In conceptualizing ourselves and our presence in a complicated cosmos, we might imagine that whatever combination of fate and will and randomness rules our universal realm has cast us upon the shores of space and time, where the stuff of existence sojourns alongside us and presents opportunities—and these utterly unexpected possibilities manifest as both miracle and mandate for creatures with the consciousness to exercise such options—to attain some perch from which to ponder and seek both to apprehend and to impact the vast intertwining complexity of All-That-Is.
Quote of the Day
“We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family.You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom. When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the ‘crime’ of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed.The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: ‘Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.’ He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile. We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.” Mildred Loving, on the fortieth anniversary of the decision in Loving versus Virginia
This Day in History
Today in the United States is Loving Day, to commemorate the key civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, and, around the our fair planet—in spite of over a century of U.S. Supreme Court opposition from the mid-1800’s to the mid-1900’s—celebrates World Day Against Child Labor; in jolly England six hundred thirty four years back, insurgents in the Peasants’ Revolt gathered together at Blackheath, in contemporary suburban London, in preparation for battle; a hundred twenty-one years subsequently, in 1550, a
Swedish King took credit for founding a city, Helsinki, that now is part of the Finnish nation;
Numero Uno—“‘To seize a character, even that of one man, in its life and secret mechanism, requires a philosopher; to delineate it with truth and impressiveness is work for a poet. How then shall one or two sleek clerical tutors, with here and there a tedium-stricken esquire, or speculative half-pay captain, give us views on such a subject? How shall a man, to whom all characters of individual men are like sealed books, of which he sees only the title and the covers, decipher from his four-wheeled vehicle, and depict to us, the character of a nation? He courageously depicts his own optical delusions; notes this to be incomprehensible, that other to be insignificant; much to be good, much to be bad, and most of all indifferent; and so, with a few flowing strokes, completes a picture, which, though it may not resemble any possible object, his countrymen are to take for a national portrait. Nor is the fraud so readily detected: for the character of a people has such a complexity of aspect, that even the honest observer knows not always, not perhaps after long inspection, what to determine regarding it. From his, only accidental, point of view, the figure stands before him like the tracings on veined marble,—a mass of mere random lines, and tints, and entangled strokes, out of which a lively fancy may shape almost any image. But the image he brings with him is always the readiest; this is tried; it answers as well as another; and a second voucher now testifies its correctness. Thus each, in confident tones, though it be with a secret misgiving, repeats his precursor; the hundred-times-repeated comes in the end to be believed; the foreign nation is now once for all understood, decided on, and registered accordingly; and dunce the thousandth writes of it like dunce the first.”—Edinburgh Review, No. xlvi. p. 309.