This was some time ago: A neighbor I particularly liked put up an election sign. It was different than the sign I would have put up. This made me think less of my neighbor. Iím not proud of this. I wouldnít put up my own sign.  

More recently: Things happened in strange ways. An election felt tainted. Policy too.  

Then this: I became involved.  

I needed to feel like I did something at very least. Itís January now and a sign is still planted in my lawn. I peeled off the bumper sticker I had put on the car without regard to the paint finish, or that long lost neighbor or how I felt then. Involved, yes. But it was more than that. It was passion.  

And passion played out all around me. I was never alone campaigning on a street corner. I remember the rally, how everything felt possible, even likely. I remember one handmade sign. It said: Save Us. I phoned my own answering machine, saving a minute of it, the sound and what it felt like, being there.  

Passion: Banners, yes, but even homemade ones. Lawn signs and window ones by adults and even children, I wondered if they were drafted or if they truly felt it too. I felt like a child, powerless, but trying. Learning even as I was falling down to stand up.  

Someone went around and taped their thoughts to lampposts. Someone else wrote theirs out and surrounded them in plastic, keeping them safe and dry. Safe. Dry. Two of the symptoms and little hope for a cure. But there was a time when I believed in one.  

I appreciate a result borne of conviction. I appreciate the passion. I loved it even, for a little while.  


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I Pledge Allegiance was photographed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, November of 2004.