Today, like most days lately, my head felt like it was going to explode and take my heart, soul, and nerves with it. We, any of us who are paying attention and struggling with all that is happening, are summoning up immense effort to just keep ourselves together.
I had several phone conversations today. One was all about Covid 19 and the fears surrounding this global pandemic that the USA does not in the least bit have under control. One was about the “USA doesn’t have it under control part” and why that is and how much that freaks us out. While many of us have lost loved ones to this horrific virus, some say that it’s nothing to worry about and that we should just continue life pretending all is fine and well. But most of us are just trying to make it through the day and onto the next as we try to keep ourselves and our families safe and protect those around us if we do go out for necessities. We do this even though there are those who go out for the fun of it, mocking those in masks who travel outside their homes in fear, and proudly boast of their arrogance.
All day, everyday, I have to consciously work at not letting this overwhelm me. I am assuming I am not alone in this. Fear that someone I love might get sick, not recover, and have to do it alone is incredibly difficult to fight off. That is really all any of us should need to be worrying about at this time. But it’s not. It is just the tip of the iceberg. Many have the added fear of going to work. Dealing with employers who do not have their best interests in mind and do not provide the protection they need and deserve. Many deal with the public who are becoming more and more confrontational and down right scary. Not wearing masks and daring someone to tell them to. We can thank the man at the top for this. And this is where my deepest fears lie.
I know our problem is a systemic one and at times it’s difficult to tell the difference between the two parties that control our country. The fact that health care for everyone hasn’t been adopted through this says it all. But…. trump is in a league all his own. As we teeter on the edge of 100,000 deaths with no end in sight, he just keeps doing everything to keep it going. To keep us under his thumb. He, I believe, is preparing for November. And that is the biggest fear; that he isn’t going anywhere. He and his inhumane minions are all in place to carry out this plan of authoritarian dictatorship. The evidence is everywhere for us to see with the most glaring example being how readily his followers took up arms and have marched in almost every state to defend his message of opening up the country when we are not ready. So how are we suppose to follow medical advice to improve our immune system as a way to fight this virus when we are witnessing such a evilness take hold?
Have you been to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC? I remember the first time I saw it. I was with my daughter. She was just a kid. We were in DC and doing tourist things. Visiting memorials, museums, walking around the city. We came by the Lincoln Memorial and meant to go left to see the Jefferson Memorial but accidentally took a right instead. And there in front of us was the immense black stone war memorial. The length and the magnitude took me by surprise. It went on as far as I could see. The sheer numbers of lives represented in this monument brought me to tears as soon as I saw it. That memorial represents 68,000 lost lives. Sons, fathers, brothers. Some women too but mostly men. Now I envision the number 100,000 lost lives, lost loved ones, on that monument and how much farther it would stretch. And yet, never once has this man who somehow stole our presidency, ever uttered a word of condolence, of sorrow, of a plan to help those who are struggling or those who have lost someone they loved.
So like Calvin here, my head is exploding and I’m working overtime to just keep myself together. And I’m a lucky one. I’m safe in a home with food and medicine and a place to dig in the dirt. Many are not. Yet….
It’s funny. Many of us wonder why we are unable to read or do typical daily chores. Well I think we can be certain that living through a global pandemic, while watching democracy die, and being on the brink of a great depression might just have something to do with it. Of course we are living in a fog. Of course we struggle to remember to breathe or to do the things we love. Maybe that’s why so many have turned to gardening. They (whoever they are) say playing in soil is good for you. That the microbes in soil help combat depression. Maybe what we need right now is right outside our door. Whether we have soil in the ground or in pots we need to fill, we need to find some soil and plant something in it. Watch it grow. Enjoy the flowers it produces or cherish the nourishment from the food it makes. There is also something the Japanese call forest bathing. Walking among trees to get the same soothing benefits many get from putting our hands in soil. That sounds like a lovely idea too.
So how do we go on when hope continues to get harder and harder to hold onto? We don’t let them win. That’s how. If we give in and give up they win. We will continue to take care of ourselves and our families and friends. We reach out as often as we need to. We admit we need help and accept it. We give help, if we somehow miraculously wake up with the ability and strength to give it. We realize this is not new. That our ancestors lived through this and worse. Remember them. Channel their wisdom and strength. And keep reminding ourselves that what we do is ok. We are living through a historic pandemic and attempted take over of our government. We must hold onto the thought that one day we will tell our descendants how we made it through this and how we won.
In peace and solidarity,