Thursday, January 21, 2021

Happier New Year

Somewhere, in me, is a lengthy, reflective, eloquent and succinct post about the days leading up to the inauguration, about insurrection, impeachment, and the eager of anticipation of change, of distinctly moving forward. It's somewhere, but I am processing. Joseph Biden is president of the United States, with Kamala Harris as our vice president. It's happened. And they went right to work, effectively even before they were sworn in, to run government, to lead with respect, by example, with skill. It is a lot to process, the last four years, and the last 24 hours, but there are a few things I am certain of... I do not want to get back to normal, because it never was normal, or at least, it was not fair, nor just, comfortable. Big matters of racism, and other discriminations, of injustice, and suffering have long been issues, and they are as much as ever problems that must be addressed and set right. For now, I am ready to enjoy this moment when it finally does feel like a new year, and I might have hope, I can reflect on the accomplishments and achievements, relish the art and beautiful voices, and simply catch my breath, after a long, truamatic wait. And then, we stay engaged, in the know, and we expect and insist on truth, on accountability, on mutual respect, on human rights, student loan debt relief, universal healthcare, the Voting Rights Bill, and more. So much more. There is work to be done.
Cairo's expression, brought to mind the last inauguration when after potus made his speech, Hilary Clinton said that GW Bush turned to her and said, "Well, that was some weird shit." Doesn't that describe all of the last four years? Is it over? Yesterday's ceremony, the speeches, and glances, the singing, and expressions of respect, and exuberance, the symbolism... it was all so beautiful, so full of the gestures and indicators of hope that I have longed for, even without knowing. Perhaps, after what we have been subjected to previously, I need more eloquence, more grace and signaling of good will, of progressive action, kindness, exhorting peace. I am happy, relieved, and still wary, a bit in disbelief. Part of me is sitting beside Bernie Sanders, with handmade mittens, in my warmest, insulating coat, surveying the scene, and knowing full well that we have some big matters to address. This ain't over. There is so much work to be done.
We've had a lot of windy weather, here, and across the country, too. Seemed fitting, stimulating. Now there is rain in the forecast, and we need that so bad! It's been dry, dry, dry. Hey, do you remember when I linked to a digital advent calendar, and I was so excited about it, because it had so many pretty graphics, and pretty music, and it was just this lovely, whimsical holiday treat? I even sent a few to friends. Well, I want to apologize about that... I mean, if you are as weak as me, a cotton headed ninny muggins. They got me with the art and culture, but they kept me coming back for the solitaire and puzzles games. I still want to play the shiny jewels puzzle game. If you only knew how good I got at it. I was about to go pro! Well, yesterday, I put the whole lot in the trash, then emptied the trash. Then vowed to never ever ever open an app like that, again. Ever. But I would love to play one more time, for like four or five hours. It seems high winds, a global pandemic, unstable government, waiting for an insurance/accident settlement to close, and personal doubts, insecurities and sadness are a perfect storm for falling prey to shiny game addiction.
Did I say I don't want to go back to normal? That's partly true. I don't want to go back to living as though being safe and content is good enough for me, so why fuss. I do want to go back to feeling optimistic, safe, to doing things that are meaningful, appreciable and appreciated. I want to feel confident, rested, capable of getting things done, and... I seem to frequently question, wasn't this easier, wasn't I better at this, didn't I feel like I could manage more things, and have long spells of peaceful, assured comfort? I miss that.
For the longest time we kept the live feed from the inauguration up on our screen, and we went on with our day, cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, Maria immersed in the work of finals week, Max resting his ankle, Geoff at work at home. We listened to the wind howling, checked the mail, hit like on the latest memes... and all the while we had this giant White House in our livingroom. The evening light softening, the fountain splashing, the stars and stripes waving calmly. Democracy, friendships, home, and hope. This is a good start to a new year, for a happier new year.