It seems more than slightly indulgent, to start writing about what I was going to write about (which would have been how the workout I was half-hearted about doing was exactly what I needed), when the current headlines and analysis about the firing of FBI Director Comey make it clear this is something to pay attention to, to learn about, to be scared and angry about, to be focused on.
The world won’t end tomorrow because of this. But how many things like this—BIG THINGS, that “normally” would have ended a presidency or a campaign or life in the public for that matter—have we witnessed in the past 100 days or more that will eventually add up to perhaps the end of life as we know it?
Is that overstating? I honestly don’t think so. It’s hard to know without the benefit of history. All I know is that too many groups in this country are feeling angry and scared, and I do mean on both sides of the aisle. And then, to top it all off, a despot leader who claims democracy and progress but acts childish and rear-facing.
I’m honestly too tired tonight to make this a political post with the weight it deserves. As I write that, it does occur to me that I’m very lucky to be in a position where I can turn that off—I can turn the indignation off and focus on other things.
But do I really turn it off? Or do I just hide it and let it instead boil and fester and not really face it head-on? I mean, it’s like any relationship—if you don’t feel heard or respected, if you’re abused and mistreated, if you even find the voice to speak out and ask it to stop, but it doesn’t change, it’s exhausting (not to mention dangerous). If you say “oh but he does it out of love,” it’s just fooling yourself and pushing it down and away and hoping that’s the way to deal with it.
The trouble is, it’s not like government and I can have a therapy session. I can’t break up with government. In fact, I’m grateful to my own direct representatives – Pelosi, Harris, Feinstein – for upholding the values I and my community hold dear. Some days, it feels like I’m shouting into a black hole. Sure, my three members of congress may be shouting alongside me, but it doesn’t seem like enough.
Sure, there are small victories. Yes, I look to people like Sally Yates for inspiration and cheer her on. But what about me? Am I doing enough? I can’t suddenly pivot my life to be leading the charge, but how can I better help in my own little way, in my own little world? Writing? Volunteering? It’s beyond the self-gratification of feeling productive—I do that by daily (sometimes more) contact with MoC and curating my Facebook and Twitter content and being relatively informed. But that’s different than looking at someone or something and knowing it wouldn’t be like that if it weren’t for me.
I don’t have the answers tonight. But this seems too big to turn off.