My sister Jane and I were mesmerized audience members when I first "met" Amanda Gorman on November 11, 2019 at a Together Rising event in NYC at The Town Hall.
She is young, charismatic, passionate, intelligent (Harvard, Class of 2020), and tremendously talented. She is the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and she can now add Inaugural Poet of 2021 to her extensive resume. Amanda is a wordsmith activist!
From a pool of over 20,000 applicants she was offered a position as a NYT contributor with college students and recent graduates as her audience.
She is the face of Prada.
She has a TED-Ed Student Talk.
Her long term goal? President 2036.
Watching her perform her works is the literal definition of "poetry in motion."
If you missed her poem at the Presidential Inauguration yesterday, never fear, I have linked it below. I urge you to check out ALL of her spoken word poems. Vibrant. Electric. Magical. ALL the adjectives. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Where else can you find her?
She wrote the forward for the book "Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower."
She has written her first children's book, "Change Sings" which will be released on September 21, 2021.
She is also releasing a book of poems.
The Hill We Climb
When day comes,
we ask ourselves
where can we find light
in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade,
we’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet
isn’t always peace.
And the norms and notions
of what “just is”
isn’t always just-ice.
And yet, the dawn is ours
before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered
a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country
and a time
where a skinny black girl
descended from slaves
by a single mother
of becoming president
only to find herself
reciting for one.
And yes, we are
far from polished,
far from pristine,
but that doesn’t mean
we are striving to form
a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge
our union with purpose.
a country committed
to all cultures,
And so we lift our gazes
not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide
because we know
to put our future first,
we must first
put our differences aside.
We lay down
so we can reach out
to one another.
We seek harm to none
and harmony for all.
Let the globe,
if nothing else,
say this is true.
That even as we grieved,
That even as we hurt,
That even as we tired,
that we’ll forever be tied
we will never again
we will never again
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit
under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade,
but in all the bridges we’ve made.
is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb
if only we dare it.
Because being American
is more than a pride
It’s the past
we step into
we repair it.
We’ve seen a force
that would shatter our nation
rather than share it.
Would destroy our country
if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy
can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth,
in this faith
we have our eyes
on the future,
has its eyes on us.
This is the era
of just redemption.
We feared it
at its inception.
We did not feel prepared
to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour,
but within it,
we found the power
to author a new chapter,
to offer hope and laughter
so while once we asked,
how could we possibly
prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert,
how could catastrophe possibly
prevail over us?
We will not
to what was,
to what shall be
that is bruised,
We will not
be turned around
because we know
our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance
of the next generation.
become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
if we merge mercy with might
and might with right,
becomes our legacy
our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind
a country better than
the one we were left.
With every breath
from my bronze-pounded chest
we will raise this wounded world
into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West.
We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake rimmed cities of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
in every known nook of our nation,
in every corner called our country
our people diverse and beautiful
will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes,
we step out of the shade
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms
as we free it.
For there is always light.
we’re brave enough
to see it.
we’re brave enough
to be it.
I don't follow this trend. I don't even try to. I like too many words. I like too many sayings. And sometimes, a single word just isn't enough.
IF I was going to choose a word, it would be for everyone, every day.
B R E A T H E
Have you "met" these young men yet? Twin brothers, Tim and Fred listen to songs they've never heard before and give you their thoughts. It's a trip down a rabbit hole if you've got some time and well worth it.
Rappers Delight - a song with A LOT of words!
This weekend, I had the privilege of participating in a virtual retreat organized by my dear friend Kacey. It was filled to the brim with information, love, joy, tears, self care, self love, and laughter.
Yesterday I read cards for 18 women. E I G H T E E N. That might be a record for me. It was absolutely marvelous. I did my hair. I put on a fancy shirt and sparkly jewelry. I wore makeup AND I added magnetic eyelashes. I was all that, let me tell you.
Today, I participated in my pajamas, sans makeup, with my hair in a ponytail. I am a huge fan of Sunday's in jammies. It is a leftover feeling from my salon days when we worked Thursday through Saturday like crazy people. All I wanted to do on Sunday's was veg out. Today, I did put on a bra, I participated, I caught up with what I missed all while I was cozy. It's been a supremely lovely day.
There is something to be said about a virtual retreat. You may miss the real life camaraderie of your fellow attendees and sharing meals. BUT, you can do the whole retreat in your jammies, or without your screen on, or in whichever way works best for you. It is a new and unique experience.
I'll keep you posted for what gets dreamed up next.
Ease into 2021...there's still 362 days to figure it out.
This is a magnificent 6 minutes of your time.
Alison Jolicoeur was a presenter at the event; she is magical.
Do you all remember 2012-2103 when I wrote a blog post every.single.day.? I can't say for certain that I am returning to that, but I have so much I want to say and share and I *know* you've been waiting with baited breath for my return.
Let's recap 2020, shall we?
TL;DR - in which I recap the year, celebrate a few family moments, and share my mom's Uterine Cancer diagnosis and also let you all know she's doing very well.
* On December 31, 2019 we celebrated our 12th year of New Year's Eve fun with our friends the Tandy's. We fully expected to repeat that last night. We did not. I still made lasagna and we had Italian bread and it was delicious. I missed the annual catch up of whatever adult kids happen to be joining us for dinner and I missed our friends. Instead of yawning in Claire's living room I said, "the hell with it," and went to bed by 10:30. Yawning issue fixed.
* In February Kathy and I sold the salon. I knew I had to take the month of March off to regroup and get the Magic Basement magical. I needed to back away from all things salon and move full speed ahead into maggiepinque.com. This gave Shelley, Leslie and Justine the opportunity to create their own brand and make the place theirs. (I don't know if you know this but I tend to have a rather memorable personality.) They needed the time to own their social media accounts and let the clients celebrate them. They have created beautiful content filled to the brim with hair galore - something I never quite managed to do.
* In March I started creating my new work environment. I had made myself a marvelous room at the salon, and now all the artful objects of that room were in boxes in my basement. I got to work. Unloading. Hanging new items, archiving old items. Jane and I went to the 92Y on March 10 to see Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach talk about Glennon's book "Untamed". And then our world totally and completely changed. Peter began working at home on March 16. Bella began on March 17. I made a dreadful St. Patrick's Day corned beef. Seriously, it was quite nearly inedible. We played Phase One. We had cocktail hours. We were a family making magic happen. Until this life became routine. And then we figured out how to live and work and be together day in and day out. We began a Buckley family Zoom call every Sunday at 4:00.
* In April I began doing Facebook Live Card Readings. It was 100% for my own sanity and the sanity of others. I showed up every day at 10:15 and twice on Wednesday's - in the morning and in the evening. I can honestly say people who didn't know each other became friendly and in some cases friends. I was reading people from the Philippines, the UK, and Taiwan. I kept at this until the end of May.
* In May we celebrated our 25th Anniversary like any other day.
* In June we celebrated Bella's 23rd birthday with a made from scratch cake. My niece Colleen took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville.
* In July we celebrated the 4th of July by doing nothing.
* In August my mom hopped on a plane to NY from Florida and settled into living at Jane and Brian's house. My first grand nephew Alden was born. He is charming and beautiful and all the adjectives.
* In September I ordered all the pieces to redo the kids bathroom since the tub is leaking from the inside through the outside soffits. GOOD TIMES. Important side note: the tub was backordered and was delivered on December 7. We celebrated my mom's 85th birthday party safely and socially distanced in the McCarthy's backyard. On September 26 my niece Jennifer and her fiancé Dalton skipped off to Nashville and eloped! The bride was radiant and glorious, the groom dapper and the setting old world charm.
* In October we began the long awaited patio in the back year. By long awaited, I mean over 15 years. I cannot stress how life changing this is. Of course, patio furniture is all made in China and thus impossible to find, so next year we shall get on that. In the meantime we have a total of two Adirondack chairs that we are enjoying when it's not too cold. I brought mom to Stewart Airport the last weekend of October and she headed back to the warmth that is Florida in the winter.
* In November we celebrated Thanksgiving with fried chicken cutlets, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. For the record, it was so yummy and Bella had cutlets for lunch for days. It was really hard to not be celebrating in our normal way with family. We gobbled anyway. My niece Caitlan (mama to Alden) and her partner Kyle bought a house! It is a stupendous fixer upper with tons of room, so many fabulous nooks and crannies and a gorgeous piece of property.
* In December I purged "the other side of the basement" and the house of over 200 items. HOW can one place have that much stuff you wonder? Well, being a highly crafty person, I had an insane amount of items I was waiting to create or alter or use in some way. That thinking led to a lot of dust over the past 10 years. And so, with my iPhone, an Excel spreadsheet and the FB group, Buy Nothing, I went on a wild spree of gifting anything and everything I knew it was time to let go of. I cannot stress how freeing this all was. We also found out my mom had Uterine Cancer. Jane immediately flew down to Florida and has been our go to person and world class communicator extraordinaire. As of this second, Peg has had all the surgery necessary via the miracle of robotic, laparoscopic means and will have a pretty tremendous recovery. There are still a few treatments she will have to undergo, but all in all, she's doing mighty amazingly for a gal who was diagnosed at the beginning of December to the end of December. We celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the core four Pinque's and we don't take for granted that we all still like and love each other.
In the category of things that made a difference:
* Now that I am no longer sitting at the front desk of a hair salon I have let my hair show it's natural sparkles and silver. It's taking a while to grow in but all in all I love it.
* Speaking of hair, I jumped on the all in one styling tool wagon and now, more often that not, my hair is down rather than in a pony tail. The '80's have returned with this product and my hair generally looks good!
* The commercials won me over and I purchased the Waterpik Sonic Fusion Flossing Electric Toothbrush. This toothbrush made a difference in ONE WEEK. So much so that I became to poster child for the dental hygienist.
As we move forward in 2021, let's celebrate all the things that were amazing. Let's celebrate the things we did that helped us hang on. But let's never forget the tireless work of everyone who was essential. Can you fathom no food? Can you fathom no medical support? Of course not. Hug those you can. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Celebrate and thank every educator you know; what they managed to make happen is nothing short of miraculous. Imagine the money you saved by not commuting; not to mention that you finally got a decent nights sleep. Zoom brought people together in ways we never could have pictured in it's its own kind of brilliance. Send love to each person you know who suffered a loss. These are trying times and staying optimistic tested the most positive of us. Remember you are the world to the people who know and love you.
Sending you blessings of love, laughter, abundance, excellent health, wealt, peace, creativity and great joy.
Raise your glass to 2021.
So raise your glass if you are wrong,
In all the right ways,
All my underdogs,
We will never be never be, anything but loud
And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks
Won't you come on and come on and raise your glass,
Just come on and come on and raise your glass