08 Jul Blue Skies
Every cloud has a silver lining. That’s what my grandmother used to say.
I imagine that this was originally a song probably from some MGM movie. In my mind, I can see Judy Garland singing it or maybe Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. It’s just that I haven’t been able to find mine lately. I have been distracted, sad, and melancholy. Between the Covid pandemic and the horrific events of racism and brutality it has taken a toll on not just myself but the entire world at large. We are not the same and we will not ever be the same.
It is as Tolstoy wrote; the best of times and the worst of times all at once. It is the worst of times in the sense that there is so much hatred being exposed and so much turmoil and sickness surrounding us day after day. But it is also the best of times in the sense of change and true understanding. Where things that have been hidden for so long have finally been brought to the light. And as much as we may hate the harshness of the exposure it is necessary to facilitate lasting change. It has been heartening to see the diversity of support and fellowship around the globe for wrong policies and ingrained prejudices that must be rooted out.
I tend to see things theatrically like a play by Fauste or a Greek tragedy. But this is a modern-day trauma that has its foundations in the very fiber of our history. As ugly and as uncomfortable as that history may be. There is no king or Greek god ascending from Olympias to make us do better. We have to witness the ugliness for ourselves and make a conscious decision to stop pretending that we don’t see what’s all around us.
Ella Fitzgerald famously sang a song Blue Skies as a musical backdrop to decades of American cinema, as for today; the skies are certainly not blue, nor is it clear when the sun will come out again and yet I know it will. Things may be cloudy and that may be all that we see but there is as my grandmother said a silver lining. Our children and our children’s children may never have to see and experience the things that we have. The “talk” that so many black parents have always had to have with their children may just become obsolete. Everyone may one day feel safe walking in a park or driving down an interstate at night. Is that too much to ask in America? Maybe, but I can dream can’t I?
For so many years black and brown Americans have had a totally different life experience than everyone else living in this country. And that is the elusive silver lining that we all hope to see. I don’t see it yet in a landscape filled with clouds and rain. But it’s promised that at the end of every storm the sun does shine maybe even more brightly than before. Trouble doesn’t last always. And we can make it through this if we understand that change is often turbulent and uncomfortable to be lasting. I want to look up and see the skies open up for everyone everywhere. There is a silver lining and it is hope for the future to be different than the past.
Blue Skies smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see