Local Teacher Reminds Every Day Is A Voting Day

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"Voting Day" is a single by singer-songwriter/high school English teacher Chris Slaten, also known as Son of Laughter.

"On Nov. 4, 2014, when I wrote the 'Voting Day' poem that later turned into this song, I wrote it in the midst of what felt like a disproportionately high stakes rhetorical battle," said Mr. Slaten.  "Advocates from both sides of the ballot wrote editorials to local newspapers begging voters not to be on the wrong side of history. Friends, family, and coworkers on both sides talked about last chances to take a stand for truth. For many, Wednesday’s morning news would reveal whether or not the sun had risen or set on what they believed to be the American way. The pressure was on, but it all seemed to be singularly focused on an act that would take place in a matter of minutes on the way home from work. I began to wonder about all the other minutes of that day. 

"Throughout the day I wrote the lines of 'Voting Day' as my own little way of trying to redistribute some of that pressure. I had some help. In class my students discussed 'Civil Disobedience' by Henry David Thoreau, particularly the line 'Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.'

"Also, two related quotations posted on my whiteboard fed my meditation:  

"Everything matters if anything matters at all," - Pierce Pettis, God Believes in You

"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." —Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation 

"I do not intend to diminish the powerful voice given through the right to vote for government officials and policies, but this week is also an opportune time to celebrate just how many other powerful platforms we’ve been given, for better or worse, in the choices we make in every moment with every action at each breath."

The song is produced by Stephen Nichols at Elyzum Studios in St. Elmo.


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