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      b23 21Women in theater, as in most professions, have long had poor representation and precious little respect for their intelligence. Although an unforgettable icon of theater, the hype around Marilyn Monroe as flaky and overly sexualized, plus the sad and unclear circumstances of her early death at age 36 in 1962 tends to sell her short and overshadow a more nuanced perspective of this actor.

      b22 21“She stole the show.” That's what I heard the newscasters say about Amanda Gorman after the Inauguration ceremonies concluded.  She had read her own poem, "The Hill We Climb," which she finished writing after the rioters stormed the halls of Congress.  At age 22 she's the youngest inaugural poet in US history. She reads with wonderful vocal and facial expression and with the conviction of a woman of color saying, in poetry, "We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another." 

      b2121Yesterday I posted Richard Blanco's poem that he read at Barack Obama's inauguration eight years ago. I heard Blanco speak last year and have been intrigued with him and his poetry ever since. I heard him read this poem “One Today” as well as others from his book HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY. When exploring a working phrase for this new Hamilton-Gibson year (last year was “All Shall Be Well”) I kept coming to the notion of together and unity and connection. I was reminded of Blanco's poem and was not surprised at the theme of the inauguration we watched yesterday: America United.

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      I heard on News the other morning that Anthony Fauci thought that “theaters might re-open in the Fall.” That made me wonder: what did people in the US think in 1943? Did they believe that the war would be over soon? Did they think it would never end? Somewhere in between? How did the ongoing nature of the catastrophe make them feel?

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