Elevate the Voices That Need To Be Heard

I came across this jazz musician and this album yesterday, listening to our local Jazz radio station, KCSM, in the San Francisco Bay Area. In lead up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they were playing various artists with particular undertones and themes around Civil Rights, Equality, etc.

The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons was one of the albums they featured, a 2020 edition by Jazz bassist Christian McBride. I love the basic concept of this album, particularly elevating and providing “sonic portraits of such black civil icons as Rosa ParksMalcolm XMartin Luther King Jr.Muhammad Ali, and Barack Obama narrated by the voices of Sonia SanchezVondie Curtis-Hall, Dion Graham, and Wendell Pierce.”

And so to elevate those voices as well, I offer a few tidbits I found from each of those icons noted above — and then do what we white folks need to do now, long past due: elevate the voices of those who deserve more from our American society, when will it be that we will finally listen? Let’s move in that direction…

Rosa Parks: ““You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would also be free.” “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.”

Malcolm X: ““I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

Muhammad Ali: ““He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”.

Martin Luther King Jr.: “…I would rather have a bruised and broken body than a bruised and broken soul…” and this, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Barack Obama: “another tradition to politics, a tradition (of politics) that stretched from the days of the country’s founding to the glory of the civil rights movement, a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done.”

And so, listen to the following clip from youtube about this album, the inspiration therein…

and then you can read more via the wikipedia post below too.

And then what say you, we make some positive change for those who need it most —

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Movement_Revisited

God Bless Tutu

A great human left our ranks today, the Right Reverend Desmond Tutu, of South Africa. Anglican priest, theologian, teacher, activist.

He saw many things during his life time; he did great work; he inspired many. MANY.

He collaborated, he furthered his own spirit and effect by working with others for good. For joy. For others.

To be sure, he made a difference on so many fronts; this effect happened over decades; so much effort; so many spheres of influence…

The glory from a lifetime of work…

May he greet The Almighty with dance and laughter and certainty of the light he followed, he provided, he loved,

Dance on, Tutu,

We celebrate you, Tutu,

WE CELEBRATE YOU,

And we thank you.

The Grandeur of Littleness

Snippets for a while from Francis’ Christmas Eve Homily, 2021,

This to begin,

“Today, all is turned upside down: God comes into the world in littleness. His grandeur appears in littleness.”

So simple, so profound. Reset your mind, your soul to this truth.

Seek, Embrace, Love the littleness you encounter, you live,

God is in the littleness.

40

I shared this one before. Not mine, not even U2’s originally…

Originally from a now nameless writer several thousand years ago. What language was it even written in?

No matter. The words ate timeless in their comfort and hope. From Psalm 40.

“I wait for the Lord, he inclines and hears my cry; he lift me up out of the pit, out of the myre and clay…

And I will sing a new song of praise to the Lord…”

Something like that. Each minute. Each hour. Each day. Something like that.

Lyrics Post: “Fight The Good Fight”

Nearly a lifetime ago I first heard this song. From then until now it sustains me, it pulls me up, it pushes me forward, thank you, Triumph.

The days grow shorter and the nights are getting long
Feels like we’re running out of time
Every day it seems much harder tellin’ right from wrong
You got to read between the lines

Don’t get discouraged, don’t be afraid, we can
Make it through another day
Make it worth the price we pay 

The Good Book says it’s better to give than to receive
I do my best to do my part
Nothin’ in my pockets I got nothin’ up my sleeve
I keep my magic in my heart 

Keep up your spirit, keep up your faith, baby
I am counting on you
You know what you’ve got to do 

Fight the good fight every moment
Every minute every day
Fight the good fight every moment
It’s your only way 

All your life you’ve been waiting for your chance
Where you’ll fit into the plan
But you’re the master of your own destiny
So give and take the best that you can 

You think a little more money will buy your soul some rest
You’d better think of something else instead
You’re so afraid of being honest with yourself
You’d better take a look inside your head 

Nothing is easy, nothing good is free
But I can tell you where to start
Take a look inside your heart
There’s an answer in your heart 

Fight the good fight every moment
Every minute every day
Fight the good fight every moment
Make it worth the price we pay

Every moment of your lifetime
Every minute every day
Fight the good fight every moment
Make it worth the price we pay

Democracy, Low and Slow

Duties as assigned. Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV). Volunteering to get the vote in. The last mile. Election Night. 100 vote centers, 100 cars inbound with sealed ballot bags.

People meander in and out of the ROV building, dropping off ballots. Cars slowly creep through the parking lots. There’s a nice breeze.

I hang back, watching it all come together. More mulling about; sun sinking lower.

And when things get going here?

I’m a Floater. Story of my life. Like a rover in the secondary of a football defense. Ready to help keep things together, and help bring it all on, safe and secure.

Here’s how change happens; get involved a little; give your time; lend a hand. That’s how change happens.

Sounds like I’ll be wrangling some. Maybe end up on the road as a last minute courier.

As long as I’m home by Midnight, I’m good.

We’ll see how it goes.

If the work’s on-site, it might go like this:

Monitor the high schoolers collecting the binders and bags, keep the binders organized, maybe. Did we get Number 23 yet?

What are we getting?

*Sealed blue ballot bags

*Vote Center Binders

*The Key(s) In The Pouch In The Binder.

What does it all equal? Low and slow, that’s how it goes. Democracy.

Lyrics Post: “Jaded”

Conflict, disagreement, irresponsible governance, selfish, disease, war, rebuked love…all (and more) to be jaded by.

I refuse to accept these as the last word. Circumstance and Evil will not win in the end.

But this song…”Jaded”…from a while back, well,

Green Day ripped through a good one here…

Somebody keep my balance
I think I’m falling off
Into a state of regression
The expiration date
Rapidly coming up
It’s leaving me behind to rank

Always move forward
Going “straight” will get you nowhere
There is no progress
Evolution killed it all
I found my place in nowhere

I’m taking one step sideways
Leading with my crutch
Got a fucked up equilibrium
Count down from 9 to 5
Hooray! We’re gonna die!
Blessed into our extinction

Always move forward
Going “straight” will get you nowhere
There is no progress
Evolution killed it all
I found my place in nowhere

Always move forward
Going “straight” will get you nowhere
There is no progress
Evolution killed it all
I found my place in nowhere, in nowhere, in nowhere”

Writer(s): Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Ryan Pritchard, Frank Edwin Wright III

Slog Through

Some days, weeks, longer,

Feels like we’re slogging through.

Keep a little smile on the face, head down to the grindstone, thankful for what we have,

Undertone though?

Slogging through, legs heavy, thick on your mind, in the back,

Slow go.

It’s this very time, each time, to stop the slide,

To pause and give thanks, quiet thanks, silent nod, to something, anything, good;

And that’s enough, can sustain another minute, hour, day,

To reset, breath, refocus, and go forward. GO FORWARD.

Yes you can. Even through the slog, legs heavy, stacks all around you,

Fear not, and you are not alone, and don’t give into panic,

Oh no no, not alone, go forward, that you can, do,

GOOD.