I don't know. Woke up this morning to a foggy, misty world, the roosters' calls of rising drifting through gauzy ground-clouds of moisture. Not so cold, but certainly not the bright shining day I could have wished for.
It is what it is and then I saw that Haiti has been hit by a very strong aftershock and what do you do? Peripheral helplessness, I think is how they referred to this feeling on NPR the other day. Something like that. Peripheral something.
Standing on the sidelines, knowing there is suffering, unable to do a thing but wring my hands, bow my head.
And Massachusetts, the world capital of sensible Democratic left-leaning thinking has elected a Republican senator, a came-out-of-nowhere guy to replace Ted Kennedy. Scott Brown and he declared that he respected what Senator Kennedy had done to represent the people of Massachusetts for all of those years and as we speak he is putting on his wings to race to Washington to stop Kennedy's lifetime dream of health care for Americans, to put the skids on gay marriage, to do what he can to take a woman's right to choose away from her.
I'm fifty-five years old and what I see is that we can't get anywhere. We take three steps up the mountain and slide back four. Did you read what XBox wrote this morning? Take a moment, go there, read it.
Weep. Because they can do it. Why can't we? Don't we deserve the same, OUR mothers, OUR babies? Don't we?
I live in Florida. We expect good-old boys who got their learnin' from the Bible to win elections. But Massachusetts? Hell, I doubt you can run a five mile course there without running into an Ivy League Institution of Serious Learning.
Well. Here I am in Lloyd, Florida where it's misty and all I can do this morning is feed the chickens, thaw out some fish for our dinner, learn my lines, take a walk. I can't lift weights because every time I do, my hands go into complete rebellion, waking me up at night with the fiercest burning and needles. I find a cold spot in the bed and rest them there, stretch them, change position, let the nerves try to untangle, manage to go back to sleep, only to wake back up and go through it again. My damn body won't even let Jock Girl out to play any more. I get my foot almost healed up and my hands go into spasm.
Oh well. Do what I can. I do what I can.
I'll walk. I'll learn my lines. I'll try to do some push-ups instead of the weights, hoping my hands won't hate that as much. I'll plant some pansies. I'll do some laundry. I'll change the sheets. I'll sweep the floor. I'll eat good food. I'll feed the chickens, I'll pretend the rest of the world isn't out there. It's easy today because of the fog. I can't even see down the road to the corner, why worry about what's going on in Haiti, in Washington?
Why worry? I'm fifty-five years old and every time we take a step up the mountain of justice for all, we tumble back down to where we started. It's the way of the world, it's the acts of the gods, it's the rule of the bigots, it's the impatience of the people, it's the fire in the blood, it's the hope in the heart, it's the despair in the soul and let me tell you something- that Eternal Flame? It burns out and someone has to go relight it. Ain't no such thing as an eternal flame.
I am not that guy whose job it is to stand by at the ready to get that flame going again. Neither am I an oak tree, just standing watch silently as it all happens.
I am something in-between.
You are too.
We may be helpless and some days we may even feel hopeless but I am fifty-five years old and I tell you that every time we slide down the mountain again, every time the flame goes out, we get up off our asses and somehow manage to start trudging again, to get the fire to the wick.
I don't know how. But it happens. I'm fifty-five years old and I've seen it happen again and again.
Somehow the fog clears, the mists evaporate and the sun shines through again. Sometimes it seems like it never will, but it does.
And having said that, I realize how weary that makes me feel. I wish I could say that yes! Change will come and it will stay.
I don't think so. There are ages of enlightenment and there are ages of darkness. The mist comes, it parts. It comes again or sometimes a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a spate of perfect weather follows.
What can you do? I am fifty-five years old and I still have no idea.
Do a push-up if you can't lift weights. Walk three miles if you can't run two. Save your energy but get out of bed. Live as if the clouds had parted. Feed the chickens, collect their eggs, plant some flowers. Learn your lines. Speak them with authority. Don't be afraid to be a fool for the greater good of all. Kiss the babies, soothe their tears, ease their pain. The ones right here in front of you, even if you can't reach the ones in your peripheral vision.
That's all I have to say for now. That's what's on my mind.