Soul

Fall and the Moon of Radical Change

Sunday gratefuls: Jon, Ruth, Gabe. Kate. Jon’s drawing for the gate at the bottom of the loft stairs. Ruth’s Apple fritters. Easy Entree’s beef stew. Borgen. Kate reading Jennie’s Dead, what’s written. The 8 point Buck in the back yard. Kep trying to decide what to do.

“When I think of soul of the nation,” Joy Harjo, the United States poet laureate and a Muscogee (Creek) Nation member, said, “I think of the process of becoming, and what it is we want to become. That is where it gets tricky, and that is where I think we have reached a stalemate right now. What do people want to become?” Elizabeth Dias, NYT, 10/18/2020, Biden and Trump Say They’re Fighting for America’s ‘Soul.’ What Does That Mean?

Highly recommended. Elizabeth Dias is smart and knows her soul history. Of all the wonderful reflections on what the soul of the country might mean, I found Joy Harjo’s the most cogent.

Our soul, our American soul, becomes knowable in the thousands of tiny decisions, and big ones, that we make every day. Where do we live? With whom do we live? What do we drive? What do we eat? For whom do we vote? Who deserves our attention?

It’s possible, in a country as affluent as ours, to get lost in the tiny decisions. Will we wear a mask? Whose mail do we read? Whose products do we buy? Where and how do we get our healthcare? These are all important questions in our daily lives, but we often forget that the aggregate of our choices has enormous consequences for our mutual well-being. If we don’t pay attention, we forget the other, imagine that our choices matter only to us, only to the ethical framework of our family, our work, our small community.

One way to infuse those tiny decisions with broader meaning is to become intentional about them. Remember think global, buy local? If you want peace, work for justice? Do I buy the gasoline powered car or do I buy the electrically powered car?

Our national soul gathers force, gathers power, gathers momentum for change in these choices. Easy to forget. And, I agree with Harjo that we’ve reached a stalemate of sorts now. Our attention has been distracted by 2020.

What’s next? Locust? Volcanoes? Asteroids? No. What’s next is November 3rd. This is a big decision. But it will be our collective choices that make it. America will announce to the world the state of its soul’s health on November 3rd.

Is our soul just an enlarged continuation of the white male project? Or, do others have a voice? Do those who value community, diversity, globalism have the strength to redefine our soul. We will see.

This entry was posted in Beyond the Boundaries, Commentary on the news, Coronavirus, Family, Health, Humanities, Minnesota, Our Land and Home, Politics, Shadow Mountain, US History. Bookmark the permalink.

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