Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a greater appreciation for the opening sentence 
in Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ 
than I do right now.

It speaks to me of the sense I have of two vastly different realities.

The looming specter of a trump administration - 
with all the resultant chaos and disorder that’s sure to follow - 
hanging over the season like a pall 
the delightful reality of watching a new life unfold in front of our eyes. 
 A little sprite with the most expressive face I’ve seen 
since his father was a baby. 
 He makes me smile every time I see him.  

The problems of the world seem very far away 
when dealing with the immediacy of a baby.

It’s made me think very differently about the political upheaval in which we find ourselves.

I doubt that any group of people living through turbulent times 
see themselves as living in a ‘historical period’.

The connections, 
the way all pieces of the overall puzzle fit together – 
or, more aptly, fall apart - 
aren’t generally made until AFTER the period of time is over. 

It’s a luxury historians and social scientists have from a distance, 
without the blinders of the present age.

Did common folks going about their daily lives, 
trying to survive as best they could, 
know they were living in the Fall of the Roman Empire? 
Pre Hitler Germany? 
The year prior to Japanese internment camps? 

I find myself wondering what our age will be called; 
what theories historians will posit about our apparent blindness 
to see what was truly happening, 
asking why there wasn’t more of a response; 
taking us to task for being so busy with the daily minutiae of our lives 
that we failed to make the connections 
between the reality that was happening 
and the lies being fed to us by the press and those in power, 
wondering how we could stand by mutely 
as we lost our country.

I’m still finding it a hard balance – 
between standing up to every affront to the senses and intellect – 
which occur by the day, 
sometimes the hour – 
while constantly feeling powerless to affect any change 
with the resultant pull to merely sink into the personal; 
to focus on being present and loving 
where I am with my immediate tribe 
and those in my daily sphere; 
to let the rest of the world sort it out for themselves later.

I know that our time on this earth is limited 
and that how we spend that time DOES matter. 

I’m just still struggling with the balance that’s healthy, 
for me, 
of managing micro and macro concerns. 

The only conclusion I’ve reached is that I won't find resolution in 2016. 
Clearly this falls under the category “to be continued”.

But in the meantime, 
there are twinkle lights, 
a family to love,
responsibilities to be honored 
“sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof”.

And there's Santa.
and moments of stillness and beauty
 And for tonight,
maybe that's enough.

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