Monday, February 28, 2005

A new morning in America

The sun nears the horizon. The sky lightens and the yard outside my window takes on the pale glow of the arriving dawn. I sit with my coffee and it is time to write. I need to come up with a piece of a certain manner, of a certain length, and I do not have one ready. The sun is rising, not only on myself, but also on a new morning for all of America, if I am to believe a man who pictures himself as a Ronald Reagan for the new century. And, as morning approaches this shining city on a hill, I look to the day that lies ahead, to digging up an old piece of paper or to filling a fresh one with a new slate of words...

I am a father, a student and a skilled worker laid off from a decent job. So my day? Today it is trying to write that piece of a certain manner, of a certain length, so I do well in my class, so I can achieve more with all the new mornings that America has blessed me with. Today it is books and words and trying to remember where I left the pictures of a lost year’s memories.

And just in case I forgot something, I shuffle through old boxes full of paper... Stories, poems and articles; written, submitted and posted... But none of them fit. I pretend that these old thoughts do not fit for length. Rubble is an old site; there is much refuse left in those bins and much of it is dust. It blows away in the wind. The Democracy site doesn’t do much better, its words are more current, but they age faster and last month’s scribbles fade in the morning’s light.

I am tired so the obvious topics seem too obvious. I have been sick without adequate health coverage while my son goes to school in a district with the shortest academic calendar in the nation. In such a space, there might be grounds for new, fresh words.

I could write about walking this difficult line between corporate greed and state financial shortfalls. Unfortunately, my Mark Twain impression fails me this morning.

Most mornings, I like to scan through a handful of news articles and then to tie them together into a chorus of discontent on the state of the day. I suppose that I could still do this, but while I was ill, I lost the thread of the days. The President was in Europe, mending fences and recruiting cowboys, the Pope was having a hole carved into his neck; these are the stories of the day.

And I am sure that a stranger died in a desert land today. And I am sure that someone saw fear in a handful of dust today. I am sure that someone lonely found love today, too. That someone hungry ate a bite and that someone lost prayed to a new god today, finding the will to continue through one more night towards dawn, towards home...

But it was not me. And I am tired. I am still sick too.

Today, I do not have the strength to dream up the good and I do not have the will to suffer through such random imaginings of pain. Both are out there. Both happened today. But I will not write of them. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.

Instead, I will imagine how to pay the light bill and then I will imagine how to pay the rent. And then, before imagining how to be a wonderful father, I will imagine how I can buy food for my boys.

And then I will write something witty about this new morning in America. Then I will imagine my boys safe from darkness, hunger and fear as they carelessly play in a day-glo plastic playground high on a shining hill, so far above the base realities of the approaching day.

But it is still early and I have not figured out how to write about that vision yet.
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