Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This and That

No one big idea this week . . . too much swirling . . .

I'm so weary of this election cycle. It's bringing out the worst in everyone, including me. And while I don't mind going on record as saying Donald Trump cannot ever be president, I find myself so very angry about his candidacy. I'm angry that there are enough people in the country to make him a candidate and that this candidacy has emboldened the uglier aspects of humanity---xenophobia, racism, misogyny, to name a few. White supremacists are speaking openly about voting for him and how they see him as a way to push their agenda forward (because, according to at least one piece I read, some don't think he goes nearly far enough).

I really thought some progress had been made last century. I see it all unraveling and falling apart in this candidacy.

And in the end, even if DT does not win, the cycle will linger on because the people who are his followers are still going to be there. I'll have to live in the same country with them. I have to think about how to respond with Christian love and compassion.

Anger is fine up to a point, but it quickly can bubble over into knee-jerk reactions and hate. I feel that ledge, frankly. I do not want to fall off it.

This second presidential "debate" (Lincoln/Douglas it was not) was so disturbing to me. Okay, the debate itself was just frustrating.

Wait, I can't call it a debate anymore. Can I call it, I don't know, the embarrassment? Because I was embarrassed by it. We'll go with that.

So I actually watched the embarrassment---something I haven't done with other debates. I saw what was going on and it was pretty awful, DT's sort of stalkerish behavior.

Listening to women via social media afterward made me realize how awful it was. HRC handled herself remarkably well after hearing how it affected some women. The behavior reminded some of personal molesters. One friend said her therapist had warned her to avoid cop shows, which tend to pander with the "woman in peril" trope, but she said she never expected that she'd need to be warned about a presidential debate.

I mean, presidential embarrassment.

I don't even know what to say. Two candidates in a town hall meeting created a situation where a friend with childhood sexual abuse in her history felt like she had to employ tactics to prevent a PTSD flashback. This is not a high point in American history.

I'm embarrassed.

And angry.

I'm not going to dwell on this, but I'm just going to put out there that the juxtaposition of The Embarrassment with what the calendar calls Columbus Day feels pertinent. The Embarrassment feels like a natural consequence to colonialism, genocide, slavery---all the things that helped create this nation.

Really, I'm just going to let that sit there. I just wanted to say it. 

I believe in creativity and so let me pause to say I'm working on a novella again. I have a very rough draft in long hand (yes, I like doing what I consider my creative writing in long hand first) and as I'm typing it up, I'm doing rewrites and such. I had hoped to have a completed, submittable draft by now, for a contest, but i don't and that's okay. I've got a good chunk typed up/rewritten and I'm feeling good about it, mostly. There will be more rewriting/editing, but this second draft will me much less of a mess than the first draft, which is a decent accomplishment.

It's a very personal piece and some dreams have been generated by it. I like that. Like most of my fiction, it's quiet. It won't be a wildly popular piece, as might happen for more action oriented pieces. It's really okay, I don't want to be James Patterson or even Stephen King. I wouldn't mind being Marilynne Robinson, but I know I needn't pretend.

So anyway, this is all to say, there are good things, as always. I'm not in a rage 24/7. I have fairly significant moments of bliss, actually.

I can wish I were a better writer, but I've no doubt that this is why I'm here. The pleasure is its own affirmation.

I am angry a lot these days. Creativity gives me a break from it

My heroes, the Abbas and Ammas of the desert, had things to say about anger, about not letting it take up residence and to do our best to resolve it before nightfall. I'm failing them these days but I do find myself paying attention to the stories and sayings about anger when they come up in my daily readings. I notice things they do and say to strangers that they come across in the desert. Not all of them are there to be there disciples, and yet they practice radical hospitality to their enemies.

I don't know what this means for me. Immediately. I really am trying to pay attention, though. To the Abbas and Ammas and to this election and to the people who are more adversely affected by it and to the people who would brush off the adversely affected.

Something has to change in this nation and beyond. Anger has to stop being the underlying emotion between so many human interactions. Less knee-jerk, more hospitality. Or something.

I'm working on it.

Dear God, help us work it out. I'm not ready for the end of human history yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment