this is a revolution

February 8, 2012
It is the summer of 1789 and you are heading towards the Bastille. You don't know what's going to happen in two days, in two hours, in two minutes. You don't know, but as you surge forward, something in your chest breaks free, choking frenzied words in your throat. The sun is in your eyes, but you think that it's the most beautiful day you've ever seen.

It is the summer of 1814 and the dinner table in the White House has forty empty seats. Between the numbers of times your fingers brush over the ink and number of times you smooth over the folds, the slip of parchment from your husband telling you to evacuate is soft and pliant. You memorize the curve of the letters and slip them into your heart. Your shadow falls across the painting of George Washington. You pause. The sky will be filled with red flickering flames and fading gray smoke, but you believe in the freedom depicted in George's fiery blue eyes.

It is the summer of 1966 and you are part of the Red Guards, cheering wildly as you catch glimpses of Chairman Mao between the wave of shaking hands and flags. You're with them, just as they are with you. On top of the Tian An Men, two ants scuttle around. Praise of socialism, of democracy. What you hear is praise of the whole, how you are changing the fate of your nation, how you are part of this movement. You’re going to change the world.

It is the fall of 2011 and you are in Liberty Plaza with other Occupy Wall Street protestors. Someone is dropping a heavy beat and there is the smell of weed in the air. Signs litter the ground and wide-eyed tourists pass with their cameras shivering in their hands. You clutch a Starbucks coffee in your left hand and a laptop in your right. A policeman watches you with bright, searching eyes, fingers flitting over his holster. Maybe he’s part of the 99% too.

You believe in revolutions. So do I.

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