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.
If there is but one gift that 2020 brought to our small spinning globe, it is a real understanding of the transient nature of life. We have stood witness as industry and commerce and worship and governance and every aspect of our daily existence stalled. Death came calling too. To date COVID-19, something we had never heard of a short year ago, has extinguished 1.97 million lives: from your family to those in Mexico, from Iran to India, from China to the White House, COVID disrupted our every interaction and halted our every routine. Reflecting on 2020, I shudder to think of how much wine I consumed, how rarely I put on leather shoes to go do something professional, instead how many hours I doom-scrolled, fretted or cried or spent angry. Eager to hold onto our fleeting and magnificent lives despite all the restrictions, we retreated into our homes, and over the ensuing months began to read poetry and fiction again, used our phone to call friends, dreamt outlandishly about the future and recalled our best memories fondly, and even created something like love from that swirling ball of fear and chaos and forced void. We found, as Dickinson so aptly wrote, “Hope” is the thing with feathers.