Soaking Up Inauguration Day

My emotional, mental, spiritual be-ing
is absorbing the hope and joy of the new day
soaking up the inspiration like a thirsty tree
in a desert that hasn’t seen rain for four years.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Oh man. Lady Gaga, and Klobuchar, JLo and Garth Brooks made me teary – and that didn’t surprise me, really. But I was really moved by Mike Pence’s presence and Mitch McConnell’s presentation of the flag to VP Harris – and… what the heck?! I never could have seen THAT coming. January sixth changed so much for our country – and not all of it was bad. In the end people I never would have expected became heroes. Whoah.

I’m feeling proud to be American again.

Celebrating You on This Inauguration Day

My dear friends –

We’re still here! We’ve lived through yesterday and made it to today and that has been no small feat.

On this Inauguration Day I celebrate you – each and every beautiful one of you! I celebrate your compassion, courage, and commitment to kindness. I celebrate your honesty, your decency, your charity. I celebrate your moral strength and integrity. I celebrate that you stand for justice; kneel for equality and fairness; and dance for the joy that no one can steal from you. You have transformed the world. You have made it a better place. You are a wonder.

A new day is dawning. Go out there and work your magic, my friends.
Karen

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

May: Sunrise over Skagit County, WA

A Year and a Day

On the nineteenth of January my father died
And so began the roller coaster ride
that was 2020 and 20 days –
a year we struggled to find our way.

At first there were empty streets and quiet weeks
of smogless skies and distant peaks
I found peace in the stillness – peace in the calm
That time alone was a much-needed balm.

But after – a montage of images flashes
now through my mind –
much of it dark, some of it kind –
exploding up, crashing down,
fire and rage all around
Our nation boils and seethes
and a Black man gasps, “I can’t breathe”

Veterans protect fathers with leaf blowers
who protect the mothers who protect our Black sons
and daughters from tasers and guns.
Ahmaud, Breonna, and George  – say their names
Black Lives Matter – our nation sits in shame
as bigots and bullies scramble to shift the blame –
and settle on “Karen” (which is really lame).

And a just woman with a doily collar
and a selfish man who keeps  up the holler
and lie of “Stop the steal”
and refuses to let the nation heal –
our neighbors reel and keel in their zeal –
fed rumors and news that are not real.

Dye runs down a lawyer’s face
a narcissist screams, “Show your strength!”
NAZI and Civil War flags fly in our streets
D.C. police pummeled and beat.
Racism and bullying and bigotry and hate,
caskets of COVID victims, rioters climb gates
Long lines for vaccinations, as people wait.

In the end the heroes win – as heroes always do –
they wear masks to protect each other – me and you –
they step up and vote and stop the coup –
they stand up for Breonna and Ahmoud and George –
and in the fiery fire a stronger land is forged.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Karen’s Wish List for America

What’s on your wish list – what would you like to see happen in the next year? Here are some of the things I’d like to see:
– bring back regulations to protect the environment
– make health care affordable and accessible to everyone
– at least for the next year – to get us through the financial crisis of the pandemic – turn the one-time stimulus checks into a $500 monthly universal basic income for all Americans
– create two more positions on the Supreme Court to balance out what we’ve got going on there right now
– rejoin Paris Climate Accord
– do away with the “Citizens United” thing and put an end to corporate donations to ANY politician or political group (duh, right?!)
– get rid of gerrymandering
– provide financial/medical/counseling support for our veterans
– provide free public education through a tech school or a four-year university degree (cancel student loan debt)
– raise the minimum wage to $15/hour
– raise the tax on the wealthiest 2%

What’s on your wish list?
Karen Molenaar Terrell

We Need to Acknowledge What Happened Last Week

I have friends questioning why congress is taking on Trump right now. Congress should be trying to take care of America and not wasting time with Trump, these friends say. And here’s my response to that:

Last week legislators were running for their lives, under siege for hours from pro-Trump extremists who’d been incited by Trump to storm the capitol building. Rioters were calling for the execution of Pence. A noose was displayed on the capitol grounds. Zip ties were brought. I don’t think anyone should be surprised that these same legislators – from both parties – now believe Trump should face consequences for his insurrection.

What he did – and continues to do – creating divisiveness, distrust in our democratic process, sowing hatred – the fire he’s created and continues to feed – IS the biggest problem our country faces right now. Our nation cannot continue on until the mess Trump has created is addressed, acknowledged, and dealt with.
-Karen Molenaaar Terrell

Glimmers of Hope

I’m searching for glimmers of hope these days – those “thousand points of light” a former president was always talking about. And I’m seeing some! I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the glimmers I’ve seen…

Patriots’ Bill Belichick rejects Trump’s Congressional Medal of Freedom
Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman hailed as a hero
Transcript of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s powerful speech
Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after the riots
Former Army Ranger Rep. Jason Crow comforts colleague and helps others put on gas masks
James Corden gives us hope
Lawmakers returned from their hours under siege to certify Joe Biden as the next president

“…Now, with the past few days, friends from all over the world have been calling and calling and calling me. Calling me distraught and worried about us as a nation. One woman was in tears about America, wonderful tears of idealism about what America should be. Those tears should remind us of what America means to the world. Now I’ve told everyone who has called that, as heartbreaking as all this is, America will come back from these dark days and shine our light once again…”
-Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
-Bill Belichick

“… I think if there is one thing that we can have after the last month in this country, it’s hope. You know, as an outsider growing up in England, I used to look to America as this beacon of light and possibility. A place where anything can happen, a place where you’d be lucky to work. A place where many people that I knew used to fantasize about living here. A place that gives an individual more opportunity than they would get elsewhere but cares for their fellow man. Today people across the world would have looked at these pictures from Washington and wondered, ‘what on earth has happened to this great country?’ But I truly believe, and make no mistake, that they know that the America that they admire still exists. They know that the America that so many aspire to will be back. It’s just been hijacked by a lunatic and his crazy army for the last four years…

“…on those same steps, where that mob fought and pushed past police, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the president of the United States.”
-James Corden

“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
-Anne Frank

“Progress is the law of God…”
-Mary Baker Eddy

The World Is in Need of Your Courage and Kindness

My dear Humoristian hooligans –
The world is in need of all the love and courage you can shine on it today – the world is in need of your reflection of all that is good and decent. You are important – each and every beautiful one of you – in your expressions of kindness, honesty, and irrepressible, unstoppable, insurmountable joy. May the scared, misguided and misinformed be awakened by your unwavering wisdom and unshakable faith in Truth. May the bullies and belligerent bigots be transformed by your buoyant, unbreakable belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood and kinship of all creatures. May we all help our world find peace.
Amen.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

If You Think…

If you think intimidation, threats, and violence are acceptable ways to run a democracy, you are not a patriot; You are a bully. If you think it’s alright to overturn an election that has been proven to be legitimate over and over and over again – by the courts, by security experts, and by state election officials of both parties – then you are not a patriot; You are a loser with tunnel vision. And if you think it’s acceptable to encourage and incite violence to force your will on a nation of people who voted you out of office, you are not a a patriot; You are a traitor to your country.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

During These Strange and Really Surreal Times

Pep talk to myself during these strange and really surreal times –

The Awakening

Fear not. Feel the movement of the universe
endlessly adjusting, unfolding, winging like
a great murmuration of birds in flight – moving
as one body in waves of Love on winds of Truth,
winking and twinkling in the joy of the Cosmos.
Unwinding, untangling, unfettered and free-flowing-
always moving towards Love, towards Truth,
towards Life – irrepressible, unstoppable, the mighty
inexhaustible, relentless power of justice, of wisdom,
of kindness and peace. All of creation pulled together
and pulling together – The Awakening.

Amen.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell. Skagit County, Washington.)

May: Sunrise over Skagit County, WA