I should be writing. I wanted to write. A couple of weeks ago, the prospect of completing Volume One of the steampunk fantasy I’d started seemed like such an exciting prospect.
|From "Revelation (Mother Earth)" from the album Blizzard of Ozz|
Merely three days after the election, I am physically exhausted and emotionally spent again. I try not to write out of anguish. I leave that to the young and idealistic. I’ve boomeranged past jaded at this point.
People are screaming and demanding to be heard but nobody is listening to one another. Neither side seems capable of making concessions for each other. The mere concept of compromise seems offensive, as if meeting in the middle was akin to selling out.
But this constant pull from opposite extremes is not healthy. Don’t people realize that the center cannot hold that way? And the center here is the difference between the rise and fall.
I wanted to write this November. I wanted to focus on creativity, on a world different from ours but oddly familiar, to flesh out these quirky characters… I still could, but I am not feeling it.
What I feel is tense and disappointed (not in the outcome so much as in the aftermath).
What the winning side doesn’t understand right now, is that the other side is cringing in the same way we all have when a large, ham-fisted nurse has come towards us with a fake smile and a giant syringe and lied, “This is going to sting a little.”
No, it’s going to hurt like hell, you bastard, and it will sting for a long time afterwards; may your tongue rot in your mouth for lying!
People are terrified that their rights will be trampled and when you threaten their basic needs (and we all agree that human rights are basic), people freak out.
We are about to be ruled by people who believe women have no place in deciding anything about their own bodies; people who believe you can electric shock the gay out; people who advocate a return to internment camps and who want to reinstitute the Committee for Un-American Activities (one of the most shameful episodes in our shared history full of savage racism and abuse of power)… It’s little things like that people are freaking out about.
Are people preempting the crisis? Perhaps, but just because it is an emotional response doesn’t mean that it isn’t steeped in some educated guesses. On the other hand, I have no respect for those who immediately resort to rioting and violence. That destroys your credibility and makes others not wish to listen, adding to the dysfunction.
And speaking of dysfunction, just as I was afraid earlier this year, friendships have ended, family relations have fractured, and some of these may never recover. That is so incredibly sad to me. Why can we no longer agree to disagree and remain civil?
So, I’d rather write, but I cannot focus right now because I feel I am living inside Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” without the breathless lyrical beauty. And without the beauty all that is left is gallows humor and horror… I can't create under these circumstances, I need literal escape to lyrical escape!