A year ago…

I posted this on Facebook a year ago today, and much of it is still quite true. The past is the present is the past is the future. We can change the present, and that will change the future, but we must take good care in doing that. We have the future in our hands right now, right this moment, and we cannot afford to be careless. It takes only a second to flick a finger on the trigger of a gun and end life, yours and possibly someone else’s. It takes only a moment to dim the light of your spirit with the simple impulse of a muscle – a finger, or even a tongue that sends words out into the universe like projectiles of that can never be taken back. In either case, some bit of a spirit dies, the part that connects us to our Source. Without that connection, we die or at least cease to become who we are. As long as there is a choice, there is a chance to live. The point of life is to live.

let’s see. what’s on my mind. i truly have no idea. get it – no idea? ok, whatever.i do not have so many thoughts on my mind as feelings. the pervasive feeling of not knowing whether to laugh like a hysterical fool or cry like a child in the dark over the never-ending stream of public commentary diarrhea. we don’t know, and they don’t either, but we are desperately looking to the heavens (or maybe even into the underworld) for clues. look! he played golf while an international congress was meeting about the pandemic! we’re doomed – again…doubly doomed…o.m.g.! what does this mean? what is he thinking? what’s the other one thinking? we don’t know! somebody – quick – come up with a theory about what he might be thinking and what he might do.

this is like a horror movie, where you don’t know whether to shut your eyes or look the horror full on, since you knew (hoped) it would be scary and gory when you bought the ticket. you definitely want to get your money’s worth.

so. how big of a disaster will this be? can the election results actually be overturned? quick. someone research the most obscure legal and constitutional references you can find, and can’t explain, for how that might be done. or not. find experts, bonus points if they disagree. and that’s really the whole deal – we don’t know how any of this is going to look like, and the uncertainty is making us all nuts in our own special ways.

some of us are locked into the false pretense of power – we’ve got the right answer, and facts and film and credentials to prove that we know what we’re talking about. some of us are locked into oppositional defiance (who the fuck are you to say i shouldn’t fly off to see grandma, who i have not seen in 12 years, in an enclosed tin can with questionable electronics and people who can’t tell me where their hands have been in the past 72 hours? and no, i ain’t wearin’ no damned mask because this is America and i know my RIGHTS!).

some of us are resigned to the reality that time is going to pass, on its own schedule, no matter what response we make. we are just determined not to be deprived of any further convenience, comfort, so we distract ourselves by any means necessary. look. SQUIRREL! no, not a squirrel, wtf is that??? well, it’s shoe polish running down Giuliani’s face during a press conference on … what exactly? well, let’s discuss what exactly that was about…experts disagree. *head desk*in the meantime, back in the real world.

thousands of people are dying from COVID-19. every. day. millions are out of work. parents are wrestling with the conflicting information about whether or not it’s safe to entrust their children to an in-person school experience, no matter how big they are.

sending your 5-year-old brings up the same issue as sending your 18-year-old to college, although your 18-year-old may engage in more risk-prone behaviors than your 5-year-old. but that’s another story. parents of legal minor children also have to deal with the reality, heretofore invisible to many, that school = child care during working hours, so virtual learning is another kink in the plans for gainful employment. when you can’t work, you can’t participate in retail economy (for food or otherwise), which puts more folks out of work, and depending on unemployment or stimulus assistance (or lack thereof) puts the economy under more stress, which is a problem unless you’re at the executive level of retail corporations or elected government.

is your brain exploding yet? many of ours are, begging … somebody please bring us back to a place before all this (pick a crisis) came up and forced us to think about this inequity stuff. please bring us back to a time when knowing there was inequity was more like an itch on the scalp than a migraine headache that can’t be relieved by even prescription medication, or a hammer, or chanting “personal responsibility” like a mantra. when handing a $1 to someone on the corner assured us that we had done something, at least for the moment.

please don’t make us think about how what we have, or don’t have, might be connected to that person on the corner has or doesn’t have, and how that is not necessarily associated with the morality or character of either us or them but could the reason that one of us has a $1 and the other doesn’t. not just today, but every day. and please, please bring us back to a time when confidence in our decision making was mostly unquestionable, and we didn’t have to suspect that everyone – even our own kin – was lying to us, trying to cheat us, trying to get more than their fair share. even if we did, we could just grab brewski at the local watering hole or some burgers at the pub. when we didn’t have to fear that our migraine was actually a brain aneurysm that can blow at any time.

our leaders, our media, our trusted heroes, even some of our churches have all come under suspicion for most of us. these things are the bedrock of our lives. this is our culture. things that let us feel that we are walking on solid ground, like we know what’s going on and that god willin’ and the creek don’t rise, it’s gonna keep going on pretty much as we expect. but we don’t have that assurance right now, and it’s scaring us into some kind of a feral state, like wild dogs that have never known love or where their next meal is coming from.

to our horror, we find out there’s been an earthquake…whether we felt it directly or not. the ground shook, stuff fell off the shelves, and things do not feel solid beneath our feet. it’s been going on for a while, although the tremors were slight at the start. it was a full-fledged shifting of terra firma. many bodies are on the streets, in the halls of justice and government and the economy – marching, trudging/rolling to unknown destinations, moving to and fro, in a flurry, pacing (metaphorically or otherwise), standing or sitting in place.

there are many quakes, some larger than others – this is more or less metaphorical, but also happens in the physical geology or our planet, where clusters of quakes are documented, shifting the order of centuries- and millenia-old strata, ordering of elements, resources. and there are after-shocks, there is demolition, solid and sometimes ancient human-made structures are in pieces, or tottering. landmarks disappear. some things are damaged beyond repair and have to be eradicated, for continued safety.

the land appears foreign to us in an instant, and is realistically unsafe to house us for now. traditional structures that have encased and often protected us, for good and not so good, are fragile and flimsy if not entirely fallen. some of us live no longer, and the remainder find that we must cling to each other and depend … on each other. well, fuck. that’s a problem.

we’ve been taught for some time now to distrust each other, separate from each other, compete with each other, hate each other. fight against each other. protect only our own resources. forget that all of the resources are connected. forget there’s actually enough resources for all of us, as long as they are distributed equitably. we’ve become accustomed to taking care of only ourselves, and our kind, and our…stuff. we seek to ensure only our own comfort and maximum benefit. extra points if you can do that at a higher level than everyone else. he who dies with the most toys wins. protecting and serving has come to apply only to some temporary man-made contrivances of convenience and status.

we believe the Land has been put here for only individual human benefit and comfort. perhaps that is why the Earth quakes and attempts to shake off the false lines humans have drawn between people and populations and resources.

this is the time. this is the Now. and this is all we’ve got. it may not be the only time, but it is the only Now. we can’t bring back what has been, we can’t bring on the future, without dealing with Now. we have to do the best we can to move from one moment to the next in this new order of things, and not concentrate on restoring the old order. it got us here, but its time has passed. some things will necessarily be preserved – we’ll still inhale and exhale. we’ll still drink water, we’ll still eat food. we’ll still have our faith, and our foibles, and we’ll still (of course) have our brains to form opinions and make judgements about what has happened and what’s happening now.

what separates us from other life forms, though, is that we can dream. we can still dream of a future where things are safe again for all of us, where things are better for us, where there is more of what we want and less of what we don’t. we can still dream, and we can still love. that is what is never destroyed in the human condition, never shifted out of existence, never truly in demand ( perhaps in manifestation, but not truly).

we almost can’t help ourselves. we love. and we dream. and that is who we are. not just some of us, but all of us. i hope we can be child-like enough to realize that some of us color the sun purple and the grass red or yellow, and some of us color the moon orange and horsies blue, and the sky is orange and black or a rainbow for some of us. and it’s all good. every bit of it. it’s ALL good.

Some days it just be like this…all jumbled up.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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