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Today on July Fourth




Today is Thursday, a seemingly ordinary day, just like any other summer day may be. 


I am walking at Liberty Station early in the morning, enjoying the charm of this green urban park I seek often.  


My steps take me right to the pole carrying an unusually large American flag. 

Yellow and red roses, four magnolia trees and green bushes surround the tall stark pole.  I look up. The sky is as blue as it can be on this Fourth of July and my eyes follow the undulating flag making a flapping pleasant sound above my head. 


 It is the same familiar music I know from my grandma’s cherry orchard where she would put her white sheets very high up by propping the clothes line with a huge eight- foot pole. The white sheets would flap away bringing life into the solemn orchard.


I lean backwards and I stare at the flag. It is beautiful in its blue, white and red colors. All these years I have been living in America since the Fourth of July 1992, this flag has never lost its enticing flavor for me. It has never lost its excitement.


From the time I was young, I had been voraciously reading American literature: Kerouac, Williams Carlos Williams, Saroyan, Ferlinghetti, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Ginsberg, Hemingway, di Prima, Rexroth, Whitman, and such, and  I was bitten by passion and wild dreams to visit one day that magical land where everything seemed possible. 


Then came the films showing the American lifestyle. I will never forget that hot summer day in Czech when our extended family went to see a premiere of Kramer vs. Kramer in a small outdoor cinema. We came back to our summer house and discussed till wee hours the content of the film and that land “America”, that colorful world, with all of those luxuries of what would be a normal American household: those everyday hip clothes Americans wore (jeans!!), that orange juice flowing in gallons, a towel made out of paper and miles of it right there on a wall dispenser, and a phone with the longest cord you can run around a block with it, and shoes on inside of the house, and everyone in offices and stores so casual and friendly, wow! You may think I am melodramatic, and it is ok, but this is the holy truth, we were mesmerized, thinking we saw a paradise on earth, minus, of course, the heartbreaking story line of that film… 


And then came my frequent trips to much freer and beloved  exciting city Budapest, Hungary, where I tasted a sliver of freedom by seeing albums of music impossible to get home, books, films and concerts banned in my country, by seeing merch that had spunk and colors, sweaters with American insignia, pendants with USA letters…and my dream to visit that country was invigorated and dreamed daily.


And it so happened that many years later my path did bring me here on the mentioned Fourth of July!! I came to JF Kennedy on a Pakistan airline, and all of the extravagant gorgeous exciting fireworks that took over the New York skies thirty two years ago seemed to be meaningful, greeting me to an eventful breathtaking chapter of my life.


So today, years later, here in San Diego I keep staring at the American flag that represents for me the most tolerant people I have met. The most sensitive people. The most accommodating people. The most patient people.  The most progressive people who show to the world over and over how to stride ahead with their pure ideals of freedom and we the people,. These ideals hurtled me over the ocean to live them and taste them, and the kind Americans were  from day one on my side, the side of a foreigner who came to their country barely speaking their language and barely understanding their customs. And yet I have never once felt unwelcome. 


My belief in American people is still the same in spite of the current turbulence this country goes through, despite the fact that this promised land revealed to me darker features that I would have ever expected, despite the fact that the past of this country did not always heed “we the people”, but rather, “we, some of us, people”.  Despite all of this, I know without a doubt that the core of  this country is loyal to the integrity of those noble ideals. I have not read about it in the newspaper, in novels, nor have I seen it in the films. I have been living it daily. And it is ok to call me naïve.  Call me an idealist. I do not mind these names being said in one breath with my name.


And so my Americans, thank you for helping me start making my modest ends meet in your country. 


Thank you for thinking my accent is cute rather than that my English is imperfect. 


Thank you for taking me from my first day as someone who belongs and thank you for cheering me on.


The Swedish may have a higher standard of life, Finland may have better education, Czechs may have better beer, Swiss may have better watches, Italians better fashion, but your humanitarian approach towards the world makes you quite a nation.


Let us keep it that way, please. Let us keep what we have and let us make it fly higher. Let us cherish the enormous deeds that came with many foreigners whom you embraced and gave a chance. Let us make sure that those who will lead us are decent, ethical, passionate, curious, smart, cultivated people who want to listen, people with good heart, with love for fairness, love for learning, and love for humanity.



I know my children, the first generation Americans, will become what you are – that non-judgmental tolerant sensitive people eager to help and eager to understand the world.  Of course I also hope they will take some traits from their parents, the stubborn wild opinionated newcomers stuck in their old fashioned ways, but always appreciative of their gracious hosts. :)


So much for my session in front of one of two most beautiful flags in the world, the American and the Czech, both being in red, white and blue and both belonging to people I would go with to the end of a livable world.


 Only with you, Americans, I would go well prepared, with a smile and in all decency on the designated routes, while with my compatriots I would be loud, judgmental, always questioning the direction and with ease going off road to the wilderness. 


Which road would I choose is a question, but I am grateful and appreciative of having the choice. 

I see it as quite a privilege and my eternal victory.



Happy Fourth my friends, my love to all of you.

10件のコメント


Lukas Hanc
Lukas Hanc
4 days ago

What a way to spark hope in times where hope and faith in America seems so foreign. I am so lucky to have this trait passed on, the trait of understanding a different culture. We will never know what is light when we don’t know what dark is. And same goes with our American society and why listening to people who have lived through communism or in any other country is important for founding our own perspectives. Thank you for the reminder mamko!

いいね!

ivanthamma99
4 days ago

Beautiful Mamko!!

いいね!

Nancie Lafferty
Nancie Lafferty
6 days ago

Beautiful, Marketa!! You and yours are an especially welcome and wonderful addition to this country and this community.

いいね!

mkreeber
7 days ago

We are so so lucky to have you, Marketa. You are a wonderful Ambassador for the Czech Republic and you and your delightful family are examples of the best of your adopted country. Thanks for all that you do!

いいね!

tereza
7月06日

Very well said, Marketa. I hope as many people read it as possible. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

いいね!
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