It’s our birthday.
And, yes, a statement of the obvious, but for the record: this will be a birthday we remember like no other.
An ongoing pandemic, national unrest, a call for change, racial injustice, lack of faith in our political system - all mark this particular 4th in a way that calls more for contemplation over celebration.
Perhaps nothing could help us more with our need for contemplation than this July 4th weekend release of the filmed production of Hamiton. Now made available to all, the genius of Hamilton, and the questions and lessons underlying the history, streams into our homes, where many of us have been for 120 days, venturing out for only the very necessities of life.
Like the British sing after the defeat at Yorktown, we live in our 21st century version of “the world turned upside down”.
Our life treadmills, our notion of what is important, our daily routines - all have been upended by, unbelievably, something we cannot see. Blindsided by a virus with a name no one will ever forget, we mark our days and hours differently, even fearfully, as we wait for the world to be put right again.
But as history teaches us, pandemics don’t put our worlds back together as they were. We will emerge changed. And like so many of us have expressed to one another, we don’t want to go back to life as we knew it...the fast pace was soul destroying in ways we had not even known. Moreover, the screeching halt to life as we know it has rendered a quiet, one that reveals truths we must understand: our human connectedness is undeniable. And in our human connectedness, we find now, with new depth of understanding, just how we affect the lives of others. We have shared responsibility, and thus our very participation in community demands we promote healthy lives for all, justice, fair-mindedness, assistance for those in need, as well as support for the ecosystem that is each one of us in relationship to our planet.
For us at Cornelia Lively, we ask ourselves: how will WE emerge? Better? More connected to our community, our artisans, and the larger issues we face collectively? Yes. We know this storm will pass, as all storms do. And, finally, when we look out on calmer waters, we will be better - clearer in thought and purpose, grounded in gratitude, and further committed to protecting artisan work and producing sustainable goods.
“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” ….the refrain is one of many in Hamilton that is worth remembering as we go into the days and weeks and months ahead. We are here by grace… how will we use our time? How will we emerge from the chaos, ready to build anew?
And, finally, what will we bring with us, in wisdom and newness, to the next national birthday?