This week, I’ve been on “flu-cation” (flu-vacation) and content in my quiet, feverish little cave, appreciating how simple life gets when you are sick and how miraculously the body rises to the occasion, as you surf the swell of symptoms. If you go under, you are a mind in a diving bell, watching the tsunami from the inside.
I found it almost comforting, resting in a process where my survival is beyond my conscious control, and the outcome is not of great concern. I’m just here, amid a swirl of mostly familiar sensations, with an attitude not of “Poor Me” but of “Wow. Cool.”
My only duty was to rest…make soup, pee, sleep, repeat. Ah, Simplicity, and the good fortune of the shelter in which to do my simple job. Occasionally I would talk to myself, like an amused M.C., charged with keeping the troupes rallied. It’s fun to talk to yourself when you sound like somebody else; and this week, I’ve sounded like Leonard Cohen. Hallelujah. …Hineni, hineni…You want it Darker?
This afternoon I ventured outside the bubble. I took the four minute drive to Agora (the local grocery and shopping center). Agora means “gathering place.” But, just by turning outward, I had tuned into the collective before I got there. The radio was on in the car when I started it. I caught just a minute or two of headlines from Democracy Now…about some new protests in solidarity against Trump (Dance Anyway), about legislative bills being floated several places in the country to suppress protests by suing protestors to pay for their right to police protection, and about the new administration’s edict that all Environmental Protection Agency employees must sign gag orders and have their funding and projects vetted, and Obama’s recent pro-environment actions reversed, etc.
It’s chilling. And one wants to speak out for what one believes to be true, for what one knows to be our fragile, too-long-taken-for-granted democracy and rights and against such a swift and flagrant slide toward Orwell’s dystopia.
One wonders how to make a difference.
I could feel how the right wing and pro-life folks have felt for the past eight years. Desperate (and impotent).
And I could feel how those despondent from the election feel. Impotent (and desperate).
I asked What can I do?
One habit is to go within, remember what is real behind the pageant of changing conditions.
Another habit is to write.
But, while I’m playing the human game, is this enough?
It feels like our democracy is being eviscerated. It is hard to stand by and watch.
It is hard to feel like there is no way to change another’s mind …
nor to change one’s own mind enough to dull the doom.
It is hard to believe in a world that must go through this, chugging like a train ineluctably into nightmare, gaining momentum as it seems to jettison all that is sane and humane.
It is hard to believe one is on that train and can’t wake up.
It is hard not to be able to reach the one in the conductor’s seat—whether you believe that is someone else, some aspect of your self, or both.
How swiftly one’s peace is upstaged by the Punch and Judy show.
But peace, for now, is still here. And, for now, I can tend it here, can stoke the flame where it still burns, can join my flame with others’: Not necessarily to burn down the haunted house we stand in, but to live in Light.
Beyond that, I have no answer, except to rest: make soup, love, pee, love, sleep, love, repeat. And don’t forget to laugh.