Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.
Most often seen as an impervious block, this creature’s putty-like insides allow it to assume other obstructive shapes when needed. Once shunned as a downer among the formerly happy warriors on both sides of the bestiary, the Gridlock is now embraced by an over-represented but powerful legislative majority, in opposition to executive action, that seeks to extend the unremarkable status quo. Indeed, there seems no shame in letting the Gridlock hang around indefinitely, notwithstanding its complete lack of manners, indifference to common decency, and antiquated personal hygiene. This is seen by some as dangerous to the stuffy norms of the bestiary, and that may be so, but more dangerous still will be the day that the Gridlock becomes the friend of every legislative majority, regardless of political affiliation. On that day the insides of the Gridlock may just ossify in place, creating a dangerous and permanent blockage.
Driving in the midnight snow with the top down and a tree stuffed into the back seat. That’s how they remember him, the few that saw him, accidentally, sneaking in as they were in the wee hours, from a holiday card game or a girlfriend’s apartment. Christmas Eve, back then, when the winters were colder and lit with fat colored bulbs. A phantom sliding along in the streets, leaving Christmas trees on the porches of shut-ins. It happened for some years in the neighborhood and then faded away, but with a resonance, leaving many of us, years later, still peeking out at our porches each Christmas morning, to see if something was left there overnight…
In the mean, there will be moving – much moving, places to go again, futures to make and remake. Writers shaking the plume. Virtuous benefactors vindicated. Rogues redeemed.
The coming age galvanized the generations young enough to suspect that a bit of time was left to put right when had been wrongly placed; enough time to find peace and nurture it dearly, and to live, live, desperately live, with empathy, kindness, and a resolve that the legacy left would be restorative.
The slow building of the sound of reawakening moved them from their apathy and into the syncopated march of the future. The dance of the new world begins again.
Outside, the feeling of liberation belied a rebirth of community. Poets expressed their understanding of the new covenant with their words; dancers did so with their bodies. Correspondents presented the big and small events without embellishment; there was no need to guild this blossoming lily. Leaning into the cameras, they said “Look; see.” and pointed to the scenes of enterprise and empathy, of collaboration and kindness; of relief, as the breath of possibility spread over the nation like a cool breeze.