One by one the lamps were all extinguished, except that Mr. Carmichael, who liked to lie awake a little reading Virgil, kept his candle burning rather longer than the rest… [Mr. Carmichael brought out a volume of poems that spring, which had an unexpected success. The war, people said, had revived their interest in poetry] (Woolf, To the Lighthouse). Much like the characters in Woolf’s novel, we too, only yesterday, took a step away from our four year war against lies and misinformation, against bigotry and racism, against incivility and immorality, seeking solace from an elder statesman and a young poet, and on a historic Inauguration day, we got more than we could have hoped for in the wisdom of President Biden and the spoken poetry of Amanda Gorman. Unity. Light. A reminder of our America.
Who let the dogs out? I think we all know the answer to that…
This week, in the unraveling after Trumps’ rally to March and Attack the Capital along with the elected officials and the police protecting them, I have been reminded of the frightening side of human nature. We all like to think the very best of ourselves and of each other. Each day I tell myself to rise up and move on. To follow the good news and do what I can to make the world shine just a bit brighter. To make my way with hope. And I think this is how we all view our life. But right now, I’m crushed by the ignorance, the credulity, and the indifference that resides in too many Americans. Sadly, we have been here before. Even a superficial understanding of history will underscore this tragic point. But I find myself desperate for reasons if only to face another tomorrow.
The last 48 hours has uncovered both the strength of the Georgian populace and the arrogance of the terrorists’ sedition. In a swirl of highs and lows we stand in today’s aftermath with a shattered republic underfoot. Yes, there is the call of the wild in the air but it is a tainted one: more than ever we need to chase down every trail of hope we can. This messy business will be pondered by those far more engrossed in politics than me, over and over for days and weeks and many years ahead, as it should be for acts of this magnitude: our temple to Democracy was desecrated by a mob of craven and ignorant anti-Americans. But I clearly believe these people do not represent most citizens. They do not listen to facts of Science or Math, they don’t attend a church that preaches compassion or love, and they certainly don’t understand how government works. Instead they raise the vile confederate flag, adore themselves with racist tattoos, and find their facts from unvetted news sources. Their views are alien to our scholars’ interpretations of our constitution and the morality of our best. For sanity’s sake, I’ll trust our elected officials and law enforcement to bring justice to these criminals and their President, and now, loudly applaud the brave and brilliant efforts of Georgian voters, who have heralded in much needed change to our Senate. Moving with faith, we head into our wild woods.