Friday, July 4, 2008

What Neil Diamond Really Meant


Every Fourth of July is another opportunity to review the great history of our country and reflect on the men and women who sacraficed so much to make life what it is for us today. People like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Betty Crocker, truly have made America a place of envious splendor.

It has been fun to unpack our lives together. Having spent the Fourth with Jamie's family last year, I new that several things would be crucial to helping her feel at home: patriotic pancakes, a little bit of Lee Greenwood, and a visit to a major furniture sale. I can gladly stand up (dum dum dum!) next to you and declare that we did all of these things, and after it all, we topped the day off with a little bit of traditional American goodness: Indian Food.

I commented to Jamie that we were the only "American-looking" people in the little tandoori restaurant, but I quickly added, "but what does 'American' look like, any way?". In the last couple of weeks I have undergone an intriguing metaphysical metamorphosis--all day long I take in the cultures and colors of the world, always absorbing the potpourri, and in a moment I am awakened in an aura of surprise as I glance at my hand or forearm only to find how pale it is. I am not ashamed, so much as I am curious about my role in the international swirl. The sensation of being woven into the detailed tapestry of the world is an awesome experience. I wouldn't say that I have become more racial aware; instead, I think that I have come to better comprehend the fathomless intricacies of humanity in all its variety.

Jamie and I stitched our way through Central Park, up and down the Upper West Side, and back to Queens. At some point late in the afternoon, as a timid rain that had been vacillating all day long, picked up courage and began to fly, I found myself sitting on a couch in one of the many furniture stores that we had visited throughout the day. I caught a peek at Jamie, radiant with peace. Here, in red, white, and blue-balloon strewn floor room, on a couch with threads poking through the seems, I found home. We bought that couch--the first piece of furniture for our little, one-bed room on the UWS.

I am coming to love this "brave new world that has such wondrous people in it"--Jamie and I are part of a marvelous mixture that would make Niel Diamond's words of the 1970s seem prophetic. Having been so right about people coming to America, I am now looking to Neil Diamond's lyrics to guide me in other areas of my life...I think I might be wearing blue jeans for quite a while.

3 comments:

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Wasn't it Lee Greenwood who sang "Proud to be an American?"
No matter, there are two types of people in the world: those who like Neal Diamond and those who don't.

The Wright Fam said...

Jon, what a good husband... you get extra brownie points for making the traditional 4th of July breakfast so jamie wouldn't feel as home sick! You're awesome!! Hope you guys had a great holiday weekend!