerful change beyond us, no matter what that looks like. Each of our contributions matter; each of us matter. As the newly sworn-in US President stated, unity amidst a deep divide is critical. Alignment and balance within ourselves require this attention as well. Notice your inner conflicts. notice the divides where your heart and mind are at odds.
The inaugural poem. I've never truly felt the need to memorize and recite poetry but this one..... yes.
With highest respect and hopes that I've captured it correctly,* I've transcribed the poem here:
"The Hill We Climb"
Amanda Gorman, poet laureate
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 Just-ice.
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 a union with Purpose
to compose a country committed
to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes
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 will 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,
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 in 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 it 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
because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
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
our children's birthright.
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left.
With every breath
in 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 Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution;
we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states;
we will rise from the sunbaked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover. In every known nook of our nation
and every corner called our country; our people diverse and beautiful.
We'll emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes,
we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms 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.
THERE IS ALWAYS LIGHT.....LET'S SEEK IT OUT CONTINUOUSLY, AND THEN "...LOVE BECOMES OUR LEGACY".
*I'll edit once I see the poem released by Amanda Gorman.
I am the Essential Soul Mama. I am a mama, a soulful-spiritual teacher, an intentional storyteller, and a lover of stories of all kinds, in all forms. I write about parenting, natural health options, mind-body-soul connections, and anything that elevates our lives.