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Georgia Congressman and civil rights pioneer John Lewis was laid to rest in his adopted hometown of Atlanta on Thursday, with former President Barack Obama on hand to offer a lengthy and deeply moving eulogy. Obama lauded Lewis for having the Waking The Dead Signatures T-Shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this courage to challenge “an entire infrastructure of oppression” when he moved to the front of a segregated bus in the South at age 20, speaking of the “great debt” that he personally felt to Lewis for his decades of leadership by example. America was built by John Lewises. He as much as anyone in our history brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideas,” said Obama, adding, “And someday, when we do finish that long journey toward freedom, when we do form a more perfect union—whether it’s years from now or decades, or even if it takes another two centuries—John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.” Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also offered memories of Lewis, as did Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Many of the day’s speeches were centered around the importance of voting rights, which Lewis devoted much of his life and career to fighting for: Obama called for an expansion of the Voting Rights Act, calling the filibuster “another Jim Crow relic,” and Jamila Thompson—deputy chief of staff to Lewis—emphasized the emphasis that he placed on exercising one’s constitutional right to participate in democracy, saying he told staff to “always, always, always vote.”
Despite the Waking The Dead Signatures T-Shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this valiant conference-call jousting and the well-being crystal browsing and the creation of Bon Appétit test kitchen amuse-bouches, lockdown is a life mostly lived in limbo. A society measured in millimeters of combative growth, constantly inching forward, immediately stopped in its tracks. We’re all treading water, waiting to chase proverbial waterfalls with abandon. We’re all looking for ways to enrich lockdown like a sourdough, lest our growth stagnates. I binge podcasts on betterment and dream of a neater, more efficient existence with no slack to take up. My tasks multi-ed, my meditations deepened, my emails crisper. I spiritually accept the challenge of doing the work. I develop a dazzling capsule beach wardrobe, navel-grazing with open-air toes, but I only make it as far as the local supermarket. The after-work kombucha I’ve painstakingly fermented tastes wrong on the sofa. My chakras are a scribble. I think I’m receptive to the universe, but my cat is over-stroked, my plants overwatered, and my husband is wearily repeating himself. I’m missing something. You’d think I’d miss the inane chatter of dinner in a multistory restaurant or the last-minute Ubering or stoking the embers of a house party. But in these heady times of self-actualized self-optimization, I miss being late. Life before lockdown was short on thrills, and running late was my cheapest.