April 20, 2017

20 04 2017

Busy day today. I’m covering the library from 9 to 5, then hurrying home to put together dinner. Dungeons and Dragons tonight.

I’ve been experiencing what I think must be side effects from sertraline withdrawal: a funny tingling sensation all over my body, particularly around my face and, oddly enough, my mouth, as well as dizziness. Not severe. And no depression or anxiety. In fact, I am continuing to feel better than I have in a very long time.

Even with the grey, drizzly weather today, chilly and gloomy, my mood is good. The ducks like it well enough, and are wandering around the yard, quacking and waggling their butts. I can let them free-range, whereas the chickens scratch up the flower gardens and raise hell. I’ve separated the two, giving the chickens the large run out back. The ducks get the front.

It isn’t that all my problems have gone away—far from it. But they are just problems. They will pass, solved or endured. And it isn’t that nothing ever bothers me; I still have moments when I feel the whole range of negative emotions: fury, resentment, despair, melancholy. They, too, pass. For the most part I feel contented and hopeful. Occasionally even joyful. There is far more good than bad; precisely the reverse of how I felt a month ago. Yay, progress.

My Pledge of Allegiance article should be in the Monitor next week. Time to compose another one. I think I’ll write about the lessons from The Book of Joy and how they are critical to healing the divides in this country. It’s my small blow against the Empire. Back when Trump was first elected, I said it might be a blessing in disguise; he would be such an abominable leader that it would trigger a true revolution of the sort that Bernie Sanders talked about during the election. While we had the option of voting for the status quo (Hillary Clinton) many were content to do so. Had she been elected, we would have continued on our present course, gradually increasing income inequality, continuing our belligerence overseas, making ineffectual gestures towards addressing climate change and paying lip service towards social issues. Sufficient to support continuing complacency.

But the shock of the Trump administrations’s horrifying extremism, as well as the rise of alternative facts and suppression of truths that don’t fit the agenda of the Oligarchy, has galvanized people into action. Perhaps we as a nation will begin to realize the deadly folly of the status quo, and begin pushing in the opposite direction. Pushing hard enough to force change. To dethrone the Oligarchy, to reject our soul-killing culture of envy, competition, and anti-social individualism, and move towards something wholesome, healthy, life-affirming and compassionate. It would require a major paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts take time and cause chaos. It won’t be smooth or easy, and it may not even be possible.

I think of the Dalai Lama’s peaceful, persistent efforts to liberate Tibet from China. I think of Archbishop Tutu’s fight against apartheid in South Africa. The former seems hopeless, but so did the latter. The point is, one continues. Hope is so much healthier for the spirit than despair.

My articles are my humble contribution to the effort to bring about change for the better. The by-product of writing them is my own medicine for melancholy.




3 responses

21 04 2017

I see a lot of people who never cared much before finally seeing how important all of this is. My older sister, for one. So many people, women in particular, standing up and running for office to make a change. Her husband might be hiding his head in the sand still, but she isn’t and will make sure her daughter doesn’t, either. I love all of you who use your voices for change – yes, you too!

23 04 2017
Paul Sunstone

I suspect you’re right that we’re entering a new age of activism.

24 04 2017

The frogs have been sitting in this pot of gradually warming water for decades now. It took a sudden, sharp rise in temperature to make them realize that damn, we are in serious hot water and we need to act now.

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