Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy Double-Digit February!

February 10th -- Double-Digit February! -- is a day I celebrate with a friend from work. It seems like a meaningful date: winter is fast passing, and March lies just over the crest of the hill. One year he gave me a card with a big "10" on it, obviously meant for a tenth birthday. But I loved it, and have it still.

I have started to look at garden and plant catalogs in earnest. At our last house, I had a beautiful flower garden. But for the last two decades, I haven't had time for gardening. With retirement approaching at the end of June, I will have time to devote to weeding. I need to shake off the laziness of winter.

Looking forward: it's something I have had a hard time with lately. Since the election, in fact. As the news out of DC went from bad to worse, I found myself sinking into the mire, numb and numb-er. My greatest desire has been for sleep, for escape. But we can't give in to the numbness, can't become complacent. We will keep watching and protesting the Talking Yam in the White House.

Nevertheless, life goes on. I saw, on a Buddhist website, the advice that we should remain engaged, but take solace in what is closest: our families, our homes, our gardens, our spiritual lives.

So I'm going to try to do that.

While watching what the Talking Yam is up to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Edge of Night

I'm very afraid, but I'm not sure how to explain the disquiet gnawing at me.

I've been looking for a metaphor to describe my growing trepidation about the impending Trump administration. The comparisons to Hitler have already begun to seem shrill, though they may, in the end, prove accurate. Well-reasoned articles on psychopathy and Trump have absorbed me for many months, but I can't go there (yet). I read a historical novel, many years ago, entitled, Night Falls on the City. It described the fragile brilliance of 1930s Vienna, prior to the Anschluss. But that's not quite right as a metaphor, either. Hitler's annexation of Austria was virtually bloodless. Many Austrians headed for the borders, but there was plenty of unforced cheering and flag-waving. That's a bit closer to our reality, but ...

Then it hit me. The Edge of Night.

The Edge of Night was one of the earliest soap operas on American TV. Running from 1956 through 1984, it had a noir feel that I don't recall other soaps having. It featured rapes, murders, gangsters, corrupt politicians, crooked cops, bribe-seeking district attorneys, greedy lawyers, schemes, counterschemes, conspiracies .... just what I'm anticipating from life under Trump.

And the title screen was what I remember best. See above: the diagonal sheet of darkness overtaking the cityscape as an ominous basso voice announced the title: "The Edge .... of Night."

Here we go, into the night. God help us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Blue Advent Service this Saturday

Let's face it: it's been a hard autumn for those of us who woke up on November 9th to find that Tangerine Man had been elected President. More recently, we've been watching him load his cabinet with the best Wall Street has to offer. North Korea is bloviating again, and now China threatens to give us trouble. Did I forget to mention Russia? It's probably just as well, since Tangerine Man and Volodya Putin seem to be best buds.

Am I worried about the state of the nation? you bet your ass I am.

Then there's the fact that not everyone becomes giddy with happiness this time of year. J's mother died on December 14th and my mother died on December 15th (not the same year, thank God!!), so this month is a downer anyway. Natural light is at its lowest for the year, a natural depressant for many people. In our parish, we have had several deaths, most recently a really tough one.

On the home front, our daughter has moved to Albany, NY. Our son is about to move to Sarasota, FL. Both these events are happy developments for them. For me ... maybe not so much. But it's the way of the world today.

For all who feel out of sorts and sad, St. John's is having a Blue Advent Service this coming Saturday evening at 6 PM, immediately following the regular Saturday night service. It will give us space to grieve whatever we're grieving, a place to admit that we're not at our finest at Christmas. And it will be a place where we can reflect on the return of the sun and the coming of the Son on the 25th.

So if you feel like a truck has run over your Christmas stocking, come on over to St. John's.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The election is over. It's time for Trump Watch

I get it, folks, I really do. We're all pissed off that Donald Trump was elected.

But why are you protesting? Are you going to overthrow our constitutionally elected 45th president-elect? Really?

This is not some banana republic, ladies and gentleman. This is the USA. So get a grip. No junta is going to depose the Donald.

We did this, you know. We did this to ourselves. It's the simple math of the electoral college: Hillary Clinton did not win the states she needed to secure 270 votes. Women and minorities did not vote in sufficient quantities to ensure Hillary's election. We can argue about the electoral college -- personally, I don't see what purpose it serves, and I'd just as soon be rid of it -- but the math is clear.

So save your strength, because you are going to need it. Move past your anger. It's time to be watchful. Stay alert. I call this Trump Watch (a la Helsinki Watch and Human Rights Watch).

If Donald Trump attempts to do the terrible things he said he would do, that's when we take to the streets. Peacefully, but with determination.

But this election? It's over. We need to move on, ever alert.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tangerine Man

I've been so good.

Do admit, I've successfully avoided the 2016 election on this blog. I made a pact with myself, even though my sense of outrage, over these many months, made my little fingers itch to be on the keyboard.

But now, three weeks before the election, Donald Trump, the Tangerine Man (sorry, Bob Dylan) has finally driven me over the edge. It wasn't the recording of Trump boasting about his prowess in sexual assault, though that was an outrage. It wasn't his harping about Hillary Clinton's bad judgement, which seems to me the pot calling the kettle black.

No, it's his insistence that the election is "rigged," and will be stolen from him.

Arguably, the 2000 election was stolen from Al Gore, with the Florida recount and the Supreme Court's verdict in favor of Bush. But the whole system?

The whole system?

I guess Trump has forgotten any civics that he ever knew. He's forgotten that elections are run locally, and those who run them take them very seriously. I have friends who have been poll workers for years. These folks see the conduct of a free and fair election as their sacred mission.You wouldn't want to try pulling a fast one on them.

So Trump can spout off nonsense about a "rigged" election. He's spouted nothing but nonsense, after all. The problem is ... people believe him.

Who are these people, who believe that the Democrats can control the outcome of a nationwide election? They're the same folks who think immigrants are here to destroy our economy, Muslims want to blow us up, every household should have a gun, and the nuclear warhead is a real option in a conflict. Some of them have called for violence in the event that Hillary wins next month. That seems like sedition to me (but what do I know?).

God help us.  I try to be kind to Trump supporters, but it's getting hard.

Damned hard.