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Monday, April 11, 2016

Every now and then -- in rummaging through old papers something of worth reappears ... 

This is a song written when we were living in the (white) suburbs.  It was some time in the Sixties, at a time before acceptance of our presence in the community had arrived.  Within weeks of this photo I suffered a mental break that would bring a 3-year period of recovery and the beginnings of the life of discovery that would ensue.   From the accumulated trauma of trying to adapt to an irrational world, my weight had dropped to 89 pounds at this point, as I remember.  (click on photo)

One of the boys had been stoned by teenagers driving by as he rode his bike from Slo Sams, the little grocery store just down the road and across the creek.  He was quite young, and too strong to cry, but too young to understand the venom the act expressed, or, how to deal with the hurt it caused.

There was no way to explain to that questioning little face, except to take him into my arms and hold  him close enough to sooth us both.

After he was calmed and ready to move on, I wrote this:

Singing this song at Asilomar

Where is my brown-skinned heart to hurry?
Where will I find my song?
Why must my mind be just for worry?
To whom does my dream belong?

What are my hands to hold this morning?
Where is my place in the sun?
With what shall I fill this time of yearning?
Whose will shall be done?

The fruit of my labor will tumble in soon
in search of my love and my lead
gave all I had when they left this morning.
Why don't they know that little souls bleed?

Where is my brown-skinned heart to hurry?
To whom does my dream belong?
Why must my mind be just for worry?
Who will hear ...  my ... song ... ?
This is the Betty who still lives inside, and who views current successes with a jaundiced eye at times; never quite completely trusting it.

But it's clear that my song was eventually heard, all the way to Washington, D.C., and wouldn't it be great if all of our songs could be?

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