Alexander Averin

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Martin Luther King 50th Anniversary

  This is a transcript of Martin Luther’s speech. It is long but it is worth a read, when you can spare the time, on this historic day.  I have blogged it before but do not apologise for doing so again.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King

Footnote, taken from the Observer March 2008.

King had arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, to support a strike by public sanitary workers. He led a series of protests. The aim was that they should be peaceful, although some were marred by violence. On 3 April, 1968, the day before his assassination, he delivered his famous 'I have seen the mountain top' speech in Memphis. Many people have since claimed the words seemed to eerily predict his death, as King warned: 'I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you.'

King was felled by a single bullet as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, just outside his room. His last words were to some supporters in the car park below, when King called out to one of them to make sure he played the spiritual 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' at a church meeting planned for that evening.

A white escaped convict called James Earl Ray was arrested at London's Heathrow airport two months after King was killed. Ray pleaded guilty to avoid a trial and a possible death sentence. Later, he protested his innocence and claimed that King had been killed as part of a government and mafia conspiracy. Prominent members of the King family have supported that idea, as have civil rights leaders such as the Rev Jesse Jackson. Ray died in jail in 1998.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Friday 23 August 2013

John Lowrie Morrison

Dear Diary,

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

   Leonardo Da Vinci

As you may or may not know I have a rather strange love of washing lines.  I started to take photos of them but then feared people might think me some kind of pervert - I am starting to photograph gates and gateways now, much more acceptable don't you think? . In my surfing around looking at washing lines (they can't touch you for it), I have just discovered a wonderful Scottish artist by the name of John Lowrie Morrison, how on earth have I not heard of him before? My new header pic is one of his paintings.

Unfortunately Blogger will not allow me to add Text to my blog any more, or any fresh gadgets actually (anyone else having that problem?) so I can't acknowledge the artist's work below it.   I haven't 'upgraded' my blog to a new fangled one and can't get my head round Google + and the like, am I alone in this inadequacy?  Please can anyone tell me where Gadgets have gone?

Anyway, the header is this picture:

Washing Line Back of Arinagour Isle of Coll
John Lowrie Morrison

I am off to drool over more of his work, he seems to paint a lot of cottages which I also love and uses the most gorgeous bright colours.

I have just blogged next door again too, a couple of posts and apologies if some are duplicated, I have been up since 6.30 am this morning and am not a morning person.  I seem to be next door rather a lot lately so if I am ever not here do call by at Cait's Photos,  you may well find me there and you especially will always be welcome. I keep the kettle on the Rayburn at all times. My latest pics were of the recent Blue Moon which actually was not blue in these parts, well not blue in the sky but strangely some reflections in the river were of a bluey hue.

Do call by,

Before you do, treat youself and listen to this:

Bye for now,

Tuesday 20 August 2013


I am next door again, flying a kite

Do call by.

Friday 16 August 2013

Just a poem, a picture, a song.

Sleeping In The Forest


I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
Mary Oliver

Friday 9 August 2013

My River

I have blogged next door tonight, do call by.  I am here

Monday 5 August 2013

Now I am an old -er woman

With apologies to Jenny Joseph
Now I am an old –er woman I  wear a lot more purple.
I have no summer gloves and  keep only medicinal brandy.
I have no satin sandals, actually I have no sandals but my shoes always have to be red.
I don’t eat butter as a rule (but some food like scones and Irish soda bread just have to
have it I agree).
I am a big lover of hats, all types for all seasons and hope that they suit me.
(Bandanas are starting to appeal, they also cover the grey).
I would never sit on a pavement and don’t believe you would either, not the ones round
here anyway,
I haven’t got a stick....yet... but would enjoy the rattling of one very much, I am sure.
My youth was not that sober if I remember it well.
I spend all my pension on bird food, books and plants and then I say we have no money
for food.
I nap when I’m tired or whenever my bed calls me.
I often rant and rage; becoming a revolutionary seems very appealing.
I despair about  standards and the idiots in charge, the corruption, the greed, you know
what I mean.
I despise authority even more than when I was young – er.
I love soft, comfy clothes and sensible shoes.
I am happiest in the garden, planting flowers or pulling up weeds or browsing in a bookshop
(or a library!)
I love walking in the rain (but not in my slippers), talking to animals, singing and
penning my words.
I very much relish going to bed with a book and a mug of cocoa.
I hate anyone who spits and would never steal flowers from other folk’s gardens.
I can eat what I like, when I like, stay up half the night and lie in bed all day.
I only get lost in a book or listening to music.
I am still allowed out on my own.
I only hoard books, have no real vices but I spend too much time on the net.
I have given up reading the papers.
I swear, but never in the street.
I am close to becoming a hermit, a mad woman who lives on the hill.
I hope I am not a bad example to the grandchildren.
Cait O’Connor

Thursday 1 August 2013

Indigo Child

Miranda J W Waterhouse

Indigo Child

Born in the caul, a veil of a violet hue,

an aura of indigo, a halo of silver,

its essence pure crystal,
she now surrounds herself with blue.
A weaver of dreams, she reads minds,
foretells the future, understands the loquacity of birds.
In the babbling of water, she hears the chattering of cherubs;
Animals draw to her,
lie becalmed beneath her soft and healing touch;

fraught babies cease their crying at her gaze.
She was not a fairies’ child
but sees into their devic fairy realms,
travels by night on blue rays of light,
carried on the wings of the philomel.
A lightworker, whose watchword is faith,
from somewhere far beyond,
surely of the Spirit, showing us
the errors of our crazy, human ways.


Cait O’Connor