The world is not radically different than it was before January 20th…not really. The problems that existed still do and new ones are poking through the surface thaw. And some of the truths that were, still are—
They still are…and there is one in particular that I keep returning to in my mind—something I have known, have nurtured, have appreciated, for nearly as long as I remember.
Words Matter. Language Matters. Oratory Matters.
These are powerful tools that can be wielded or offered, sculpted or heaped chaotically into the great and clamoring dissonance.
Amanda Gorman, 22 year old National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, student at Harvard University…when she spoke her inauguration poem, all I could see, could hear, was an incredible woman who has an exquisite and refined power to shape the rivers of language that flow through her and the language does not resist. There is a relationship between her and the Word where each is willing to allow the other to lead and guide, depending on the moment. They are in relationship and those who listened, this one who listened, could tell that together, Together, the desire was for Good to come; the desire was for a higher ideal.
As a humble thanks, I found and edited slightly a work of my own from several years ago—a work I wrote after watching Aretha Franklin’s funeral.
Thank you, Amanda Gorman.
There are times when Oratory is called for.
When Light is to be proclaimed, not spoken of.
to joy up, raise up, lift up, those who are
too tired, too worn, to remember
what it feels like to look at Hope and
dance; to look at Light and
say Yes, I believe; to look at Love
and rest in awe and be filled
with the faith that sustains.
There are times for Oratory
that celebrates and honors,
that respects, dignifies, and gives glory
in fullness of voice and confidence of heart;
confidence of heart, and mind, and being;
and in passion that sees a mountain and says
I will climb; feels the wind and says, I will stand.
There are times for Oratory:
to offer it; to receive it;
to let it cleanse and let it heal.
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ