Once upon a time, a passing stranger sent me into exile. I was downtown in front of the Federal Building with a small crowd assembled to protest war in the Persian Gulf; he was in a black Ford pickup. As the truck roared by he leaned most of his upper body out the window to give me a better view of his finger, and he screamed "Hey, bitch, love it or leave it!"
So I left.
As the time drew near, my feet balked. I dreaded leaving my kind new place [Spain] to return to [excerpted] ...The place I was told to love or leave.
I found I could do neither. Not wholeheartedly. But like the boy who fought the Jabberwock in Through the Looking Glass, I took my vorpal sword in hand. For the sake of the people who love me and the sight of the mountains that move my soul, I would come galumphing back, to face the tyranny of words without meaning and monsters beyond my kin.
I came back because leaving was selfish. A country can be flawed as a marriage or a family or a person is flawed, but "Love it or leave it" is a coward's slogan. There's more honor in "Love it and get it right." Love it, love it. Love it and never shut up.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Love it and never shut up.
Yes, I realize my posting has been slim. Give it time, I'll come back. In the meantime, here's a counter to the "love it or leave it" crowd. It's a quote from Barbara Kingsolver's Jabberwocky.