As I walked in the woods this morning I reflected on my current funk. Waking up to post-election news of Northern Virginia started my day off blue, exceedingly blue, and that’s not the color I had in mind. I was content enough with purple. There’s a balance in that, I thought, as I stood for a moment to watch a heron perched high up in a tree. I supposed he (or she) was surveying the lake below for something decent to eat.
As I took a deep breath of the cold morning air I let it out slowly. The mantra, This Too Shall Past surfaced again; it seems to be my recurrent sentiment as of late. It bubbles up countless times a day now. Actually, I’m grateful that it does; it keeps me grounded in these deeply polarizing times.
I’ve never worn politics on my sleeve which is odd I suppose considering that forty years ago I graduated with honors from the University of Colorado with a degree in Political Science. After all these years…after marriage, kids, a divorce, remarriage- in a word, life--I still think back to those four college years. Back then, my mother complained on more than one occasion that university life was turning me into a “bleeding heart liberal.” In truth, my easily swayed nature during those years simply gave in to the student masses, that, and the need for a good grade. I’ll never forget the one “C” I had on a pol. sci. paper was due to my opposing opinion on an assigned reading. That’ll teach you. The game is: tell the profs what they want to hear if you want to get a good grade. So I did, sweeping conservative leanings well under the carpet.
Still, I considered myself a moderate then..not right, not left but somewhere in the middle, which, on the whole seems perfectly rational given that I am a Libra.
My funk in this moment really isn’t about “losing” per se. Sure, I would have liked my candidate to win. My disappointment is really over a loss of civility. It’s been on a downward spiral for years now, starting well before our current President was even considering a White House run. Can’t we not be kinder, more civil, to one another even as the “color” changes? One cannot say, for example, “I’m sorry your candidate lost,” and be done with that. Instead there is rallying, tribal, sophomoric chest pounding combined with social media comments that are beyond the pale. Take that you evil “red” (can’t repeat) , or…Democrats won you fascist rag. The sentiment is: We are going to slay you now that we have ALL the control. There is not even a smidgen of pretense to work together anymore. Our polarization has, in my humble opinion, limited our future and we are weaker for it.
How will this blue, Hear-Me-Roar, chest pounding, get anything of substance accomplished?
Add to that: Seriously, is it really necessary to stomp on the heads and hearts of those who believe–or voted– differently as your victory cry? Don’t get me wrong, toxicity is rampant from the “red”camp too. Social media comments from the right side of the isle have been just as egregious as those on the left. This whole incivility business, as well as our current state of extreme ideologies has me wanting to curl up under a warm fuzzy blanket with a stack of escapism books and my Poodle-love snuggled at my side….at least through the end of 2020. That, and a fabulous bottle (or two) of Cabernet. Okay…and dark chocolate as well.
Have no fear kind readers. I know what I must do.
Smile…and just keep on saying: This too shall pass.
There is bliss in that.