“[American Gods] would be about the immigrant experience, about what people believed in when they came to America. And about what happened to the things they believed.”
Neil Gaiman in his essay, “How Dare You?,” about his book American Gods
I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods yesterday. While it was no act of patriotism on the eve of Independence Day, it has given me something to think about.
As Americans, we are an immigrant people, all of us. Our ancestors each came here at one time or another bringing with them beliefs and stories and folktales that are unique and yet universal.
Eventually those beliefs start to fade. The stories are no longer told and become forgotten. New beliefs are adopted. New stories are told.
And then we forget where we came from. We claim to come from here, and while that is true, you must look around and see the diverse, untold histories of the people around you.
The story that brought all our ancestors here is the story we celebrate today.
May we, as Americans, continue to seek and share freedom. May we tell stories of liberty and justice. May we find independence through our interdependence.