On Persisting While Fighting Off Hopelessness…

This post, from just about a year ago….to persist, even while tired, even while feeling hopeless and exhausted, and realizing that, as the writer states below, “staying out of politics, or being ‘sick of politics’ is privilege in action.” So I continue what I hope is not simply pissing in the wind to fight for Universal Health Care and Gun Control. I am persisting, just one snowflake hoping to stick with others for a blizzard to come.

Nevertheless, She Persisted…

Nevertheless, She Persisted….

I start each week by telling myself that this will be the week when I return to some semblance of normalcy. This will be the week that calling, writing, emailing my senators and representative will not be my first priority. This will be the week that I return to posting a blog that is not political. And then……and then…. Like so many, I feel that I must persist. If not I, then who? And Senator Warren, you go girl. Hasn’t this propelled you and our cause to the fore!

This week I actually visited the field office of Senator Tillis, or at least I tried to. I went alone. I wanted to see how/if there would be a different response to one person rather than a group. What I found was a locked door, lights on in the back of the office. I rapped on the window; I called. No response. I went back an hour later – same routine.

Later that day I called and was told that they keep the door locked, and, of course, they couldn’t hear me since their offices are “all the way in the back.” When I asked how constituents were supposed to find them, they told me that there was a bell I should have rung. Where is said bell? I asked. To the right, along the wall.

Well, I’m sure they’re right. I didn’t see it, even though my current vision is 20/20, or almost. There was no sign letting visitors know about it. So I will let you be the judge of how important visitors are to the good senator’s local office.

I must say that I don’t like becoming a political animal. I don’t like starting each day with ever-so-polite calls to regional and Washington offices. I’d much rather drink my coffee, sit on my sun porch and listen to the birds. And then I found this Facebook post. It had been shared many times, and I could not find the author. But did her words resonant, did they ever ring true. And I share them here, not my words, though I wish they were:
“I want my friends to understand that “staying out of politics” or being “sick of politics” is privilege in action.
Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities, your religion, or your gender allows you to live a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. You don’t want to get political, you don’t want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.
It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka “get political”). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that’s what privilege does.
I also want to say to my friends who are new to this, my friends who have recently become more vocal, my friends who’ve seen the damage #45 has done so far, my friends who went to the women’s march — I am proud of you for getting involved. Don’t stop there. Keep having these discussions, keep talking about politics, stay active.
And when you read the critiques of the march from other progressive women who didn’t feel represented, don’t get defensive or discouraged. Activism needs critique. We need to ask ourselves where we were as Flint’s water has been poisoned, or where we were when Philando Castile was killed, or John Crawford or Eric Garner. If the women who showed up at the march showed up when people of color were murdered, it would stop.
Intersectionality means showing up even when the issues don’t affect us directly. Stay awake and stay active. We need you so much right now.”

And so I continue, every day, even on my Sabbatical Wednesdays to do what I can. I know it is small, but it is something. You know what they say about those snowflakes – alone, one might not mean so much, but just see what they can do when they accumulate and the climate is right.;

Well, the climate is definitely right. And Nevertheless, She Persisted.

www.cynthiastrauff.com

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On a Bedside Basket of Books…

Image result for image basket of books

On a Bedside Basket of Books…

Just this morning it happened. The pile became one book too high. The basket of books beside my bed came tumbling down. Not only down, but across and over.

Now most people I know have a To Be Read shelf. And most have a substantial portion of that at hand by their bed. But as in all things, there can be too much of a good thing. This morning proved to be just that. And as I scooped and gathered and crawled under the bed to retrieve all that had been in my wonderful basket, this is what I found:

  • Two Lemony Snicketts
  • Barefoot to Avalon – David Payne (I started this, but it just hit too close to home. And from it, the idea for my third novel sprang.)
  • Expert’s Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know—I know a few.
  • Make Way for Lucia – E.F. Benson (all 1120 pages) – one of my favorites, to be savored, read and re-read, although all those pages make for a heavy book.
  • What Writers Do – a wonderful gift from a friend, and a delightful lagniappe to find my dear muse, Abigail DeWitt featured.
  • A Simenon Maigret mystery – and old paperback, yellowed, crumbling pages and 8-point type.
  • Rude Bitches Make Me Tired – Celia Rivenbark – a gift from a friend.
  • An old copy of The Missouri Review – I know there is good stuff in here – one day…
  • O.Henry Magazine (3) -ditto
  • Atlantic Magazine (3) – triple ditto
  • New York Magazine with an article about Obama – sigh…
  • Shambala Sun (6) – I know I’ll get to those articles one day…
  • Journal of a Solitude – May Sarton – always good for a third, or fourth, reading.
  • Crampton Hodnet – Barbara Pym – one of my favorite Pym’s…a comfort read.
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street – Helene Hanff – the author of the wonderful 84 Charing Cross Road.
  • The Power of Intention – Wayne Dyer – must have needed inspiration– read it years ago and it gave me the shot in the arm I needed.
  • The Survival of the Bark Canoe – John McPhee – for my outdoor moments.
  • The Wonder Spot – Mellisa Bank – ??
  • Ravelstein– Saul Bellow – need a dictionary at my elbow when I read Bellow.
  • The Emperor’s Children – Claire Messud – I know this will be good.
  • This is the Story of a Happy Marriage – Ann Patchett- think that I actually read this and wanted to go back and savor.

So that is my collection – and it doesn’t count the library books that always seem to end up on top – because they have to be returned. I often think about taking a break from the library, to catch up on these and the others on the TBR shelf. But, as I stopped by the library today to pick up two that I had on reserve, I thought – maybe later.

 

http://www.cynthiastrauff.com