It is hard to believe that Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech almost 50 years ago:a half of a century. Looking from his vantage point until now, things have changed some but the heart of the world still has a ways to go to become stabilized and off of life support. I identify with the time of his speech for that was the year when I was born. In the age of our rush to the moon and in our quest to find world peace. In an age when not much was known of the brain and how science was learning of its importance.
It was great that he had that boldness to declare that dream to the world.
His phrase of "not to be judged by the color of one's skin but by the content of one's character" is one of brilliance.
Looking back on my life of almost a half a century, I have seen the attitudes of some people change towards those like myself who get judged by my outward appearance. So it is not just color that we are judged. We are judged by perceptions on the outside of ourselves.
When I think on the word "content" I think upon the idea of a volume of work in one's life. It is almost like how we are forming our memoirs on these Saturday mornings and giving each other glimpses into our lives. How we sit at these blank pieces of paper and blank computer screens and blank minds and we begin carving where these words are going to come from.
That content is not always written. At times, it is spoken and at times it gets seen in our lives. I was reminded at a gathering this week, that our lives are written letters to each other. Our lives are our witnesses and that is what I think of activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. That collective body of people standing up for what they believe in. For even my friends have demonstrated that in getting arrested for what they believe in: freedom and being able to worship.
They really come from our souls and our collective consciences where we are able to share and be vulnerable and help reorient ourselves along the path of life if we have gotten sidetracked sometimes.
I was reminded by a new friend, Janet, who said that we need to have a clear path. She said that we need to crush the boulders into rocks, crush the rocks into pebbles and move the pebbles out of the way. For we all need smooth roads to travel across. I find it hard to walk along a path when my foot gets caught up in a pebble or stone. It just makes me move off balance and sometimes on my rear. They look great on a beach but not always on the roads or parking lots.
Just as we face the rawness of each day. That raw eroticism of the naked land-devoid of life and snow. Just bare. Of awaiting a rebirth. A rebirth of life to blossom in the springtime with the lush flowers on the countryside. A showing of life-a potential bloom in the making. That brush with life and tenderness as one looks upon the bud forming and the soft petal emerging. Of the birds gathered and the songs from the warbler's beaks. A chorus.
For Martin Luther King Jr. represented a tidal wave from the vast ocean. One of those rare waves that a surfer will get caught up in and ride the twirls and crests of the waves and hear and feel the crushing sounds of greatness crash upon each other. And balance in that controlled chaos which will end up as a gentle spume of surf on the shore.
So let us continue to develop that content: written and observed. And become the grandeur of the waves and the rebirth in land. And let freedom ring and continue to dream for his sake.