Have you ever had the experience of stepping out of time for a moment, holding an indrawn breath…a listening…a breeze…and then… gone with a sweet remnant of who knows what left behind.
So it has been for me today, then I saw the above picture on Jon Katz’s blog, “Bedlam Farm Journal,” remembered a very different kitchen where kindness was shown me as a child, heard Elijah Cummings’s voice and saw his smile.
Ann: Mr. Cummings, how are you doing?
Elijah Cummings: Elijah, Ann. And I’m doing just fine. I wanted to stop by here and give my friends a little lift. Things been getting kind of dark lately for you folks, and I do wish I was in Congress still to at least make a little bit of noise.
What I want to say is that when you’re where you are, that is still living the incarnated life, you can see only a tiny sliver of the curve. You can’t see where it’s going and you can't really see where it’s been because human history is such a very short part of that curve. But you know that curve is there, just like you know that breeze blowing those curtains tells you something else is out there creating that breeze.
Ann: Are we going to have to go back to the beginning in order to get out of the mess we have gotten ourselves in?
Elijah: No, not back to the beginning but back to the drawing board. We are going to have to sit down together and realize that one party is going to be down and the other one up at one time or another, so we need to plan a system that takes care of us no matter whether we are on the up or on the down. And to do this we have go to stop looking only to the main chance and start listening for those little nudges from Spirit that you’ve been taking about.
Ann: Do you think we will?
Elijah: Yes, I do because sooner or later everyone is going to see that the alternative is a corrupt oligarchy with power for the benefit of the powerful and to hell with everyone else. And not that many of us are powerful, but a lot of us can vote. We just need a little help from Martin, Mr. Gandhi, and like minded folks.
John McCain will be there for us too. Now he never pretended to be a pacifist, but he did know how to talk to people that he disagreed with, and he cared about children. With Marco Rubio and others, John co-authored the bill on a path to citizenship for our fine immigrant community, and that bill still stands as a model for compassion and compromise. If someone like Rubio can grow into the situation and remember who he is and where he has been, he could help it bring a new order to fruition if he wants to take a lead.
John: Yes, I had high hopes for that boy, and maybe if he can get to be a little bit more secure in himself and learn to compromise– and believe me when you’re not in the majority, you start to realize just what a fine thing it is to compromise - he might be able to help us get the country back on the right track.
Ann: OK, boys, stop. Rubio? Really? Trump's parrot (or is that puppet) any time he’s afraid his ox might get pitched into the ditch?
John: Well, I know how you might think that and you’ve got reason, but I’m wondering if he might see what he is doing to his children and start to chart a different course. Just a slight course correction would help. He likes children, and he represents immigrant families who can now vote.
Elijah: We have to encourage our better angels. They are whispering to us and with a little more pain, maybe we might just begin to listen. There’s lots of folks in the Congress there that just need a little leadership, and maybe one of them might find his own internal leader on the path to the Lord cause we are sure not going to get this done on our own.
Elijah: Of the ones you know, Val Demmings, Katie Porter, Scott from South Carolina if he will give himself a chance, and Mitt Romney whose star just might be in the ascendancy again. He treasures the constitution, needs to learn a little more about the planet and the poor people who are suffering as it tries to fling off the yoke that civilization has tried to put on it. Respect. That is what the watch word must be. Respect for your opinion and respect for mine. I do believe it will come.
John: Yes. Respect, commitment, and spine, and, Elijah, you had plenty of all three. Joe Kennedy may be coming with it like his great Uncle Ted who learned the hard way about so many things. More than that there are some real powerful women who have a mission, and I see them as leading the way against the old white men like McConnell, Cornyn, and others who put up a bulwark in front of every new idea.
We need to get back to regular order, to give and take. I know the smoke filled room has a bad name, but people have to be able to find a place to talk where every word they say won’t be on CNN or FOX the next morning.
Look about you, my friends, for some long-sighted thinkers, those who want to govern for the benefit of their grandchildren. They’re hard to find, but they’ll be coming out of the woodwork now that everyone can see disaster looming. Find ’em, my friends, and vote for 'em. Listen to those faint whispers blowing the curtains and remember who you are. It’s not too late.
May 24, 2020