In other times, I’ve been able to balance all of that with knowledge and observation of all the good, all the beauty in the world, and all the incredibly positive things that humanity does for itself. In other times, I’ve been closely connected with community, or with family, and able to share both the bad and the good, and to feel love and compassion without despair. As a poet, I normally have an outlet in which to share wonderment and anxiety and all things on the spectrum between them.
Lately, though, I find myself alternatively simmering with unfocussed anger, feeling hopeless against the pains and despairs of community and world. I decide to do or to write something about some part of it, only to close the Word file or skip the activity, because I’ve nothing effective or encouraging to say, and can’t see what good I can do, anyhow. There are moments of shared humor and connection in my interactions with people, but beneath those moments I can feel the shared tension of wondering when and what the next blow will be to our civil society and our sense of shared community. I can feel it, even while sitting in my basement and playing simple games on my computer to pass time. A bad play in a silly and simplistic online baseball game is as likely as not to fire a moment of ridiculous rage.
It’s not as if there isn’t good cause for all of this.
On a national level, our system of self-governance and of electing people to guide and administer The People’s will has been twisted and distorted by money and by a decades long effort to make it responsive only to the will of The Few. We have media organizations whose only purpose is to spread ignorance and light false fires of anger in the less informed among us, for profit and to keep The People arguing amongst themselves while The Few laugh in their gated enclaves.
On a local level where I live, things have been slightly better, for some of us. We, as a large metro community, just allowed one of our police officers to shoot a black man dead and endanger his child and partner without cause, and to walk away without legal consequence. So, yes, it’s slightly better here than elsewhere for some of us, but not for all of us. People who I exchange greetings and do life with every day in my workplace are not treated by our community as valued citizens and neighbors, and I can feel it beneath our pleasantries.
I want to make things better. I won’t stop trying to make things better. I won’t stop trying to write about things and bring humor and balance and perspective to all the things that ail us.
Thanks for sticking around on this aimless little trail of words. See y’all next time around.