Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What Happened to Our Country?

On the El this morning, as the train snaked through the now almost barren treetops high above the city, I could see half the sky was cautiously becoming sunny. Puffy white clouds covered huge swaths of blue, but the sun was muscling its way through the gauze, enough so that I had to put on my sunglasses. The other half of the sky was cloaked in enormous purple-green-gray clouds of death. It looked like an impending storm or a conflagration or Mordor. I couldn't understand how these two extremes could coexist in the same sky, at the same time; I couldn't reconcile the knowledge that one would eventually give way to the other--unpredictably, irrevocably, and without warning--with yesterday's damnably foolish sense of optimism that the sky had to clear up eventually.

I almost started crying.

I'm scared. And not in an abstract, theoretical kind of way. I'm scared in the very real, physical way I'm scared when I'm in an unfamiliar part of the city late at night, walking tough but certain that if anyone tried to fuck with me I would be all but powerless to defend myself in the conflict. Will someone please tell me how I'm supposed to defend myself? Will someone please tell me why half of the people in this country refuse to see or understand the kind of sickening danger they're quite literally asking to march headlong into in the name of morality or values or money or ignorance or what-the-fuck-ever? Will someone please tell me how we're supposed to get this place back on track?


Anonymous said...

Mike O here--posting anonymously only because I don't care to invest the time to register at E-Blogger.

Your invocation of cloud cover to illustrate dark days ahead now that Bushie is reelected is apt, and it's catching on. This week's issue of The Nation features a sun covered by dark, gray, ominous clouds, and announces simply, "Four more years."

Me, I tend to think in more apocalyptic meteorological metaphors. Remember that scene in "The Day After Tomorrow" in which a view-from-outer-space shot shows all the uber-hurricanes converging? Then they cut to Ian Holm and his Brit-Scot Gen-X-ers drinking scotch? Well, I'm no drinking man, but I downed a lot of C2 on Wednesday.

liv said...

please excuse Parson Larson, here:
november third was a day worthy of tears for me, too. i awoke and sat at the table to start work on the week's sermon, and what was the gospel text? Luke 6, the Beatitudes. I read "Blessed are the poor" and absolute impossibilty of wrapping my head around the contradiction between it and the "moral values" that apparenly led our neighbors to the polls just about made me pop with sadness/anger.
then it dawned on me that i'll be ordained while St. Bush is in office. what a vocation-shaping epiphany. if we in the church don't get the courage to channel some prophetic hope, the dark miasma of oversimplified morals and baptized corporate agendas will threaten to choke the justice and grace of the real messiah.
again, pardon the parson! thanks, allison, for space for tears and pulpity rants.