Beginner's Mind

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nanci Wants Us to Remember

Nanci Griffith ends her writer's block with her new album, as she explains here. The title song is about Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who married in 1958 and got thrown in jail because of it. The supreme court threw out their conviction and overturned the Virginia law that forbade interracial marriage. Mildred passed away in 2008.

With all of the different styles of music she has written and recorded (including with the London Symphony Orchestra) it's neat to know she can still write a real folk song.

This brings me to mind the case of Holly Puterbaugh and Lois Farnam, who, along with two other couples, filed suit in Vermont court for the right to be married. The Vermont Supreme Court sided with them, but DID NOT legislate from the bench. Instead, the court turned the case over to the legislature and said, "Solve this, or we will." The result was the nation's first civil union statute, which has been copied in a few other states. This year, the Vermont legislature abolished civil unions and instituted gay marriage, even overturning Governor Douglas's veto.

It just so happen that Karen and I have met Holly and Lois, on a cruise on Lake Champlain put on by a cruise company. This was the year after we had taken a two week cruise to Alaska, and we brought our picture book along to show the folks. Holly and Lois decided to take the same cruise we did.

In any event, I was very excited to meet them. To me, they represent the spirit of Rosa Parks, combating an unjust law based on bad Biblical interpretation. They are a wonderful pair, not the kind of fire-breathing instigators of anarchy we expect to see in people on the frontiers of civil rights.

Nanci's CD can be found here, along with a video of the title song. Way to go, Nanci Griffith!