We Matter

img_0324.jpgHow did it happen that the U.S. government has forgotten the well being of its own people?  I watched the “March for Our Lives” rally broadcast this morning from Washington D.C. heartsick hearing the Stoneman Douglas student speakers express their pain from the mass shooting at their school.  Equally heartbreaking was hearing their frustration from the lack of response from leaders who have done virtually NOTHING after the myriad of massacres that have occurred in schools and public spaces across the US in recent time. I substitute teach part-time in high schools.  It’s sad that every time I walk in the door I feel I am not in a safe place anymore.  Students feel that every day.

There was a pivotal point in one student’s speech where he said we should “arm teachers.”  I sucked in my breath saying to myself “oh not this.”  The student went on to say, however, that teachers should be well armed with pencils, paper, books and good enough salaries to teach.  The crowd roared. As an educator, I know how underfunded our education system is in this country.  We fund wars across the globe, give tax breaks to the rich, but neglect the safety, education, healthcare, & mental health care of our own people.  WE MATTER.

If anyone can make a change in this country, these kids can.  They have started a movement and I am right there with them.  For now, all I could do was write a blog post & make a picture (but that’s what artist’s do).

 

Goodbye 2017

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The year 2017 slunk away

Like stray cat that lost a fight

Leaving bloody tracks and tufts of fur

In its wake

 

The flood waters have receded

Fires still burn to the south

Refugees across the globe pray for safety

The homeless seek shelter

And the men still beat their chests in Washington

Shouting over truth

 

 

But if you are very still and listen

You can hear the sound of the peoples’ drum beats

Pulsing

Building up strength and timbre

Beneath that thin veneer of chaos

 

Power is as ephemeral as a passing storm

Blowing  itself out with the  passage of time

Give pause and consider

For 365 days the sun rose and set of its own accord

The tides ebbed and flowed

And one day in August

the moon crowned the sun king

With a corona of light

Wrapping us all in illuminated smiles

 

We are still here

With our lives

Our memories

Our dreams

Celebrating community

Beauty and love

Between the lines of a script

We did not write

 

There will be a new story

Starting tomorrow

We have the choice

to change the outcome, beginning with ourselves

And we will all be there

To feed the fire of hope

To light our way through the New Year

Of  2018

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Wishing you all the best in this New Year,

Alanna