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color struck

Though my excuse usually begins, “Let’s see if I can’t find something for dinner,” I’m usually not hungering for food when I meander through the Copley Square Farmers Market.

green

afternoon light on the cuban oregano

black

In early August I wrote about an experience on the road between Boston and Rhode Island, an experience that I described to people as being in the midst of a Klu Klux Klan rally where no one wore a hood. You can read that post here if you like.  And though I wrote that post about my experience, my feelings in that moment, I also thought about what were the children in the neighboring cars experiencing, children of any race, what questions were they asking their parents and how were their parents responding. I especially thought that when I saw a little brown boy staring at the pickup truck in the lane next to him flying its huge confederate flags.

the full moon obscured by a screen

I was surprised later to find so little commentary on local news and on the internet about that procession of thirty-plus vehicles in New England with their giant flags driving en masse along I-95. But I guess I was using the wrong search terms. I did not think to use the words: Make American Great Again Convoy, an event that took place July 30 and 31 in Foxboro, MA.

I remember writing that I chose not to photograph anything around me that day on the road. But I do realize that it is important to capture the words and images of such events so that they can be documented and remembered. Since I wrote my original post a video has surfaced. When I first saw the still shots and read the transcripts of what people were saying that day on their CBs, I almost shrugged. I wasn’t surprised and my feelings were justified.

Then I watched the video, listened to the words, and it made me want to cry. Not out of fear but out of sadness at what darkness remains in this world. As young white men laugh about lynching niggers from the nearby trees, using blacks as pinatas, I remembered the little brown boy staring into their trucks. And I thought of a young brown cousin who I’ve been told likes to chase Monarchs at his home in New York, and I thought of my young brown nephew who likes to plant gardens in his home in Virginia. They are too young to fear what has been because they don’t know that part of American history … yet. I thought of what these people must be teaching their children and I hoped that their children somehow would one day hold hands with children of all shades and know that they were the same.

It is almost too easy to blame Trump and yet I do not want to let him and his brethren off the hook for what they have allowed to re-surface, unchecked, in this country. He was the spark for their tinder. The video is 4minutes and 45 seconds. It’s hard to listen to, and in no way kid friendly but it should be reflected upon because the sentiments expressed in the video and in similar gatherings online and in person across this country are not going to disappear overnight or anytime soon. Maybe never.

However, somehow, there is always hope for better.

In 1880, Phillips Brooks, then the Rector of Trinity Church in Boston, delivered a sermon at Westminster Abbey in England. The sermon was titled The Candle of the Lord. It was July 4th that he spoke and for the occasion he added some text to the sermon where he asked the British congregation before him to pray for his young country:

“It is not for me to glorify to-night the country which I love with all my heart and soul. I may not ask your praise for anything admirable which the United States has been or done.  But on my country’s birthday I may do something far more solemn and more worthy of the hour. I may ask you for your prayer in her behalf. That on the manifold and wondrous chance which God is giving her, – on her freedom (for she is free, since the old stain of slavery was washed out in blood); on her unconstrained religious life; on her passion for education, and her eager search for truth; on her jealous care for the poor man’s rights and opportunities; on her countless quiet homes where the future generations of her men are growing; on her manufactures and her commerce; on her wide gates open to the east and to the west; on her strange meetings of the races out of which a new race is slowly being born … “

One hundred thirty years later, I’d say we are a nation still being born.

golden

Of course I know better than to peer directly into the sun, and so at first I photographed the golden orb through the sheer curtain at a certain window. But then I threw caution to the wind. I knew I could not capture completely what I saw and what I felt but it felt good to pause and spend time with my camera pointed at the sky.

blue water

A random find in the grocery store. A few stems of carnations dyed blue. Once home, spritzed with some water and left to open in the sun.

webs

Now, I didn’t quite do a physical happy dance but I kind of sort of did mentally. When I was recently with my friend who needs to walk as part of her recuperation, we were slowly walking along a canal, and then I paused. She asked what I was looking at. I remember saying, “I saw just a shimmer … but the thing about spider webs is that you need the right light … wait a minute! Wait a minute! There! Can you see it? There’s the web!”

I kept inching forward despite the fact that swimming is not my greatest skill. The web was right at the water’s edge taut between trees and grape vines. I knew the light would shift soon, and it did. My friend had waited patiently for me as I got as many shots as I could. Eventually we continued on our loop. I became lost in my thoughts and then I heard, “Cynthia!” I looked around. “What?” “Don’t you see it?” She pointed out a spider’s web. And she pointed it out with expectation. With a grin, I pulled out my camera.

She continued to point out spider webs throughout the journey home.

Despite my love for E. B. White’s book Charlotte’s Web and the animated movie, I don’t go out of my way to seek out spiders. But I do have a growing appreciation for the webs. Their embodiment of complicated concepts of connections, nodes, fragility and at the same time great strength and resiliency. I can’t always see the webs around me but when I do I treasure the moment and I am grateful when others point out those webs to me.

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