I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Amen


 
In the late 80's a local newspaper, now a memory, published one of my first op-eds. It was a Fourth of July piece. I always thought the lead best befits this time of year. So I decided to dig it out, dust it off and share.
Aunt Bethany of Christmas Vacation may have made it famous, but I did it first.

Pictorial Gazette, July 1988

“Shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee we gathered around the beautiful Thanksgiving table. My mother asked, “…and who will say grace?” I being all of six and new to “big-school” eagerly raised my hand. Everyone smiled and comments of how nice it would be for the youngest of the family to say grace were expressed. We bowed our heads and in a strong but childlike voice I solemnly recited The Pledge of Allegiance. When finished, I and all the others gathered around the table, said Amen. No one laughed or snickered or made fun of me that Thanksgiving. They went along with a little girl who made a charming mistake, and to this day when we gather and say grace, someone always mentions my special prayer.”
“In my innocence I believed that the Pledge of Allegiance was a prayer to the flag and to the nation that protected and provided for us our liberty. I guess in a way I still believe that.”

The family members who, each year, recalled my special prayer are all gone now. More than a quarter of a century has passed since I wrote the piece. Our nation has experienced wars and tragedies and government inaction which defies understanding and yet, the pledge still stands, the flag still waves. In a couple of days most of us will gather with family and contemplate what we are thankful for. Sure, I have a lot on my grateful list, it is very long indeed, but up there, toward the top of it is my little girl prayer, my grown-up pledge, to and for this ‘uneasy’ nation. 

Amen everyone, Amen.

6 comments:

  1. "Sure, I have a lot on my grateful list, it is very long indeed, but up there, toward the top of it is my little girl prayer, my grown-up pledge, to and for this ‘uneasy’ nation."

    Amen, indeed.

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  2. Replies
    1. And what is amazing to me is that those memories of sixty years ago are a vivid as yesterday. Wah, huh, what did I do yesterday? Ha, can't remember.

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  3. What a memory! And what a wise family for letting it happen as they did.

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    Replies
    1. At least sometimes, in their wisdom, they did it just right.

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