Posted in Musings

The Hill We Climb… Together

I had two unexpected encounters with American history and politics the other day. A novel, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and a poem, The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman. I wrote about the former in an earlier post. This one is about the poem.

Here is a link for those who would like to listen to her recite the poem at Biden’s inaugural function.

Gorman’s riveting poem struck a chord on so many levels that it, like Hannah’s book, reminded me of how similar all of us around the world are in our collective experiences.

Everywhere, we seem to be fighting the same demons – horrors of xenophobia and hatred based on ethnicity, cultural backgrounds and even skin colour; spread of misinformation for political gain – and her poem spoke as clearly to me as any written by an Indian might.

We are striving to forge our union with purpose,

To compose a country committed

To all cultures, colours, characters,

And conditions of man.

And so we lift our gazes not

To what stands between us,

But what stands before us,

We close the divide

Because we know to put

Our future first, we must first

Put our differences aside.

To all cultures, colours and characters. If only we could set down our weapons and see for once that we are all a lot similar than we are different. Especially in a time such as this, as we grieve together at a nation on its knees, losing people by the thousands per day, living in self-imposed cages clutching the ravaged bits of our life in our hands. If only we could learn from everything that went wrong, and choose a better tomorrow. If only we could say…

That even as we grieved, we grew,

That even as we hurt, we hoped,

That even as we tired, we tried.

That we’ll forever be tied together.

Victorious,

Not because we will never again know defeat,

But because we will never again sow division.

I hold on her words that ring like a battle cry against my chest, and dream of my nation too arising like a phoenix out of the many pyres that have aburnt for far too long.

We will not march back to what was,

But move to what shall be:

A country that is bruised but whole,

Benevolent but bold,

Fierce and free.

Fierce and free.

Fierce and free.

Author:

A wayward thinker hiding behind the facade of necessary courtesies

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