Saturday, January 28, 2017

Shouting Defiance and Hope



The seed of the idea was planted in a Facebook conversation.  In response to the link to my latest letter to the editor of the Lancaster newspaper, a friend commented “shouting defiance and hope.”  I recognized the phrase immediately as coming from the song “Compassion Piece” by Carolyn McDade and replied that, in the coming months, that would be my theme song.
A few days later, as I drove into Lancaster to meet another friend for lunch, the final page of the song was humming in my mind.  “I ask you, will compassion walk past shadows deep and many miles long, shouting defiance and hope?”  That evoked anticipation of the thousands of women planning to march in Washington and other cities on the coming Saturday, shouting defiance of the bigotry, hatred, and abuse that marked the actions of the incoming administration, and hope that women and men, children and elders, would rally to build a nation grounded in justice, equality, and embrace of diversity.

And from putting the song with anticipation of the marches sprang the idea of a slideshow, made up of images gathered from friends across the U.S., set to Carolyn’s powerful words and music.  A phone call to Carolyn secured permission for using her song to prepare such a video.  Then I put out a call to friends and acquaintances for images that they would be willing to share in the days after the marches.  I quickly learned that solidarity marches and rallies were planned across Canada as well, with many Canadian friends willing and eager to help with my project.
In the days after the marches photos poured in from across the continent.  From news reports and social media I saw the global extent of the cries for human rights, for protection of sacred land, air, and water, for an end to abuse in all its many forms.  Thus was created the video that you see here.
The photos are from ordinary people who attended the marches.  Most were submitted in response to my requests.  In a few cases I saw an image on a friend’s Facebook timeline and was able to secure permission from the person who had posted it.  I have deliberately not used photos posted by news organizations or professional photographers.  As a consequence, the quality of the images varies considerably, and that’s okay.  They represent the passion and determination of what is now estimated to have been somewhere between 3.5 and 5 million people worldwide who gathered on January 21, 2017, to speak for humanity and for all of creation.

The following cities are represented in this slideshow:


Asheville, North Carolina
Atlanta, Georgia
Austin, Texas
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Denver, Colorado
Edmonton, Alberta
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lansing, Michigan
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Ogden, Utah
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Portland, Oregon
Providence, Rhode Island
Raleigh, North Carolina
Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Vancouver, British Columbia
Washington, District of Columbia
Winnipeg, Manitoba


And my deepest thanks go to the following persons who submitted photographs:


Barbara Barnett
Caitlin Colson
Candice Cobb
Carol Dague
Chancy Kapp
Cheryl Desmond
Chris Mann
Dawn Waring
Doug Evans
Elaine Stolp
Ellen Thompson
Gary Wilson (special credit for the Sandy Cove photos)
Grace Adele Spruiell
Gwenna Moss
Heather McLean
Jason Williams
Jean Stokan
Jeanette Stokes
Jen Hargreaves
Karen Birely
Kate Gillis
Kim Boyes
Kim Ronald Smith
Linda Kline Kelly
Mary Casey
Mary Hunt
Mary Lou Jackson
Mary Pendergast
Mary Rich
Mary Helen Sandoval
Myrriah Jane Osborne
Pat Raymond
Patty Critchlow
Peggy Case
Priscilla Snyder
Sally Bullas
Susanne Litke
Tammie Rinker



If I missed anyone, my apologies.  Please let me know so that I can add your name.

video


For anyone who can't access the video here, you can find it on YouTube.

Compassion Piece
Words and Music by Carolyn McDade
©1990 Carolyn McDade
Used by permission; All Rights Reserved

Love's firmest ground lies beneath the fragile
Within the vuln'rable
She shouts her deepest prayer
Love's firmest ground lies beneath the fragile
Within the vuln'rable
God shouts Her deepest prayer
that we walk naked
naked with open arms
among the people who leave the master's house
Our love to grow strong clearing away the stones
for a harvest sown in justice
fresh with wonder
The powerful shall bend to the furrows
The humble shall lift their own grain
and we, earth's people, embrace without shame
desiring the golden field
for all earth's people

You ask me of compassion, ask me tomorrow
Did we rise up unready and leave the master's house
with people robbed of the fields?
You ask me of compassion, ask me tomorrow
Did we take but one loaf among us
and seeds for planting more,
wrapped so loosely in coats of equal thread?
You ask me of compassion, ask me tomorrow
Did we clear away stones when to clear away stones was
an act of subversion,
when to refuse not to love was to break some law?

You ask me of compassion, ask me tomorrow
Did we answer God's prayer for rain,
passing buckets from the river
hand to hand to hand to hand?
Did we answer Her prayer for rain,
passing buckets from the river
hand to hand to hand to hand?

I ask you ~ will compassion
walk past shadows, deep and many miles long
shouting defiance and hope?
walk past shadows, deep and many miles long
shouting defiance and hope?
Oh walk past shadows, deep and many miles long
shouting defiance and hope,
defiance and hope,
defiance and hope.
Oh, will you come and let me go with you?

1 comment:

  1. Not only a beautiful remembrance, but a call to continued action and a remedy for discouragement. Thank you.
    Watson's Barbara (Watson is a dog! Don't know how he took over)

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