Where We’ve Been

Lately, we’ve been reading ALL the bad news.

I have been crying for all the sweet babies and other human beings in peril and deprivation.

I have been writing all of the angry letters to politicians and leaving all of the broken-voice messages with their staff.

We’ve been washing every handkerchief in the house probably once a week.

Each of us has had a whole day, minimum, when we just couldn’t do it.  Couldn’t get up, couldn’t wake up, couldn’t be brought to bear with the day’s work.

We’ve been running low on the resources that keep us from yelling and pushing and fighting among ourselves.

We’ve been eating ALL the comfort food: starchy, creamy, cheesy, oh yes.

Robert has been listening to people say they’re scared to come to school.

Robert and I have been sitting up until dawn, talking.  Angry.  Scared.  Sad.

I have been quoting The New Colossus and warning people that this is the moment.  This.  Is.  The.  Moment.  in which they can choose to collaborate with evil or use their privilege to agitate for what’s right.

Mostly, though, what we’ve been doing– what, I think, we’ve ALL been doing for the past few weeks, is turning to everyone we meet, holding up what we loved about our lives in this country, and saying “Fix it.”

When Númenor was a toddler, he would bring things to me and plaintively lisp out “Broken.  Fix it?”

That’s where we all are right now.

It’s broken.

Fix it?

Someone?

Please?

At least tell us where to start.

What glue do you buy to put families divided by immigration policy back together?

What stitch can we use to patch up our hopes for the future?

How would you break down dismantling the imbalance of power between the traditional checks and balances into easy weekend projects?

Which infomercial tells me about the space-age no-mess solution for getting back what little transparency and accountability our government had?

How can we restore life, re-build places of worship, un-do what just happened?

Ultimately, a society isn’t a toy, and no amount of clever clamping and wood glue will fix a government that’s cracked through.

But still we stand here, outraged and unbelieving, sad and furious and on the verge of a toddler tantrum, demanding that someone fix it.

 

That’s where we’ve been.

I think we might be here for a while yet.  And that’s okay.  But it won’t be forever.  Someday, we will find the way forward.  We’ll land on the methods of resistance that work best.  We’ll find a strategy, and identify a first step, and then another, and another.  We’ll crawl back to the light.

In the meantime, people may be a little quiet and a little fragile, me included.

So take good care of yourselves, folks.  And watch out for each other– sometimes people lack the good sense to come in out of the rain.

One thought on “Where We’ve Been

  1. Both frightening and deeply sad to think of our nation being in this place for the near future, that requires the vigilance to counter the hatefulness, fear and intolerance which is flagrantly and “righteously” rampant recently. I’m a fairly shy person but after spotting a sign in the window of a home I was walking past, I had to find it’s origin and get one to put up where I live! And on my vehicle I also now have a sticker with the same “In Our America” flag on it. Frankly, I’m just a bit embarrassed to be associated with a group whose name is rather “in your face” (nwgsdpdx.org) but these are desperate times and collaborating with folks who are bolder than I am is a necessity – I have to speak up too, to let others know that I find the current “mainstream” that is hijacking the American value system to be deplorable and unacceptable to any society aiming for justice, tolerance, equal rights (not sameness), etc. Yes, we all need meaningful work and yes, we need income to survive but if that what folks were aiming for when pivotal elements of our nation elected our current President then why is the focus of action NOT on improving our infrastructure or other useful, job-creating kinds of legislation!? Instead there are attacks and threats and more attacks, none of which create jobs or do more than serve the political interests of those in power. Disgusting. I hope there are others who are less crushed by these things than I am, who feel empowered by these acts of terror and know what to do. I desperately hope.

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