how to see the land of the free

I reminded myself of someone,

but someone I had not seen

for a long time.

~Anita Brookner

no red white and blue here…just a cogent respect…

inquiry for today~ what needs to change? and what does this mean to you?

where do you live?

When we say return

let us to return to denial

or the fog of focusing

only on our own desires.

Instead, let us turn

towards something so new

as to be perpetual-

that moment of seeing

the truth so clearly

that nothing will ever be

what it was in the garden,

no matter how we worshipped

its apparent innocence.

Beyond those walls

there was always suffering.

Let us not return to a time

when we could close our eyes,

when we could justify

inaction or shake our head

in pity on our way to the centers

of commerce and busyness

that thrive on numbness.

No. Instead, this year,

in this day and in this season,

let us plunge into the heart

of how achingly connected

we are, how the turning

of this fragile planet

is not under warranty, how

the ladder we’ve erected

where some will always

have a better view must come down

for good, that we may live

not in illusion but on the grounds

of what is real, tangible, and true.

This waking, this is the return

of soul to body, a repairing

so forceful it may hurt, it may jolt

you away from comfort

and consolation, an yes, you might

resist it. Let this moment

be not a test but an opportunity

to come back to what has always been

available to you- depth, feeling,

and facing what is beneath

the quiet surface of things.

Don’t turn away.

Return.

~Jena Schwartz

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