While I have been watching the rapid decline and fall of much that I hold dear, it has been difficult to stay focused on the things which truly matter. I was one of the millions of Americans who poured out of their homes into the streets on V-J Day – a day of wild joy and abandon. Horns honking, people weeping with relief, hugging and kissing, yes of strangers even. We were overcome by unrestrained emotion. Pent up tension erupted all over the country as if a compressed spring had just been let loose somewhere. We had no place to go, but we had to go somewhere just to let the emotions of happiness and worry flow out. It was over, and we were safe. There had been a challenge, a huge one, and America had risen to meet it. We had made it through. Part of the emotional release rose from the very real uncertainly of victory. There had been some dark, scary times which we as a nation absorbed without wanting to acknowledge. But now we were safe.
Fast forward to today – and indeed it has been fast, trust me – and the nation that was celebrating then is not recognizable. The state of our country is in such disarray that if some Rip Van Winkle from that day came back he would think he had gone mad. Today I read that a school in Ohio had to take down a picture of Jesus because “it could cause someone irreparable harm.” On top of that they were assessed a fine around $90,000. Then I read of a busload of tourists, both American seniors and foreign travelers were turned out of a hotel in Yellowstone at gunpoint! I could go on and on, but the point is, we as a nation have gone mad. The division, rancor and restiveness increases daily. The war has been declared and many of us are just now realizing it.The question is, is it too late to muster the troops necessary to turn it around, to reclaim that which has been lost? Do we have the resolve and character to do it? The uproar over shutting the World War II vets out of their memorial says that at least there are some who honor who they were, and are, and what they represent in our history.
So as I watched, and grieved tonight, I started playing some of my music. Bach’s Passacaglia in C Minor filled the room and suddenly my spirit soared, lifted on the wings of sound, the work of a creative genius. Surrounded by weavings of chords, heavenly sounds indeed, restoration came to my troubled heart, reminding me there is a higher reality, an unchanging truth. There is where I need to keep my mind and heart. All else is chaos.