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Spring does come

It's gonna be a long road. At 61, I accept that I won't see the end of it, or a return to "the way things were".

Which is all the more reason to remember that every day is precious, I am not unlimited, I must give my best work to the Resistance as best I can, and that means taking a breath, and a walk, and a moment to recognize that there is still beauty and hope in the world.
Gray cat foot standing among early green daffodil spears in the leaf-litter of winter
Graydie and the daffodils. January 30 2017

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2017 04:56 pm (UTC)
"Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?"

(From: Rupert Brooke: The Old Vicarage at Grantchester, 1912)
Jan. 31st, 2017 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yes! That!

Thank you, Soren. That was just perfect. There is honey still for tea.
Jan. 31st, 2017 06:32 pm (UTC)
It's my go-to poem when I can't really handle the world... And I can't these days.
Jan. 31st, 2017 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's a good one.

I try to make it my first line of defense to feel okay about taking care of myself and enjoying what's good in the world--that is, not feeling guilty that I do have much to enjoy and be grateful for.

There's a strong tendency, at least in my particular liberal American coastal elite culture, to feel guilty about enjoyment or preference. It's Yankee puritanism, I think, widely propagated and mutated into this weird liberal guilt and shame thing. I'd be interested in your view on it, coming from a different culture.

Like, do you feel guilty for having a safe and warm place to sleep at night, knowing that so many people don't have that? And if so, does that guilt make it impossible for you to even feel grateful for your blessing?
Jan. 31st, 2017 07:45 pm (UTC)
I've gone through nearly a gallon of ice cream since the inauguration and I feel in no way guilty! And no, I don't feel guilty for being a middle-class white male in a safe society. It does give me a certain moral obligation, though, to do what is within my means to help others - but not necessarily to the point where I have to give them the shirt off my back.

I've tried to insert the old concept of "tithes" into my budget; it used to be the rule that you had to give one tenth of your income to the church, so I try to donate one tenth of my income after tax to charities. And yes, I realise this is a luxury I can only afford because I am a single-person household with no mortgage on my house and a rental income that pays the mortgage on my apartment; it's not for everyone. And my donations change from the rational to the emotional; from giving money to Doctors Without Borders to paying for a group of LGBT asylum seekers to be able to go to Pride.

And all the while I have a comfy bed and am not ashamed of it.
Jan. 31st, 2017 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that perspective. I do have a mortgage, but I also have an income that I worked for in the past and no longer have to work for. I am, as I have almost always been in my life, radically free. The election so far has not changed that (though I'm wary).

I've thrown a fair amount of money around--as you say, some of it emotionally--since election day, and it's time for me to pick a couple of battles, and set up automatic payments. While I honor younger women's fight for reproductive rights, as a 61-year-old asexual, I feel like it's okay for me to say "Not my battle," and focus instead on what's closer to my heart: climate change and local equity issues.

Thanks for helping me clarify that in my own mind.
Jan. 31st, 2017 08:16 pm (UTC)
We don't have to "pick our battles" - but to be honest it's more satisfying to give an amount to one organisation rather than splitting it between 10. (Also, I prefer donating to charities registered in Denmark as that makes it tax deductible - so I can give 144 to charity and really only pay 100...)

And I think climate change is the most important topic if we want to think about the future of the kids others are having. Just because they aren't OUR kids doesn't mean we don't have to care about the world they inherit. I mean, they're great kids, and I don't want to leave them with an effed-up world.
Jan. 31st, 2017 07:59 pm (UTC)
I meant to add: I've been 100% sugar free for over a year now, with two exceptions: I bought and ate a whole package of Scottish shortbread on Election Day, and I did it again on Inauguration Day.

Ice cream has sounded really, really good to me a lot lately!
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