Scrubbing Away the Gray

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

September 2020 

There is no literature or poetry in this White House. 

No music.

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 
play golf.
There are no images of the first family 
enjoying themselves together in a moment 
of relaxation.
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

September 2020 

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

Hold tight…


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