Monday, September 29, 2008

10 years ago...

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.

The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken,"
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate";
But you will be called, "My delight is in her,"
And your land, "Married";
For the LORD delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So your sons will marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent
You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;

And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm,
"I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies;
Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored."
But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD;
And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.
Go through, go through the gates,
Clear the way for the people;
Build up, build up the highway,
Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.

Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, "Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him."
And they will call them, "The holy people,
The redeemed of the LORD";
And you will be called, "Sought out, a city not forsaken."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Appreciate the path that was paved

I’ve TOTALLY forgotten to mention that I recently gave up my Texasness

and became a Coloradoian.

I did it purely and solely for the purpose of being able to vote. I’m REALLY passionate about voting- especially you girls out there!

After the last Presidential election, I got up early, voted, came home, and Iron Jawed Angels was on HBO. OH MY GOODNESS. EVERYONE needs to see this. It’s all about the fight for women’s right to vote. I had NO idea. None. We take so much for granted. I was appalled and fascinated with what they had to go through just so we could share the basic principle of what our country was founded on. I wanted to go back to the polls and ask to cast my vote again- just so I could take a moment to appreciate the fact that I could.
And obviously, this is a vitally important election…and there’s NO way I could sit by and not vote. Especially being here in CO- where it’s a swing state- and my vote would DEFINITELY make a difference.
So on August 26th, on the actual anniversary of women finally getting the right to vote- I realized I’d been procrastinating long enough- and decided to go down, get a CO drivers license and register to vote. It was an extremely impromptu decision…and I wasn’t looking my MOST cutest on that day. ;-) So I kept debating- what was more important to me, registering on the anniversary…or looking cutie for my dl pic? I was actually leaning toward the anniversary side, and decided to live with a pic that probably wasn’t gonna turn out cute anyways. BUT- I actually had to run home to get my passport- so you’ll be happy to know that I stopped everything, straightened my hair, applied lots of makeup, grabbed cute earrings…and ran to get it done. I figured it was not a good idea to become a Colorado citizen and immediately give into the Stronghold of Frumpiness.

Now the DMV is a realllllllly interesting place. Every person there seems to be depressed or angry about something. I kept wishing I had a camera just so I could take pictures to blog about it.

So my actual license came yesterday. Apparently my efforts to look cute were completely in vain. It is bad. Bad, I tell you. I seem to be higher than the camera- yet my face is looking up- but my eyes are off in the distance somewhere. I have a funny, not quite smile, but more like a disgusted scowl look on my face. (like I'm smelling something bad) AND- it looks like I just spent the summer using Sun-In on my hair- because it has this odd orange hue to it. I had to run to the mirror immediately to double check the fact that my hair wasn’t really that shade and I had just been lying to myself. I can’t imagine what it would have looked like if I had chosen NOT to make an effort.

Anyways- I got to register to vote-on the actual anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Things like that (dates) are important to me- and Iron Jawed Angels was such an eye opening movie- that I DID take a moment to appreciate the privilege that I once took for granted.

I will leave you with part of an email I received this week (it wasn't written by me!):

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed, nonetheless, for picketing the White House and carrying signs asking for the vote. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns (pictured), chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women. Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, (pictured) embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press. So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depictionof the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder. All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient. My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was angry with herself. “One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,” she said. “What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.” The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her all over again. HBO released the movie on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said,and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. VOTE.