I have, for some time now, not known what to write about next. I started a post on the Women's March, but scrapped it. Another on the ephemeral decision to move to a Pacific Northwest city north of Seattle for the false sense of safety I would find there; close enough to the Canadian border to escape if need be, all thanks to my giving up my power to a man who I thought (and think) is bent on chaos and confusion and potential irreversible disaster for billions of lives.
Now that the Inauguration has come and gone, we are left with a media deluge of truths and fictions, of statements and testimonies and new slogans (#letlizspeak; Nevertheless She Persisted; etc.) from which we continue to draw up a sense of our realities.
I say realities because I believe that we are living in several.
There is the corporeal reality that we can perceive with our own eyes, the one where we wake up and make our coffee, brush our teeth, and go to work (or apply for jobs, as in my case).
There is the screen reality often found via a television, a laptop, or a cellphone. This one distorts corporeal reality by insisting that we interact with it in a way that is out of our control. We click, link, like, and 'angry face.' We swipe, read, skim content (and people), and make hasty conclusions about whatever it is that this screen reality is showing us.
There is the unseen reality, the one that we perceive through dreams and our imagination, through subtle knowings and our own intuition. This one beckons us to our own innate sense of perception that goes beyond the screen and beyond corporeal, tactile sensation.
Then there is a new one, the false reality. This reality thrives on the claims, bargains, and bellicose blunderings of the 45th President and his administration. And people are believing. People are being swallowed up by this leviathan.
What do we do with all of these colliding realities?
I don't know.
I will admit that I feel lost in a sea of swirling ideologies on the most effective way to remonstrate what is happening in the United States. The ideas and movements arguing over the best way to carve a path toward effective resistance - our people's protest - for our inalienable rights.
I find myself backing away from calls to action and postcard parties, becoming the wallflower who watches and waits and stands in silence, still, while the weaves of our country, the intricate, the delicate, the strong fibers of the woven tapestry that we've grown up in, contributed to, and in some cases, clung to, falls apart before our very eyes.
I have heard people say that he doesn't have that much power. Or that checks and balances will save us.
I have seen, through the reality of the screen, the terrors that seem inevitable.
I have tasted blood curses in my mouth.
I have felt the sweat pouring from my body in waves as my feet slip 'n' slide back and forth at night while my hands drip slowly onto the bed sheet, more and more.
In all of it, signs and signals that something isn't right. And yet, I am becoming The Apathy. The "I can't do anything about it."
The Apathy can grip us all, for one thing or another. For many things. The Apathy is quickest to consume us, our dreams, and our convictions.
The Apathy, Indifference, beckons us always. Ever more so now.
It may seem like this cannot be so, given what is happening everyday in the United States, but the realities merge and conflate and confuse and we are saturated to the point of exhaustion by THIS THING HE SAID or THAT THING SHE PROTESTED or THIS NEW BILL THAT THREATENS TO ____.
The swirling mire of hate and deceit and confusion is painful. And all that pain needs to go somewhere. We fight it out verbally, physically, emotionally. We mute and suffocate and try to swallow it down, down, down, so we cannot feel anything. It sits somewhere and becomes, maybe, The Apathy. Indifference.
So what to do?
Love: affection, appreciation, devotion, respect, passion, allegiance. Love expands and lifts and bridges and creates. It is the source from which we can draw our courage and strength and joy during these times.
So then, where is my love? What am I giving my devotion and appreciation and passion to? For what causes? For whom?
On a similar note, which realities do I allow into my purview? Which realities are helpful? Which realities are not? And which realities am I spending the most time dwelling in? Ah, here is something I can look at.
For myself, I have come to find that engaging with the false realities of the 45th President and his administration are not helpful, nor is my dismay and constant exclamation that "he's _______!" or "What a _____!" This feeds the false reality. This makes it more real. The same goes to engaging with the screen reality. Where am I getting my information? What sources are trustworthy and what sources are pulling me into the darkness of entrapment?
Entrapment: when I allow myself to be caught up in the swirl of misinformation and the two-for-one combo of fear & anger, thereby increasing my chances of becoming apathetic and indifferent. Entrapment cannot touch me when I stay grounded in corporeal reality and consult the unseen reality for the good, true, and beautiful of receiving information and healing.
I wonder then, how to extricate myself from the dangerous dance I am in, the dance between love and apathy. I have a mission, a dream, a goal to pursue, one that needs to stay afloat. We all do. We have purpose and meaning and passions. Beyond that, we have to consider - I have to consider - the danger I put others in by remaining silent and indifferent. The billions of people who are now, daily, living in fear; the billions of people who always have.
And so I must return to love. Simple to say, perhaps, but far more difficult to put into action, especially when the opposing forces implore you to take up arms and shout and pound on the gate to spite us.
But with love, we will not wither or weaken. We will rise up. We will not fall into The Apathy.
So I'll close with something my dear friend Heather would ask: How is your heart?