Thursday, July 06, 2017

Middle of the middle.

Here we are, just past the Fourth of July, with its blaze and hot dogs, its smoke and ambivalence. At least that's how it was for me. Luckily, I got to see my dad during the day, and we--the historian and I--went downtown to see a movie in total spontaneity. Also, ate pizza. The fireworks in my neighborhood went on well after midnight. Bruiser is an old man now, and is not a fan of the neighborhood fireworks. We postponed our walk till we thought it was all over, but no: one family had their entire ranks huddled in the dark on their parking strip, and set off a few rockets in the street. Green and white sparks fountaining up. We were maybe a hundred yards away. Bruiser drew up short, and looked back at us, as if to say, Really? REALLY? And we were all, I KNOW. When the family saw us, they held up their next conflagration until we had passed. Which was nice of them.

In my current roster of democratic (small d) actions, I include the following:

  • Writing to my senators all the damn time.
  • Reading prescient and pertinent articles out loud to the historian, who is a mensch and a champ.
  • Taking small comfort in good things.
  • Despairing, and at some volume, and then rallying. 

Small comforts: 
  1. the historian was working at a coffee shop, and saw a guy wearing an ACLU tee shirt. The guy was teaching his daughter, about ten, to play chess. The guy told the historian that he'd got the shirt at some ACLU event. So, you know, fellow traveler. Comrade.
  2. All those Secretaries of State, telling Kris Kobach to shove it, one way or another. 
  3. Talking to my dad and mom so often, hearing their stories, observing their responses to challenges. 
  4. Listening to an amazing podcast yesterday, with Danez Smith and Franny Choi interviewing Eve Ewing. 
  5. Writing, at least a little bit, every day. Thinking about writing. 

Eve Ewing talked in that podcast about 'desire-based narratives'--rather than writing about oppression and focusing only on what's terrible, thinking about, listening to, what the people involved want, what they long for. That seems small d democratic to me. An idea to conjure with.

It seems like our current predicament--what Danez Smith said called for them, all of us, to pack the apocalypse backpack every day (what's in yours?)--is going to last for awhile. I admit that I hoped that the appointment of a special prosecutor would be a hero on a horse situation, and even though I knew better, I hoped it would come quickly. But nope. (Or, in my favorite Twitter hashtag, which I think I personally devised, but maybe not: #NOPE.)

Anyway, the fire, and the fireworks, are ongoing, and we--I--must figure out not only how to endure, but how to engage, in a way that might possibly be productive. And that's how I'm spending my summer. Also: packing my apocalypse backpack. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your post and fireworks sometimes being really annoying plus people should understand this that there are some people who are not well and can't bear the voice of fireworks.



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