I am losing sleep. And chain smoking. And crying a lot.
I must have coffee in the morning. Two cups is standard quota now -- up from the usual single cup.
I am finding succor in a virtual world among people I have never met.
I am holding my tongue and filtering the audience that can hear me when I break silence.
There must be a word to describe the experience of a heart breaking and a brain exploding at the same time.
I watched portions of the Republican National Convention, sitting at a counter in my kitchen. Not surprised that their message of "everything is horribly wrong and it's Their fault -- not ours and our guy is gonna beat them up for us" has an appeal but pained to see the numbers, just how many humans have no trouble, suffer no incapacitating cognitive dissonance while standing under the "liberty and justice for all flag" while spewing hatred. Some of them even call me "friend."
I watched portions of the Democratic National Convention, sitting at a counter in my kitchen. From time to time I wished I was in Philadelphia. I have not been a registered Democrat for many years but lots of Independents showed up in Philly, too, and I sighed with longing as I watched them marching and chanting and sitting-in.
I struggle to reconcile the hopeful enthusiastic fervor of HRC supporters inside the Wells Fargo Center with the hopeful enthusiastic fervor of Sanders/Stein supporters outside and inside the Wells Fargo Center. I note the frustration and animosity of both groups toward the other, struggle to understand what any or all of this has to do with me, to ascertain where, if anywhere at all, my place is in the tumult.
The struggle is familiar. Feels like a life-long struggle. The context this time is national politics, a presidential campaign but I know about suppressing personal desire and revamping principles and breathing through delayed gratification and seeking a mature serenity with a making-the-best-of-It compromise, glimpsing a shining city on a hill while slogging through a decimated ghetto full of frightened, disheartened people, all of us in shackles.
And I know my life nears its end. And I wonder will there come a day when I can/will simply stand up and walk toward the city on the hill? Find the courage to press on, this time toward the Light and only the Light?
I am likely guilty of the naivete, selfishness, and delusional thinking that some accuse me of. I am not appreciating the magnitude of the danger we face, they tell me. A danger whose devastating potential outweighs whatever truth and beauty I imagine I see on the shining hill. A danger that will make current deprivations look like paradise by comparison.
I am so tired, so aware of my mortality, so aware that time is running out. Something in me is screaming "Enough is enough. No more. The time has come."
Whatever the particulars of its presentation, the struggle is sometimes like a choice between slow death by torture with nothing to wear or eat and slow death by torture with clothing inadequate to the weather and a steady diet of toxic food. It's a hard choice, right?
I am told repeatedly that abstaining from either option, choosing a third way that lies along the path to the city on the hill, is foolish, for just around that curve up ahead I will learn that this road actually leads to one of the other two options.
In the fantasy, somehow I die on the road. Maybe before the curve or maybe just as I enter it.