On the Edge, In Between, Off Kilter
(FemAct) – I’m feeling the surface tension between truths.
Yesterday, I picked my children up from school and bought them hot chocolate mix from United Dairy Farmers on the way home. We got the last box of plain hot chocolate, and there were no marshmallows to buy. I asked the cashier if she had any marshmallows in the ice cream bar that she could put in a cup and sell to us. She ended up giving us an entire container of marshmallows from the coffee bar for free.
Women and children were tear-gassed attempting to seek asylum into this country.
I came home, and even though our heat is set at 67, we were warm enough. Comfortable enough. Safe enough.
Last night, people living on the streets froze to death.
I made dinner, one of my favorites: sautéed Brussels sprouts in risotto. It’s a labor-intensive dish, but it’s worth the effort.
Somewhere, everywhere yesterday children went hungry, in part because their caregivers don’t have enough money to feed them. Or, in the case of Yemen, famine is caused by the Saudi government’s evil. Evil this country aids and abets.
I can travel freely.
Our regime’s “leader” wants to close the border with Mexico permanently.
I tucked my children into bed, wished them good night, thought about their holiday gifts.
Somewhere in this country, a child came home to find everyone gone. No note. No call. No information. A neighbor whispers about an ICE raid, brings the child in, calls whatever relative can come and take the child, whose family is now “disappeared” into our system.
Do you feel what I feel? Do you understand my rage and sorrow? Do you?
We’re simultaneously unraveling and coming together. It’s disconcerting. Most days, the unraveling feels exponentially faster, but every so often coming together is so genuine and heart-felt, there’s hope.
This country has run on soft fascism for years. Think about how work is a wheel, and we’re cogs. Think about how everything…our value as humans, our health care, our retirement, our dreams…is tied to work. Think how corporations are people, with better government benefits that actual humans. Think about actually protesting in the masses necessary to affect real change and wonder how many people can afford to sustain an “Occupy”-style action, especially in the hundreds of thousands needed for weeks or months. Who can afford to lose their job? Their home? Their healthcare? It’s better to stay comfortable and safe. If we put our heads under our blankets, the big, scary monster will go away. Everything will be fine tomorrow, and as Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.” However, what Scarlett realized was that tomorrow’s success is rooted in today’s action.
Being in the “in between” is exhausting. The cognitive dissonance between a personal reality and a global one is soul crushing. But then I look outside and watch the snow fall, knowing I’ll soon need to pick up children from school, bring them home, make them dinner, and tuck them warm and safe into bed. I don’t want to deny them that; I want it to be the basic standard of human kind.
This report prepared by Lessa Leigh for Feminactivist