Monday, July 25, 2016

Out Of The Ashes

There is this legendary bird. It's a big red and orange thing with colors that remind you of the flames from whence it came. It is called a Phoenix, and it is that beautiful, hopeful reminder of the possibilities of something wonderful appearing after a cataclysm. Like those first green sprouts that poke their heads out of the scorched soil left after a fire, there is renewal. There is a time for picking up the pieces. There is a time for rebuilding. Something good will come of all this.
Before any of you believe that in this orange bird reference I am referencing anything connected to the campaign, words, or existence of Donald J. Tramp, let me assure you that I mean nothing remotely like that. Red, and specifically its neighbor on the color wheel orange, are not the divine providence of those with bad hair and spray tans. They exist as part of a rainbow, a rainbow that has been largely forgotten or dismissed by those who would like to limit us to a box with only two crayons. Black, white, blue, orange, pomegranate. Roy G. Biv would like us all to believe that, for the purposes of memorization, that there are seven  colors in the spectrum. But any self-respecting physicist  will tell you that there are infinite gradations between those seven spots on the scale, and those are just the colors that we can see with our eyes. Any self-respecting metaphysicist will tell you that there are an  infinite numbers of colors that we can see with our hearts.
There are plenty of more intelligent folks than myself who have pointed out the stunning variety and barely conceivable permutations of color, shape and size of all manner of things. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. This is the  motto of a country that was formed out of wretched refuse, yearning to breathe free. There have been plenty of times when it was thought that the immigrants who were in charge were the ones who would stay in charge. White men have had their way for a very long time here in the melting pot. Civilization, in spite of the opinions to the contrary, owes a debt to all the colors and races and creeds and  religions and sexes and shapes and sizes who came before us. We are, like it or not, a rainbow.
A rainbow that is still visible through the smoke and the haze of the fires currently burning around us and across the globe. These are fires that have been burning for hundreds of years, but periodically, when things seem most bleak, a Phoenix will rise from the ashes. Watch closely, since you never know how long they will stick around or what form they may take, but they almost always bring a necessary change. Emily Dickinson suggested that hope is the thing with feathers, and I would suggest to Emily that she is right, but those feathers are as brightly colored as all those found in the sky after a storm.
Sleep tight, America. E pluribus unum.

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