1 Minute 35 Seconds, Give or Take

Seattle Reign versus Sky Blue:

It is amazing how much takes place during the national anthem at a soccer match. Some woman I cannot see bellows out the patriotic tune as the sound system creates a doppler like effect as if this singer was moving father and farther away from me. As if around the time the rockets gave off their red glare the sound guys felt as if that was really quite enough, we had gotten all we needed to hear of that song. We do know how it all ends they think as they delicately turn the singer’s microphone down.

Somewhere among the C notes people begin to shuffle their feet, first to get comfortable and then because they wonder if they should have not folded their hands behind their backs. Or should they have gallantly placed their hand over their heart and not have it hang down by their side limp and lacking a purpose. But maybe I do not feel that patriotic today. Or maybe my elbows hurt or I don’t like the tune, or I do not enjoy the antiquated song about men who were not fighting for others, but fighting for their rights and opinions alone. Or maybe I am just cynical.

And then a bird sails overhead, curving, shadow casting on the pitch. Heads jerk abruptly back watching; tracking the seagulls’ circular arch over us. We hear a gasp from someone in the back and to the left. The man behind me yawns, long and deep. As long as the average 7 second long yawn can be. The sun is bright in our eyes on this side of the stadium, people use their free hand to slide sunglasses over their eyes. Then I hear concessions rustle. And I wonder where our tradition of hot dogs on the fourth of July came from. I contemplate hurtling over the barrier and charging onto the field for no real reason other than that is what came into my mind. But then realize I am not fit enough to hurtle over anything, much less run.  The woman next to me scratches her neck and then I scratch mine. I look back up at the birds trying to not make it obvious that I have stopped listening to the song. They soar above, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

And then the song ends with a muffle on the speaker. People clear the field. We sit down and try to get comfortable on our benches. And suddenly nobody cares about patriotism anymore, or about the important questions, or how so much can happen in such a short amount of time. Yet, I know I have missed so much. So much meaningless, elegant, observable life.


Election Night

Gonna ease myself into this so here is an older one                                                       Originally written November 8th

           I have this feeling that when I wake up tomorrow I will live in a world changed. For good or for ill or for indifference. No matter who I voted for or who is right or wrong or who I think is right or wrong, it will be different. And then again maybe it will be only slightly changed or so we can hope. Like a parallel world running so closely to ours. Because Star Wars movies are going to continue to come out, and Buzzfeed will continue to make gif lists about Friends every 15 minutes, and people are still going to point telescopes at the stars and wonder, and the Cubs will have won a world series this century, and I am still gonna wonder why everyone spoke English in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and people are going to keep adapting Jane Austen stories, and I will go to trivia on Tuesday nights and the true color of that dress may still elude us, and I am still going to believe it is the people not the system that are inherently flawed.
So, I am going to awake in a world that is still broken and the state of the union, the numbers in the Senate or House of Representatives or even who occupies the seat of president will not alter that. My work here has very little to do with what I draw a line to on my ballot. My goal here is to make my small portion of the world a little better. And people have thrown God around a lot in discussion of political beliefs this election, as every before in America. Whether in regards to how could I, as a Christian vote one way or another or in my own notions of God’s power. But I am not being asked to believe in God when I vote. I am asked to believe in people, which my God, is so much harder.