It’s time to get up! /It’s time to get up! It’s time to get up!/ It is morning! ~ Revelry
Shortly after the first day of this New Year I picked out from my tempting tower of To-Reads, a book that immersed me in a fascinating part of a topic of my heart, World War Two. MARE’S WAR is an unusual novel of the 6888th Battalion of Black enlisted servicewomen, overseas. These volunteers offered all the hours of their days and nights to follow their orders in the unified effort to quash the narcissistic inflammatory demagogue leader Adolf Hitler & his vast campaign of murder of people he hated based on their religion or birth.
To read the story of Marey Lee Boylen, nicknamed Mare, born of poverty in Bay Slough Alabama, and her allegiance to the United States of America, to be paying through her invented 1940s based-on-history life in the same time of last week’s destructive, death-producing mob action in my own nation’s Capitol, is answer to a prayer. I appreciate that gifted author Tanita S. Davis researched her grandmother’s military history, which sparked an idea for the film-worthy character Mare of the ETO (European Theatre of Operations.) This book earned accolades including a Coretta Scott King honor, ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and Junior Library Guild Selection.
Here is real-life clip from the Black Women’s volunteer work unit, at the author’s website.
Teachers keep on teachin’
Preachers keep on preachin’
World keep on turnin’
Cause it won’t be too long
Lovers keep on lovin’
Believers keep on believin’
Sleepers just stop sleepin’
Cause it won’t be too long
C. STEVIE WONDER, lines from the poem song “Higher Ground”
I’m also grateful in this same time for cultural enrichment & writing ideas I had already subscribed to in mid-December, from Gary Thomas with MoSt Poetry. His notes ~ ranging from introspective riffs to uplifts ~ helped me through each day. I gratefully took one respite suggested ~ with Stevie Wonder performing his classic “Higher Ground.” Listening to that modern classic soothed my soul more than once since Jan. 6. And you know how I learned about Gary Thomas? By reading around at the nourishing website/blog of Tanita S. Davis, the author of the just-mentioned, MARE’S WAR. Serendipity.
Wishes for your best way forward during this fraught time, with faith that our new President & administration, the addition of two progressives in the U.S. Senate (from my next-door neighbor state, Georgia) will be served & joined by moderate Republicans to tend to the health, housing, food, jobs, safety & education needs of those who are suffering. I read in the Wall Street Journal “Law Enforcement Braces for More Violence” that Jan. 17 & Jan. 20, specifically, (others days possible) may be rough times at our state capitols & the U.S. Capitol. Again. These dates are targeted for massive actions by angry right-wing travelers who may be armed. Remember how in 2016 when Democrats lost a Presidential election, they joined/supported social service non-profits in higher numbers than before & knitted pink hats they wore in peaceful, singing, marches? [thanks to my AZ cousin for sharing that memory running around social media.]
Were I in charge I would have Mr. Biden & Ms. Harris celebrate after the C-19 jabs are widely given & because we are numb from the injuries & the loss of life Jan. 6, 2021 & just general shock of mayhem by our own people in the U.S. Capitol riot. Why would I want a motorcade & outdoor ceremony at the Capitol in January 2021? A tightly controlled space, via video to the World, gets my vote. Our next Commander-in-Chief is already leading in a sorely needed Presidential fashion. Ms. Harris is already leading in Vice-Presidential fashion. Please stay safe and I hope you find the words & resources you need to speak to students, your conservative BeLoveds or yourself, as I have, from veteran educator Mary Lee Hahn.
Peaceful wishes for you at this fraught time. This poetry post is part of the informal & nourishing Poetry Friday community. The first week of the new year Ruth hosted Poetry Friday , with Sylvia collecting us in Week Two with a wonderful list of poetry books to be published for young readers in 2021. This Friday 1/15 we travel with Margaret & then 2 days after the historic inauguration, we meet up with Laura. On the last Friday of this new month of the new year 2021, we return here to Bookseedstudio.