songs for beginners

We can change the world
Re-arrange the world
It’s dying,
to get better.

— the prophet graham nash

“Look out!!!”

She has just swerved in front of me on her way to the skate park. I’m out for a stroll in violation of the uncle hal code, and she is about to leave wheel marks on my Beacons. I suspect this would increase my street cred immensely.

But she decides not to run over me, or is guilted by social distancing, or is a bad aim, and sneaks past just before impact. Old T-shirt, cutoff jeans, black high-top Converses, battered backpack with a second skateboard hanging out. And then she’s gone.

I meander along the mad dog, wondering what life must look like through her eyes. I’m never around Generation Whateveryoucallthem. Does she worry about the coronavirus? Has she joined the BLM protests? Does she fear the future? Does she want to change the world? Is she aware we’re counting on her?

I always wonder when it will finally happen; when the young people of the world will say enough is enough. When skin color and sexual identity and religious beliefs and accents won’t matter. When young women will say enough is enough and end the insanity of patriarchy; when young men will stop allowing themselves to be part of it. When equality becomes a way of life and not just a slogan scrawled on a cardboard sign, discarded in a parking lot after another march.

I truly thought my generation would be the one to change everything. I was wrong. But maybe it’s this one. They’ve seen so much awfulness, so much hate. Maybe they won’t take goodness for granted.

Somehow people must be free, I hope the day comes soon, the prophet Nash wrote of the protests in 1968. More than 50 years later, we’re still waiting for that freedom. For how long?

On my way back, I see her in the distance, sitting contentedly on her board as the hundred-degree heat radiates off the concrete between runs. She’s young, she’s tough, she’s confident. She’s ready. So is the world. It’s dying, to get better.

All she needs to change it all is a voting registration card.

When she gets it,

look out.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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