I honestly don’t know what to say anymore. People are being slaughtered weekly with assault rifles in our neighbour to the south and those in power have zero interest in doing anything about it. The president lies, every single day, and on top of that makes racist, misogynist and offensive comments and faces no real consequences for any of it.
My rage is on a slow boil and has been for a long time, but it’s wearing me down. I feel bruised, deep in my soul, and hopeless that nothing is changing. This is not the world I want my kids to grow up in, but I can’t fix these massive problems.
What I can do is focus on my own little corner. You have one too. The people and the pets and the hobbies that you love reside here. You can look after them (and this includes your own beautiful self). You can grow a flower or bake a delicious cake. You can watch a movie or a TV show that helps you escape the horror of the world or gently ushers you toward a fresh outlook. You can read a book that has the power to transform you.
I’ve been making my way through Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened, and as excellent as it is, I had to stop reading for a bit as what could have been was simply too raw. (Side note: If you don’t like HRC, you are welcome to your opinion, but I don’t want to hear it right now. She is being unfairly bashed online constantly and I’m not allowing that nonsense on my watch).
For a break from real-world pain, I picked up a People magazine borrowed from the library and put it down immediately after reading the headline “Taking Down a Hollywood Predator” with Harvey Weinstein’s mug front and centre. No thanks. More suffering in the form of patriarchy gone wild with power and abuse. I needed something else to inch back toward hope in humankind.
Thankfully, the brilliant Celeste Ng’s newest novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was in for me on the hold shelf. I raced to the library to get it, having just finished her debut, Everything I Never Told You, which broke my heart but in such a healing and redemptive manner. If you haven’t read Celeste Ng, please put these two books at the top of your TBR pile. Her talent is awe-inspiring.
This brings me back to my little corner. I’m finding it really, really, really challenging to write blogs right now. Everything I want to say is too raw and unfiltered – too brutal for human consumption. I start to type it and I can’t get it to sound right. So I backpedal and feel like I’ve failed. I know I’m not adding anything meaningful to the conversation. But maybe that’s okay. Perhaps what I’m meant to do in this god-awful time is just to say, “I’m here too. I’m hurting, just like you. Let’s look after ourselves and our loved ones.”
Anne Lamott tells a story in one of her books about planting a certain type of tulip that only blooms for a few days each spring. She was complaining to a friend about it, saying, “What is the point of all that work to only enjoy the flowers for 4 or 5 days?” Her friend’s answer? “The point is those 4 or 5 days.”
I’d like that lesson to patch up my hope so I can keep going. It doesn’t seem like enough. But when it’s all we have, perhaps that will have to do. I’m going to tend to my little corner while you tend to yours. Maybe, just maybe, it will temporarily brighten up the world and help us find the solutions we need for harmony, peace and optimism again.