To Scotland, however you should find yourself, this morning:
Oh, the many crazy faces you showed us in our five years of living with you, Scotland – quirky, bloodyminded, strange, silly, ferocious, friendly, vivid, cautious, different.
Town ride, Kilsyth.
A Shopping Fool, Stirling
Hens night oot! Mar Hall.
Springtime STYLIN’ in Stirling.
New friends, Quayside, Glasgow
Friendly adversaries, Charing Cross.
Old friends, Quayside
Sassy. West End, Glasgow.
And quite sweet. Bishopton.
Each face is you.
And, on this first morning, when neighbors step out to the newsagent together, and eyes meet over coffee, when the first news reports are spilling through the airways, we think of lovely, complex, vital you, and with your wise poet, we say:
The Morning After
Scotland, September 19th, 2014
Let none wake despondent: one way
or another we have talked plainly,
tested ourselves, weighed up the sum
of our knowing, ta’en tent o scholars,
checked the balance sheet of risk and
fearlessness, of wisdom and of folly.
It’s those unseen things that bind us,
not flag or battle-weary turf or tartan.
There are dragons to slay whatever happens:
poverty, false pride, snobbery, sectarian
schisms still hovering. But there’s
nothing broken that’s not repairable.
Read the whole of the poem by Christine De Luca at the Scottish Poetry Library, or listen to new voters recite it below.
To this varied and rich nation, today we say you have indeed dragons yet to slay, no matter what – regardless of what must be staggering disappointment for some, we Americans, accustomed to bitterly picking up and going on as well, salute you. You have done what we cannot – you have galvanized voices, and made people care. 97% voter registration throughout the country is AMAZING. Look at you! Now that your nation is awake and engaged — you have new eyes open, and new voices speaking and new hearts echoing courage. We fully expect you to embrace the democratic Utopia America has not as yet – and may never – achieve.
Good on ya, Scotland.