Thursday, November 20, 2008

So, The Reason I've Been Quiet...

I took the proverbial leap into space. Jumping without a net, all those wonderful sayings.

I left a place I swore I would never leave again. I love San Diego. I love it's warm winters and non-humid summers, love the proximity to Mexico and the resulting taco shop on every corner, love the ethnic mix and hearing multiple languages spoken around me every day. I grew up there, learned to keep my balance there and fell in love for the first time there. Had my heart broken for the first time there.

I love being in a town with professional sports and art museums and Shakespeare in Balboa Park. I love being close enough to L.A. to visit it easily, just as I love how Camp Pendleton keeps it at bay. I love $69 Southwest flights to Vegas and San Francisco.

So why did I leave?

Because there is something, or rather someone, here in the mountains that I love enough to make missing all of that worth bearing. She couldn't move, so I did.

Yes, I miss my friends and family. Most of all, I miss my children. If you know me, you know that it is not a cliche, or rather the cliche is true, to say that they are the light of my life, that I live for them.

But tensions with their mother were high. My being out of San Diego may help that. I hope it does. I hope without the constant reminder of my presence she will find it easier to be happy with the new state of our lives...and I hope and am gambling on that happiness making things easier for my kids.

And when I bring them here to visit with me in a few short weeks, I can be completely free and happy for the first time in a very long time. In the meantime, I'll talk to them a lot and make sure they know I love them... and hope they understand why I had to come here.

No sooner had I arrived then my new home was covered in the white blanket of the first snows of the year. I couldn't help but see it as an omen. As the gentle white rain filled in the imperfections of the meadow below, I compared it to smoothing out my life.

Snow is a blank slate. A fresh carpet on the world. Waiting for footprints, waiting for change. Waiting for children to play, for sunshine to reflect.

Everything old is new again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama Wins!

Thank you, America. I am so proud of you.

In one dramatic night, you have restored much of the prestige and power of the Presidency. You have showed that any child in the United States can look at the White House and dream about being President.

You have shown the world that we are not all Cowboys. You have shown that we value intelligence. You have done more to restore our standing in the world with this one choice than a thousand victories achieved through force of arms could have done.

You have moved beyond the prejudice of our past. You have demonstrated that the American Dream is still something more than a cliche.

You have elected Barack Obama.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Time Has Come to Be Heard

I write this with approximately 33 hours to go before the polls open here in California. By this point in the process, if you are reading me you know where I stand. You know I support Barack Obama. You know that while I may differ on some issues, I am primarily supporting the democratic ticket.

I am confident if not complacent regarding the national agenda. But I am still extremely worried on the matter of Proposition 8.

We know that if one man's rights are denied, the rights of all are endangered.
~Robert F. Kennedy, 5-6-1961

I live in one of the more conservative areas of California. I use this as a salve to my fears, because I see far too many bumper stickers and lawn signs supporting Prop. 8 to make me comfortable. The polls show that the sentiment against this institutionalized discrimination is eroding. While still showing that Prop 8 should be defeated, things are approaching the margin of error. It's a toss up.

I know good people who are deluded enough that they are voting yes on this proposition, despite the fact that I hear the trepidation in their voice. They know this is a Jim Crow law that is being pushed. They know it's wrong. So they seek reinforcement. They seek justification for their vote. Because they need to reconcile the fact that they are voting against the civil rights of their fellow Californians.

Their hearts tell them one thing. Their fears tell them another.

Those fears are being reinforced by money from outside the state. Those fears are being reinforced by the people they trust most. Their parents... their teachers... their pastors. And because they have spent a lifetime following the advice of these people, they will ignore the nagging doubt at the edge of consciousness. The voice that tells you not to steal from Mom's purse... not to pour water into the vodka bottle to replace what you drank as a teenager... not to keep the extra twenty dollars the bank teller gave you by mistake.

You know it is wrong to deny others the rights our forefathers fought so hard to keep. You know that the U.S. Constitution guarantees all of us equal protection under the law. You know that the voice whispering at the edge of your mind telling you this is wrong... is right.

You know that making others happy while causing no harm to anyone is by definition a good thing.

Don't vote based on prejudice or fear. Follow the voice. Vote no on Proposition 8.