In a future that feels almost like a past I’m positive is there—Celebrating our differences is one thing, living them is still something else. We are still sorted and described by the things that make us different (which, I suppose, is what the whole notion of "difference" is all about). As Kermit so famously sang, "It isn't easy being green." Kermit also sang:
But where? I think my life is still all conversation,
Only now it’s with myself. I can see it continuing forever,
Even in my absence, as I close the windows and turn off the lights
And it begins to rain.
- John Koethe, from Ninety-Fifth Street
Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side?Early morning dark, rain falling, weekday-getting-ready routine, mildly melancholy-infused thoughts, I suppose. What is the freedom of choice? "...an individual's opportunity and autonomy to perform an action selected from at least two available options, unconstrained by external parties." (Wikipedia's definition works as well as any I've seen). But, really, what isn't "unconstrained by external parties" in a connected society? Every free choice is a negotiation with some sort of cost or consequence, maybe very small or maybe large.
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong wait and see
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me
- from, The Rainbow Connection, written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher
Still, my grandmother takes my hand downtown
pulls me right past the restaurants that have to let us sit
wherever we want now. No need in making trouble,
she says. You all go back to New York City but
I have to live here.
- Jacqueline Woodson, from what everybody knows now
Life is nothing, if not complicated.
But I like a rainy tuesday early morning like this one. I move to the kitchen and turn on the back right stove burner, the smallest burner where my little espresso pot, already set up last night with finely ground yerba mate, waits. I microwave a cup of whole milk, and wait for the pot to build up pressure and force the water up through the mate and into the upper chamber. Combine: my mate latte is ready. The only latte choice remaining is whether to take the time to enjoy it here or pour it into my thermos and enjoy it when I get to campus. I grab my thermos.