In American art of the 19th century Cole and others of the Hudson School, made grand scale paintings of their new homeland, seem almost heroic and an ideal world, where one could live the idyllic life. The Arcadian or Pastoral State depicts life for an idealist in a world of woman and children living fearlessly, in a world of vast green meadows, and ancient trees. The lake and mountain peak represent abundance, and a towering presence; almost of a protective spirit, for nature’s fecundity. An ancient seer, sits on a rock with his walking stick, philosophizing about the purpose of life, in the left foreground. The whole scene made me aware of a strange dream that has haunted me all my life.
I want that Arcadian life and want to be on the shores of the water that looks up at the high peaks. My life has been searching for that green meadow, where I too can covert with my friends and companions. The towering ancient trees to gather under on a summer day, when life is easy and flows with the rhythms of nature. There I will dance with my love, and someone will sing that love song, which we know from time immemorial, and it always strings those loving emotions, within our innermost feelings. I could stir up from an afternoon of laziness, and then take a walk along lover’s lane, and then just remember that I had planned; to enjoy just that moment, with just this companion. My longing for that green meadow in my dream, was more than just a search for a physical space, but a yearning for something much more.
So now that we have elected a new President I feel it may be time to return to that green meadow. I have much to be thankful for and no new elect is going to get me down. Our upbringings and views could not be more diverse and yet he will lead us for the next four years or more. The moral value gap is becoming a chasm and human clues and scientific views are wasted on a man who promotes coal when we have proven better green options available for our future energy needs. I am not white and do not find Muslims or other minorities a threat to my existence. I respect women’s right to choose not only their mates but also when they want to reproduce and my concept of inner beauty is different from a person’s color or physical appearance. Humanity and our fellow creatures are all on this earth together and we have a greater responsibility to use our intelligence to provide a better environment. If we do not allow the green meadows to flourish, then who will?
It may be time to move to that pastoral state, as the State of our Union has just soured, in many of our mouths. The concept of America, and how we want to live, has just been spoken from our meadows and hills. We have chosen a man, who has promised to make America great again, and his choices of who will help him do that, is clear. It is a path that does not lead to the idyllic canvas that Cole painted, but is a different reality consisting of imagined slights, pain,anger and hate. The world depicted of division and just plain meanness towards those not as fortunate to have been born white, Christian and European are now not part of the civic society. The more I hear and see, the more I need my green meadow and friends to come with me. Let us revive the old dreams and play the old love songs; and spend an afternoon, with our loved ones, in my green meadow.