Today I feel gutted.
I was already gutted by the mass shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, and the next day, as though re-gutted, the mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. As unbearably horrific as that mass shooting was, the cover up is even more grotesque to me. Anyone could understand the fear police might have when encountering a deranged shooter with an automatic weapon. Hesitation might occur. Hyper-caution to avoid children…ok. Then why the lies and covering up the story? I am not sure I have the stomach for the answer.
I felt gutted yesterday watching The January 6th Hearings and listening to members of Trump’s DOJ recount 45’s intense and insane pressure to install Jeffrey Clark in the final weeks of his presidency. This, after hearings in which witness after witness relayed Trump’s efforts to overaturn a legitimate democratic election that he lost. Election workers were abused; their lives endangered. VP Mike Pence’s life was in danger. The sickness of Trump’s pathetic cleaving to power and the sad, angry, delusional devotees who are empowered to serve him leave me distraught. When I am not angry and fearful (of so many angry, fearful people with serious gun power), I am profoundly sad that so many people have succumbed to such a gross excuse for a human being and for perpetuating cruelty and selfishness.
Yesterday, upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing open carry–because….you know….individual rights/liberties–I was at once terrified and broken. I believe there is now such a tension between the hyper-individualsts who embrace a particular definition of macho and those who are actually more driven to protect the lives of the already born, that the menacing and threatening that seems empowering will only cause if not a conventional civil war, then a serious threat to everyone.
And this morning, with the news of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v wade, I am actually sick to my stomach. I am in mourning. Democracy, which I certainly took for granted in the once USA, is on life support. I am mourning American life that had promise.
I was briefly uplifted by the seemingly ordinary people who became heroic to me: during Trump’s 2 impeachments; during the worst days (and throughout) the COVID19 pandemic; Zalensky; some Republicans who have been Trump loyalists in his administration; unceremonious election workers; Capitol police officers, all of whom bravely stood up to endure under duress and bear testimony to truth. There is still truth. There is still decency. Perhaps too little too late, but some people have been moved. I have learned of goodness and decency during such trials, when so much crazy and serious danger has been thrust upon us and relentlessly spewing through media over the last 6 years.
But whatever solace I felt was amidst the mourning for the beauty that was the promise of life here in the USA, even in this very dangerous 21st century. I am grieving not so much for the world in which I grew up, but for the willingness that we had to continue to improve; to no longer stand for what was, even if we endured it.
I have had queasiness every day for years now, but hoping it would subside when this period finally settled down. Today’s overturning of Roe v wade was not surprising, but it is nonetheless chilling. It is nauseating. And the waves keep coming.
I am mourning the loss of separation between church (all religion) and state; of the recognition of the dignity of all living beings who have been born; of the danger of guns; of peaceful elections and transitions of power; of a healthy climate–political, social, economic,natural.
But after the mourning one must get on with the business of living and creating a healthy life. I don’t see how the current conditions are sustainable. The sickness that has pervaded too much of the American culture and now American deomcratic institutions and democracy itself, from the base to the Supreme Court, is deadly. But succumbing to mourning is deadly too.