Ode to Television — December 31, 1999
Today you are central nervous system to the planet at the pinnacle of health.
Thanks to your infinite powers and potential, today you give life to the world of
possibil possibilities open to us -- a planetary village -- when we join in cooperation.
Today we submit with joy to your goodness. Today you join hearts with the best in us,
inking us, the host of humanity, our brothers and sisters everywhere on the blue planet.
Today, in mere moments, you transport us around the world on your magical frequencies.
Today, we join Easter Island natives clad in grass skirts and loin cloths, bodies glistening
win rev with dance; in reverence we kneel to the promise of a new century. We welcome a new
slate on which to write a greater story in the brilliance of sky celebrations in Australia.
At the foot of the acropolis, bathed in awe, we stand silently in the glow of the Parthenon.
In humility we pause with the throng in Vatican Square to receive the pope’s blessing.
At the foot of Moscow’s domed wonders we gather with hope, and a new sense of kinship.
Floodlights on the pyramids of Egypt hold us, united, in their mysterious thrall.
Music, the language of humankind’s heart, binds us together as, painted like
Picasso clowns, gaily we dance to Mardi Gras music in faraway Uruguay.
In a garden of wild color and grace, we dance the Matador Ballet in Argentina.
In a rain of fireworks, we become one with a chorus of 100 children of Chile.
In the harbor of St. John’s, Newfoundland, we cheer as above our heads gargantuan
blossoms of fire bloom. With Diane Fossey we urge, “Rise, Africa, Rise!”
Amidst confetti clouds, eruptions of smoke, prayers burning the air, and the glittering
Waterford ball in Times Square descending, we join millions of partygoers to welcome
opportunity of a new tomorrow, a new year, a new decade, a new century, the eve of a
new millennium, and we breathe a simultaneous sigh of relief as Boris Yeltsin steps down.
We romp with revelers at Mexico City’s carnival, grow misty with the harmonic reminder:
“Love is All You Need.” We rock with the Bee Gees and Elton John in the U.S.A.,
join jubilee creatures in a conga line in San Juan, Puerto Rico, then in a blink in the wake
of the worst natural disaster in their history, we join valiant white-clad Mestizos in Venezuela,
hushed in humility by their bravery, spirit, determination, their reaching out and sharing.
We marvel at Doctors Without Borders at work in Africa, join our Canadian kin to sing
The Hymn to Love in 2000, aglow with the festival lights of Montreal.
We join voices in mystical chant with an ecumenical gathering on the River Jordan shore
to witness the first baptism of the new millennium of Mary Anne, a child of hope. We are
whisked to Israel for a concert at the Dead Sea, to “Ballet for Peace and a Better Future.”
For these precious fleeting hours all barriers become portals. Gateways. Promises. Portents.