Dancing with Speeches #45 Lin-Manuel Miranda

Each year in June the Tony Award’s for Broadway are held. This year the winner of the best score for Hamilton was Lin-Manuel Miranda. The USA were reeling from the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida – a crime scene where gay and lesbian people were targeted. The composer decided to respond with a sonnet of love to his great love, his wife. Who are your great loves? How do they help you find a way? This week’s dancing with speeches might be a two-step – choose which one – Texan or Californian – yet another binary choice in this world of complexity.

This has been a week where divisions have become visible, no longer under the surface, bubbling away, but like a pot of liquid boiling, steaming, bursting the confines of the saucepan on the stove, spilling over.  Now the mopping up has to begin. The dreams and hopes of one generation, one colour, almost one gender, lost and in some kind of parallel universe their mirror image has their dreams and hopes found.

Disruption is the new normal. Playbooks have been torn up. Revolutionaries and radicals are on the rise. Fear is the currency being traded at every border designed to divide women and men, black and white, poor and rich, refugee and settled.  Dualism, binary options wriggle from complexities as we all struggle to be resilient in the face of perceived choices of globalism and neo-liberalism erode our confidence to face the future.  We look for certainty in uncertain places – the ripcord of a suicide bomber, the blackjack table, the ballot box.

When it all comes crashing we go to the poets, the artists and the songwriters to find the words and sounds and sights to guide and comfort our spirits, give meaning and hold us in the space.  Love holds the mop. Without love the mess will stay on the stove, the pot will get hotter, the divisions wider.

Here is my poem for this occasion.

Promise to Tomorrow

My grandson is the reason my vote is cast

His smile warms me with its glow

I nail his colours to my mast

And sail the ship: Promise to Tomorrow.

He fingers beads around my neck

And roars like a dinosaur.

We’re using his cards in our deck

Squandering each day more and more.

Gender, race and class

– the great dividing range.

Has left me wanting, waiting –

For sweet love to reign.

Go with a child in your heart

And horizon in your head

Only love decisions must be made – else

Our planet will be dead.

joseph_mallord_william_turner_-_snow_storm_-_steam-boat_off_a_harbours_mouth_-_wga23178

Snow Storm: Steam-Board off a Harbour’s Mouth              J.M.W Turner – 1842

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