I haven't learned that lesson yet.
This is art -----> "I’m making this personal because everything I read these days is like a punch in the gut. I feel it. I hate it. And I hate even more my own impotence. I’m the mother who wants to comfort every single innocent person this regime has singled out for persecution. I’m the child crying out in pain and fear. I’m a citizen who grew up believing decency would eventually prevail. I’m the old woman who watches in disbelief as everything I’ve worked my entire life to protect withers and dies under the dirty thumbs of unworthy, dictatorial men in power."
Earlier this week, I read an article on Gayl Jones in the NYT 9/17/2021. I couldn't stop reading. Every voice matters and how strong the tendency is to squash that which disturbs the status quo. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/17/magazine/gayl-jones-novel-palmares.html
This is such a powerful piece in so many ways - you really capture that 3 o'clock in the morning swirling, clenching anxiety that wakes us for no reason and then lingers throughout the next day. (I just had this happen last night so I completely relate to all you say here!)
The lovely C.S.Lewis said "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear" and he is so right.
But when I am not feeling overwhelmed by the news/getting older/ the sheer terror of losing those I love and a whole raft of other worries, I try to remind myself that consistently doing tiny acts of goodness (like your writing here!) every day, where we live, as we can, is enough - and frankly, all that we *can* do. Not being trite in any way, just saying what helps me. Sometimes. I also benefit from the occasional news "fast" because without a bit of reprieve from all the bleakness, yes, it's really hard not to sink.
You mentioned "being tired of saying 'We’re better than this' when we’re not." That is my sadness - it is who we are now. I have a great granddaughter - what will her future be like?
I watch in horror as everything I believed to be true no longer matters to so many in power- basic things like honesty, integrity, and kindness. I feel totally powerless to change this trajectory - other than to be who I am and add my support to writers who see what I see.
Thank you for the reminder that, even if some days it’s only in a tiny way, we don’t succumb.
"...Believing decency would eventually prevail." I still believe this, but I have to keep reminding myself that it may not look the way I think it will look. The trail of destruction left by a runaway train is a horrifying scene. I can only hope - and hope I must - that a new flower will emerge from beneath the wreckage one day and our grandchildren's children will call it Decency. I appreciate you, Ramona. You and your bravery.
Beautiful, searing piece.
What does it mean to "Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God" in the midst of cruelty, waste, violence, and indifference?
I haven't a clue. Maybe our daily work--our only work--is trying to find the answer to that question.
Great piece, Ramona, thanks for sharing. I haven't checked out all of Morrison's work, but I've loved every word I've read. What a voice.
And, I'm with you. It's all so exhausting. And disappointing. I have a 2.5 year old and I worry every day about her future in our country. Not that the parents of previous generations DIDN'T worry. But I feel like this is different. I've been told that it's different. That the country is different, and that it isn't just some bit of imagining I'm doing.
I don't know what the future will bring for my family. Maybe there's a day that we do what so many right-wing cheerleaders on Twitter shout for those calling out indecencies to do, and move elsewhere.
Sometimes the stakes just feel far too high. A five-year-old worrying about being shot to death in the classroom?
No. No way. That shouldn't be a thing.
So often these days I feel like I'm saying to anyone who'll listen, "Maybe it's now. Maybe now's the time to leave." Which would certainly require bravery, though of a different variety.
I wish I had more to add, some tidy little bow to put near the top. But I don't. Because the truth is that I'm not just worried; I'm scared.