... Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
--“On the Pulse of Morning,” written and read by Maya Angelou to the crowd gathered for the Inauguration of Bill Clinton at the West Front of the United States Capitol on January 20, 1993.
Today, 28 years later, these words still speak deeply to this moment. On this Inauguration Day, we move across a threshold that is enmeshed with deep grief and unbridled hope. I look around at our nation, and my heart aches: an unmitigated pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives; public and violent displays of white supremacy that has always infected the soul of our country; an economy, climate, and social safety net that are spiralling towards catastrophe, with those communities who have always been least protected or often targeted by our systems standing squarely in the path of the collapse.
There is, unequivocally, wrenching pain that cannot be unlived. Not just in our history, but in our present.
And yet, this Inauguration Day is indeed a new day breaking for us. It is a new day we called forth together and one that must be nurtured together. Friend, we have work to do. If we are to build a democracy for all, center care and safety for all, create a just economy, and win real COVID-19 relief and address our health care and climate crises, we will have to do it together.
We will have to reassess our organizing tactics and our goals as the occupants of both the White House and the Capitol shift. But there is no question that the incoming Biden-Harris administration will embody a radical departure from the Trump era--and that many more pieces of progressive policy and social change for which our movements have been organizing for years may finally become possible because of the shifting balance of power and our focus on the long-haul work of justice.
Join our friends at The Frontline in sending postcards to President Biden to demand the necessary action we need to create safe and thriving communities. In this new year and new administration, let us set our intentions. Help us call forth this new world together, by sending a postcard today!
“Give birth again to the dream,” Angelou exhorts us. We cannot take this metaphor lightly. Giving birth is painful, and messy, and terrifying AND it is physically and spiritually transformative, both for the laborer and for the new life that emerges.
Today, , let us take a moment of pause between contractions--to find joy and pride in hard work that we have done over the past weeks and months and years. This is a day to take another deep breath to recoup our strength, grateful to have made it this far and centering as we prepare for the next push. what awaits us on the other side is the new emergence of potential, of possibility, of life springing forth from within us.
Let us push forward together, harnessing our radical imaginations and the power of community. This is our moment-the people’s moment. Join me and thousands in our UU the Vote community in sending beautiful postcards to President Biden with The Frontline. Call for action on policies we need to move forward together.
Beloveds, today, take a moment to pause, and ground ourselves in the dream that makes the labor worthwhile. The dream of a world in which all of us have enough resources to live with stability and access to what we need to be healthy and safe; in which we care for people and the earth over profits; in which all of us are free and able to live lives of dignity, abundance, and joy.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
[...] Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your [sibling]’s eyes, and into
Your [neighbor]’s face, your country
And say simply
With hope —
--Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993)
May it be so for you and all you love today, Beloveds.
Breathe deeply. Forward now, together.
In faith and solidarity,
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