I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind around today, but am glad I’m fortunate enough to be able to deploy again with my teammates from Sandy and Illinois.
I’m a big fan of a poet by the name of Derrick Brown, a former 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. He compiled a book of poetry about various American cities called The Good Things about America. On the rear cover it reads:
“The Good Things About America is a book that, above all else, celebrates the enduring awesomeness of the United States of America. This is not meant to sound glib, ironic, or superior. Rather, what we imply is that despite every blind, deaf, and dumb thing America has done in its long and strange history – every misstep, unpunished crime, and lingering bias – there is still something honest, beautiful and hopeful about who we are as a country and as a people. This book serves as a historical document that uses poetry and prose to explore some of the visions for change, the modern glory, albeit broken or majestic, of this unbeatable rising landscape.”
On the flight here I thought I’d see if OKC was mentioned, sure enough there it was on page 165:
The Great Awakening
-by Lauren Zuniga
The TV talkers say these are hard times.
They say we’re entering the next Great Depression.
They lady at the drugstore says this is the Apocalypse.
But I don’t think the Apocalypse comes like a shot to the head-
It’s more like a slow incision, carefully slicing us open to
reveal what we’re capable of.
See, humans can make shoes out of old tire swings,
violins from ham cans, three piece suits from duct tape.
We can build a community just from two people
huddled around an idea for warmth.
When it costs too much to drive,
we just get on our bicycles and ride
until we swallow so much wind we light up the grid.
We convert our cars to run on Chinese food grease,
toast our bagels in the sun, turn our garbage into gardens
and laugh so big we can’t hear what
THEY are saying anymore.
I know a kid from Oklahoma who saved all of his
allowance so kids in Africa could have clean drinking water,
and a Honduran woman who can feed a house of 16
with a pot of beans and two plantains.
I know a cowboy who gave his favorite books to a man
with no shoes and walked home smiling in his socks.
Our economy is just a symptom of the way we spend
our currency and the most important currency we have
is our thoughts.
So, THEY can call this the Great Depression if they want
but if I’m gonna spend my thoughts on something then I’m
gonna call it The Great Awakening!
I’m gonna call it the moment we woke up and realized
that this big, sun-ripened planet is all we have,
we are all we have, and we can do this!
We are resourceful human beings.
Every choice we make weaves the bandage that will heal
the wound we’ve created. Every thought we spend makes
this moment the Great Awakening.
Looking forward to taking care of business,