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Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

I’m living in a small sky blue speck, in a sea of blood red.

The Old Dominion voted for Hillary Clinton, as did most of the big cities and states on both coasts. But Trump’s clarion call swayed the majority of our electoral college, surprising my Democratic family and friends. Shocking me into a dystopian fugue state. Yesterday I actually felt like a zombie, which is to say I didn’t feel much. Great Grandma Ada asked me to explain it, and I had no words. My niece Lucia asked me what she should tell her daughters, and I had no words.

Whenever I am at a loss for words, I look to poetry, and so Bob Dylan came to mind given his recent Nobel Prize. I want to buy all his albums, in vinyl, and play them on an old fashioned record player, with a needle that gets stuck sometimes so you have to pick it up and put it down again. Because he spoke of the great divide, of the power elite who could send our boys to a swamp in Asia because our government, our country, thought we had God on our side. He called attention to the swath of red states, to the working class who today are called the vanishing middle class.

All those White people with no college degree, going nowhere, feeling left behind in the Rust Belt. One third of the Latinos who voted the GOP line, because they didn’t want anymore workers coming over here for free, taking their jobs. All those Evangelical Christians, who voted for the least Christ-like candidate our country ever saw fit to nominate. All those old men who could just never trust a woman to do a so-called man’s job protecting this country. All that free-floating fear and anger, don’t matter if he pops some Tic Tacs and kisses the hell outta you.

Many are brandishing their firearms, wishing the liberal elites take the next plane to Canada. Making false distinctions between love of country and government. I wonder how long it will take them to hate the new GOP government. Feeling self-righteous, they know not what they have done. But while our country is divided, the power players are smiling and gracious, talking about our democracy.

You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows.

Only time will tell what this “Historic” election means for Women, for the Undocumented, for Muslims, for the Climate. Our system isn’t rigged when a despot can win 279 electoral votes but not the popular vote, right; and the gerrymandering that flooded both houses on the Hill with red shall never be undone. Lobbyists are fleeing DC like rats from a ship.

But hark, the Dow is going up folks, because the Market hates uncertainty, so Wall Street must think they have a friend in this lustful Billionaire. After all, he could shoot someone and get away with it, he’s got God on his side! When President Obama shakes his hand on the White House porch today, I just may lose my lunch.

In a many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

The Groom told the Love Bug that, “Everybody gets a turn.” And even though we all thought this was Hillary’s turn, the people voted so now it’s Trump’s turn. And I would add the  biggest, loudest bully on the block will need to face Pocahontas, aka Senator Elizabeth Warren in four years, so we better get busy. The Boston Globe reported Warren saying: “I’m intensely frustrated by the apparent likelihood that, for the second time in five elections, a Democratic nominee will have won the popular vote but lost the presidency in the electoral college.” 

And just like Gore, I’m devastated. Just like McGovern and Humphrey, I’m feeling left behind. The wind is blowing brown oak leaves past my aviary window, circling and bobbing to their death, they are being tracked into the house. But the sun came up this morning. And my fingers found words again. img_5313

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Once, when I was writing for the Berkshire Eagle, a headline went something like this: “Sunshine for Six Days Straight!” True. Because of the topography, similar in some ways to Seattle, Pittsfield, MA was overcast and grey much of the time. That is, when it wasn’t covered in snow. Spring was called “Mud Season,” and summer was fleeting. I’m sure Climate Change has affected New England, and maybe it’s warmer and sunnier up there, but I’m pretty much done with this “Omega” thing that has Central VA stuck in endless overcast, cold, rainy days.

“Scattered Showers for Two Weeks Straight!”

When my sister Kay, and niece Karen came to visit, after my Nashville trip, the mountains did a disappearing act. I swore up and down they really were there, under that blanket of clouds, and I know they believed me. And all the old-timers are telling me not to despair, cause we need the rain, we’ll be happy in August when it’s triple digits…And I don’t need to wear a sun hat…another silver lining for this ex-waterfront counselor who gets a basal cell carcinoma scraped off her nose every few years.

Yes, this is the down-side to having a ski-jump nose.

Still, I’m getting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And I’m sorry to be a downer folks, but there is good reason: 1) I was alone for Mother’s Day – OK that’s not unusual, but it still hurts; 2) Two 90 year old family members were just hospitalized – they’ve been released but…; 3) Trump seems to have won the nomination; 4) The Love Bug has a cavity.

Oh and let’s discuss Prince for a moment. We advertise for laxatives on TV when our opioids make us constipated?! Hello! Prescription pain addiction is a huge problem that started awhile ago – remember Elvis? Let’s drag out all the experts, until the next celebrity succumbs, and talk about heroin addiction on the campaign trail ad infinitum. Until we stop waging a WAR on drugs, and treat this as I’ve said before as a Health Policy issue, we are the real enablers of this epidemic.

I know this does not seem like the end of the world list, and since I don’t like to use the term “First World Problems,” I won’t! But the rain has granted me more time to research the Flapper for my book. Where were the restrooms located in speakeasies? What was the alcoholic content of beer sold in drugstores? What kind of lighter was used to ignite cigarettes?! And since this is historical fiction I know I can just “make stuff up,” but I’d like to have a believable context to work around.

Maybe today I’ll throw on an anorak and head to the garden store for some flowers. The time to plant was last weekend, and I’ve been dragging my feet, since planting in a slow, steady rain isn’t my thing, but if I can’t actually see the mountains I might as well look out on some pretty pots. Maybe we should call Spring in the South “SAD Season?”

Here are two sisters, with identical noses, dodging raindrops! Kay was like another Mother to me, it’s like I had three moms growing up. Forgive me, it’s my Blue Period. And thanks to Karen Bisset for the picture – her company is fabulous btw! http://www.fromthecradle.biz/about-us.html13151762_788085601326885_8141167915272270988_n 2

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There was a time in my life in NJ, when I had to renew myself. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a Mom, but ripping me out of the beautiful Berkshires, where my babies were born, left me adrift in suburbia. I didn’t fit in.

People in the North ask you, “Where did you move from?” People in the South ask you, “What church do you belong to?” Neither move had an acceptable answer, since I don’t go to church, and when I told my NJ acquaintances that we had lived in Pittsfield, MA, the resounding reaction was why the hell did I move to Central NJ?

For my husband’s job? To be closer to our family? Partially true.

Up until that point I’d been coasting along. Marry your high school sweetheart – check. Maybe not at the age of 30 after many years of Woodstock and Westchester, but hey, I was a late bloomer. I felt connected to the Berkshires, I started writing there and made friends that would last a lifetime. There was something about the New England character that spoke to me, something deep.

I kept a saying on my Jersey refrigerator, “Bloom where you’re planted,” and i tried to grow roots.

So I got a job writing at a weekly newspaper, I joined a beach club and ran for the school board. I started working on a Master’s Degree at Monmouth College (now “University”). I ran around trying to get my new suburban life started. And then one day my professor asked me to attend an educational symposium and my editor asked me to write about it too. Some dots were connecting.

That’s where I met and interviewed Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard. They were fresh off the buzz of Dead Poets Society and I wish I could link you to my article but we weren’t online in the early 90s. I do remember one thing that Hawke said to those teenagers, “Don’t wait around for your life to start, it’s happening right now.”

In light of Robin Williams’ death, I’ve been thinking about that movie. He played the English teacher we all wish we had in high school – and in fact, I did have Miss Flanagan who was phenomenal. I wish you had waited Robin, just a little, to see that your life still has so much meaning, that you brought such beauty and laughter to us all.

“Poetry beauty romance life, these are what we stay alive for…you may contribute a verse…the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse…”

“What will your verse be?”         

 

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