The Friday Poem ‘A sonnet’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda

At a moment of career recognition, ‘Hamilton’ creator, Lin Manuel-Miranda shared a sonnet for his wife and the world about family, tragedy and love. At it’s center was his response to the terrorist, hate crime in Orlando.

The New York Times Sunday Styles reporter, Katie Rosman, shared the ‘back story’ of the sonnet from creation to delivery on the Beacon Theater stage Sunday evening.

“…as the first grim reports out of Orlando, Fla., were circulating, Mr. Miranda took out his phone and began to tap out the sonnet he would read aloud that night while accepting the Tony for best score. In 14 lines he paid tribute to his wife, his son and the victims of the massacre.

Back at the Mandarin Oriental before curtain time, he realized he would need a printout of the verse he had written. He called the suite where his father was staying and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking care of it. Luis, 61, said yes, and traveled down a flight, where his son handed him a thumb drive. Lin-Manuel had one stipulation: “He said, ‘Can you please not read it?’”

He went down the elevator, thumb drive in hand, toward the concierge desk. There, employees of the Mandarin Oriental sprang into action.

Back in the elevator, with the printout, the father did the very thing his son had asked him not to do: He read the sonnet.

“That’s like asking me not to drink water when it’s 90 degrees out,” Luis said. “I thought it was very moving and pretty and important for the moment.”

Back in the suite, Luis listened as Lin-Manuel read it aloud, practicing for the big moment.”

Yesterday Mr. Miranda announced a fundraising effort, for Equality Florida. Revenue will be generated by the sale of a T shirt with words from the sonnet. “Here’s a thing that speaks for itself. I’m very excited about it and it’s a way you can help.” 

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The sonnet has been published in a variety of outlets since the awards ceremony. After the horror of this past week, there was no other choice for The Friday Poem.

My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise
We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they’re finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day
The show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside
I sing Vanessa’s symphony
Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride

Lin Manuel-Miranda   June 12, 2016

 

The week@work – The odds of being poor@some point, how walking in nature changes the brain, young women envision pauses in their career and advice to working mothers

One story stood out from the rest this week@work. Washington Post journalists Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham reported on the findings of sociologist Mark Rand at Washington University. The title alone was attention grabbing: ‘The remarkably high odds you’ll be poor at some point in your life’.

“The poor in America are not a permanent class of people. Who’s poor in any given year is different from who’s poor a few years later.

By the time they’re 60 years old, Rank has found, nearly four in five people experience some kind of economic hardship: They’ve gone through a spell of unemployment, or spent time relying on a government program for the poor like food stamps, or lived at least one year in poverty or very close to it.

By age 60, nearly 80 percent of us will have gone through a rough stretch.

“Rather than an uncommon event,” Rank says, “poverty was much more common than many people had assumed once you looked over a long period of time.”

The age of job stability is over, if anyone was still hanging on to an ideal of job security. Financial planning is a critical component of long term career planning. The reality of the research is that there will be periods of economic challenge alternating with periods of affluence. The ‘poor’ are not some abstract population. They are your neighbors, family and friends.

A story in The New York Times offered an example of how attitudes toward work and career might alter a family’s income. Journalist Claire Cain Miller writing for the Upshot found that the most recent entrants to the workplace envision planned pauses in their careers.

“The youngest generation of women in the work force — the millennials, age 18 to early 30s — is defining career success differently and less linearly than previous generations of women. A variety of survey data shows that educated, working young women are more likely than those before them to expect their career and family priorities to shift over time.

The surveys highlighted that two generations after women entered the business world in large numbers, it can still be hard for women to work. Even those with the highest career ambitions are more likely than their predecessors to plan to scale back at work at certain times or to seek out flexible jobs.

You might call them the planning generation: Their approach is less all or nothing — climb the career ladder or stay home with children — and more give and take.”

Recalling the career of journalist Marlene Sanders who died last week, Katherine Rosman shared the story of a member of the generation who achieved professional distinction while being among the first to ‘work outside the home’.

“In 2000, Cynthia McFadden, the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News, attended a party given by her friend Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for The New Yorker and legal analyst for CNN. There, Ms. McFadden was catching up with Mr. Toobin’s mother, Marlene Sanders, the pioneering television reporter. She asked for her advice on managing motherhood and a career.

Ms. Sanders put both hands on Ms. McFadden’s shoulders and peered into her eyes. “Never apologize for working,” the older woman said. “You love what you do, and loving what you do is a great gift to give your child.”

Over the years, Ms. McFadden said, Mr. Toobin told her he loved having a mother who worked outside the home, even in an era when it was not that common. It was a sentiment he reiterated in an interview on Wednesday. “I found her career exciting,” he said. “I loved to watch her on TV. Guilt was never part of the equation. And given her temperament, if she had been home all the time, it would have been a close contest to determine whether she or I went insane first.”

The last story of the week shares research that should encourage you to take a walk in the park. Reporting on a study at Stanford University, Gretchen Reynolds found:

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

But just how a visit to a park or other green space might alter mood has been unclear. Does experiencing nature actually change our brains in some way that affects our emotional health?

That possibility intrigued Gregory Bratman, a graduate student at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, who has been studying the psychological effects of urban living. In an earlier study published last month, he and his colleagues found that volunteers who walked briefly through a lush, green portion of the Stanford campus were more attentive and happier afterward than volunteers who strolled for the same amount of time near heavy traffic.”

In summary this week@work – take a walk in the park and consider your career path. Lose the guilt if you are a working mother, and plan for both the expected as well as the unexpected shifts in work/life balance.