Negative and positive implications: discuss

Dear President Trump,

I did include the tag “Climate Change” with yesterday’s postcard on my blog since it’s almost certain that the freeway ornamental cherry is routinely blooming in January when its holiday lights are still on it because of global warming. I didn’t, however, have it in me to call this angle out and thus, stayed focused on pretty the combination of frothy pink flowers and little glittery white lights. Surely there’s some poetic way to deal with confounding mash ups of loveliness that signal nothing good, but I don’t know what it is and can only say that it sucks to have to mentally “yes, but” pretty much everything. Out loud: “Oh, what a beautiful scarf!” In head: “I wonder if it was made locally and sustainably by adults making a living wage – probably not….”

It wears a person down to constantly acknowledge the darker sides of almost everything lovely, comfortable, and convenient. I suppose, though, that not acknowledging the harder-to-look-at facets of reality is a lot of what keeps us locked in and sheepishly going with what’s dangled in front of us, going after what’s status quo and easy. Obviously “yes, butting” ourselves constantly about these ubiquitous dilemmas risks driving us crazy and by itself isn’t going to change anything – at least not until we’re sick of hearing ourselves fuss and twist and start making different choices about the things within our power to change and joining with others to confront the things that need collective action.

When I started the cherry blossom/fairy light mea culpa I had no idea how tied in with everything it is for me, but I suppose it makes sense because having skipped past its implications bothered me much of the night and all morning. Generally this sort of thing is a good clue that whatever is bugging me is bigger than it seems so thank you (oh threat detector stand-in who shields the POTUS who shall never read these missives) for your patience with this meandering sorting out exercise.

I’ll switch gears now and tell you about the sidewalk shadow I came upon just as I had moved onto you (POTUS) in my loving-kindness recitation this morning. The main part of the shadow was cast from a station wagon with a gear rack on the top – it looked like a big fat head with devil horns. Seriously. A big fat head with devil horns looming on the sidewalk in front of me just as I was about to send you LKM wishes. And then, to top it off, right inside the outlines of that shadow was a darker one, cast by what, I’m not sure, that looked for all the world like an angry bird sort of in profile and sort of not such that there were two light spots that looked like round eyes and sticking out to the right was a beak-like protrusion shaped like a rifle barrel with a scope. It was quite the menacing combo. In trying to take a picture of it right-side up I found that I became part of the picture as my shadow was overlaid over the other shadows so I ended up taking one upside down and one from the side.

I’m including this bit about how I had to get creative and let go of the best angle to keep myself out of the frame because it feels analogous to much of life these days. In fact, it feels akin to the general issue raised above about how just about every choice feels fraught and that I/we are implicated in everything that is going wrong, to include having participated in creating a set of conditions that allowed you and the GOP to be in power and to do all the awful shit you are doing and getting away with.

But, here’s the thing – if I/we are implicated in everything that’s going wrong, we are also implicated in everything that’s going well. It’s one of those darn, beautiful, confounding “both/and” deals. So I guess the idea is to try and tip the scales in favor of life, liberty, justice, kindness, happiness, peace, love – all that good stuff – and minimize the mindless consumption and toxic political machinations that threaten all that good stuff.

May we safeguard the good stuff.
May we be willing to carefully, lovingly consider our choices.
May we maintain healthy, balanced perspectives.
May we have the courage to accept peace.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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