Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Americans Together in an Anomic World

When British poet William Wordsworth composed verses like "The Solitary Reaper," he was writing "spots in time" that would capture an image or a feeling. I've lately been experiencing some images where Americans were coming together the way they used to.
I'm not saying that we've lost who we are, I'm just saying in a multi-channeled, angry America, I rejoice when I'm part of interactions that remind me of how America once was.
The sight of a little baby, in her tiny dress with the littlest  crocheted cap, being baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica brought me back to my childhood sitting in the Methodist church in Sandy Creek, New York.
The sight of a girl I'd known since she was three days old saying part of the Torah at her Bat Mitzvah brought me into the feeling of community in a Glendale Temple.
Lately, I've been treasuring these feelings of community as I walk through an America where everyone is caught up in their own little vision of what this country means. There are scribes that cater to each one of these visions, turning out television shows, blogs sites and other communication vehicles where people can have their own particular vision of our country reified.
I long for those experiences where I can feel part of a group that represents what is right with America. I haven't been able to get to a sporting event lately so my eyes could tear up while singing the "Star-Spangled Banner."
In an age where corrupt bankers control our Congress, and more and more people subscribe to Leona Helmsley's idea that "only little people pay taxes," I yearn to see the good parts of my country coming together.
You might say I've listened too many times to "Rascal Flats" singing "Mayberry," or you might concur there's an America out there that's still retrievable.

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