I received a beautiful essay by Elayne Griffin Baker called The Gray House ( see below) a reflection on our current political climate.
I was very moved by it and was led to respond. The ECLP team aspires to live in a fear-free and inclusive world, where Hope Reigns.
The Gray House
By Elayne Griffin Baker
There is no literature or poetry in this White House.
No Kennedy Center award celebrations.
There are no pets in this White House.
No loyal man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat.
No kids science fairs.
No times when this president takes off his
blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki
pants uniform and hides from Americans to
There are no images of the first family
enjoying themselves together in a moment
No Obama’s on the beach in Hawaii
moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.
I was thinking the other day of the summer
when George H couldn’t catch a fish
and all the grandkids made signs and
counted the fish-less days.
And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
Where did that country go? Where did all of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go?
We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
We used to have a president that calmed and
soothed the nation instead of dividing it.
And a First Lady that planted a garden
instead of ripping one out.
We are rudderless and joyless.
We have lost the cultural aspects of
a society that makes America great.
We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.
The cheering on of others.
The shared experiences of humanity that make it all worth it.
The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.
The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
We have lost so much in so short a time.”
Elayne Griffin Baker
In Response to The Gray House: Scrubbing away the Gray
By Kathryn Torres
Societies falter when we forget to listen to poets and dreamers
Don’t take heed of the long-red-tie-we all know the emperor has no clothes anyway
In the spirit of RBG, let the scribe write truth, the poet sing, the songbird soar
Let’s raise the roof and raise the bar, and raise our voices
Bring the grown-ups back, calm troubles, ease fears
Give voice to hope, and healing, and build back better
To those who “rule”- we yearn to see ourselves in you
Reflecting empathy and compassion
Friends and family who support, love, and value each other
We crave being caught up in the joy of life,
Unafraid and fearless to love who we love
May a hopeful new generation rise
Award kindness, care, and humility
Celebrate friendships and mans’ best friend
Bringing the sound of playfulness, genuine laughter, normality, simple pleasures
Make time to value what’s truly important
Acknowledge that we possess more similarities than differences
Seek values shared, celebrate and revere our joint humanity
Recall a time where with respect, we listened
Care enough to return to that place
Step up, with renewed purpose, come out of the shadows
We want to feel part of something whole-and-wholesome-and-natural-and-normal-and HUMAN again
Enjoy the freedom of unplugged beauty
Embrace the outdoors, stay safe, close to home, value each other
Relish small pleasures
Find time for family connection, meals shared
A job well done, pride in our collective path
Our zest for life restored
Simple pleasures restore and soothe our anxious minds
The roses will return, the purple-blue irises thrive
Our shared sense of responsibility
Our care for others
WILL remain our North Star