Rise Up, American Love

Modified on: November 1, 2017

“Sube conmigo, amor americano…”

–Pablo Neruda, “The Heights of Macchu Picchu” from Canto General

With people throughout the world and across the American continents, we enter this month celebrating our dead, observing Samhain and Halloween, All Hallows’ and All Souls’ and el Día de Muertos, remembering those we have known and loved and those long passed from this earth,

remembering those who came before us, who gave life to us;

then with those we love, and with the love deep in our own being, with friends and family and a congregation of our own choosing, we will celebrate the Pride March & Festival, celebrating love and the eternal fight to honor and protect and advance it against the oppression and violence of history and culture and hatred,

remembering those who fought before us, who opened a way for us;

then with gratitude and grave reckoning we will remember the origins of this country and the freedoms we enjoy, remembering the encounters between indigenous peoples and European colonists, giving thanks for the generosity of the Patuxet and Wapanoag to help English Pilgrims survive their first winter in Massachusetts and to celebrate their first harvest the following year, mourning the innumerable indigenous deaths throughout our nation and our hemisphere that preceded and followed this all too rare occasion,

remembering those who our history so willingly erases, who call us to fight for the freedom of all people to survive, to live, and to thrive;

this month, we remember.

In a vast meditation on the history of our continent, of its grandeur and its tragedies, our fellow resident in the earth of these Americas, the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, writes of the power of this land and its many peoples to give life, of its pollenating and surging rivers to make even stone live, a metaphor for the power of love to revitalize what has been lost to time and death, and to summon us to live for what is most beautiful and most just, for the life of every being,

for the freedom of each one of us to live and to love in the fullness of who we are. Neruda sings:

“Sube conmigo, amor Americano…

“Rise up with me, American love.
 Kiss the secret stones with me.
 The torrential silver of the Urubamba
 makes the pollen fly to its yellow cup.
 It spans the void…
 Love, love, even the abrupt night…
 let time attain its stature…
 and rise up, flower by flower, through the dense growth…
 Come to my very heart, to my dawn,
 up to the crowned solitudes.
 The dead kingdom is still alive.”

Rise up, Love:

remembering, living, fighting, free.


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