I wrote this poem in 1988 about a cross-country trip I took during the summer of 1985. I wrote this poem about nine of the most difficult weeks of my life. I just found this poem in a box of old papers that I brought with me to read and transcribe while working on my book about joy this summer. I reworked a little of it, but found that most of it still resonated.
In this week of violence in this year of violence in this decade of violence in this century of violence, it strikes me how little has changed. And yet I have one shred of hope. That I have changed. That I no longer feel like that hopeless twenty-something-year-old. Because I now know that I am here, that we are all here, to change the world, to stop the violence, to live the poems of our lives that can bring about the real revolution -- the Revolution of Love.
A few days ago on the radio I heard Bonnie Raitt talk about the change that she and her generation (including Jane Fonda) brought about in the 1960s. Some of it has lasted. The changes to the nuclear movement. The end of the war in Vietnam. But in many ways, we find ourselves back to where we were -- in the hatred, bigotry, and fear that is causing so much death and sorrow.
The world revolution as defined in the dictionary often implies violence. But I believe that what is needed now is a Radical Revolution of Love. Love is the only thing that can quell the fear that is engendering this senseless violence. And we can, we must start right where we are -- by seeing one another through the eyes of love. To speak love, to speak up and out in love, and to live love. We begin with kindness. Gandhi said, "The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." To make American kind again is our most urgent necessity. . .and this July, 240 years after we resolved to give everyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, each of us must resolve to be the foot soldiers of kindness in the only poem America deserves: A Revolution of Love.