The New Colossus

hot-on-flag As broadcast on KQED.

On Saturday, Market Street overflowed with more than a hundred thousand undaunted people. That night, one thing above all became abundantly clear.

Both civil and profane, the sound encompassed both the lady’s diction and the withering honesty of the nasty woman. Yet it was far more than that. Around the country the air carried the voice of a manifold population gathered from all manner of lived experience.

This was not the voice of me above you. Nor was it the voice of “I”. Nor “Them” against “Those”. It was the voice of “Us” demarcated neither by gender, nor age, nor geography. It spoke to what America truly is. We are strong not because we are this thing or that thing. We are strong because we are Every Thing.

In 1883 the poet Emma Lazarus wrote the words now inscribed in New York Harbor, describing that New Colossus. She towers not like a brazen giant, but “a mighty woman whose flame is imprisoned lightening, and her name, the Mother of Exiles.”

We also know her as Liberty.

She shrinks neither from fear nor the immensity of her challenge.

Send these, the tempest-tost to me, she asks. And she embraces them with a mother’s arm. This act that might speak of weakness becomes our greatest strength and reveals a moral wealth that casts shame on any gilded tower.

It rests in the belief that there can exist a nation able to accommodate all manner of creed and idea. In this way, the many, so different, can become a resolute and indivisible One.

Puzzle Solutions

Yesterday our friend Carrie sent over some photos of her puzzles inside her puzzle room.

IMG_2205A couple of observations:

  1. She has a puzzle room.
  2. She has lots of cool puzzles.

Clearly Carrie is one of the one percenters of Puzzledom.

Those vying to become our leader agree on few things.  And in these strange and fearful times, they present even fewer options.

  1. I can vote for Donny and then I will become a winner so that one day I can have a puzzle room and lots of cool puzzles of my own.
  2. I can vote for Bernie in which case we will seize Carrie’s puzzle room and puzzles and redistribute them to all the other citizens in the land of Puzzledom. (BTW, if this happens, I call dibs on the 4D puzzle of San Francisco.)
  3. I can vote for Teddy, but then only God knows what will happen (and I mean his own particular God which doesn’t include all the other Gods floating around out there.)
  4. I can vote for Hilary which will result in Carrie keeping her puzzle room and puzzles and me keeping mine and Puzzledom will muddle along much as it always has.

There is, of course, the option presented by another friend, Mary Anne, who sent over an image of her recently completed puzzle of the door to Francis Bacon’s Reece Mews studio in Kensington.

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Mary Anne presently lives in Scotland. In her world they will one day declare independence and establish their own self-governing Puzzledom in which they will drink Scotch, do drunken imitations of Scotty from Star Trek and while away the long dark evenings puzzling wistfully at Bacon’s door.

It doesn’t sound too bad at all.