Saturday, November 15, 2008

Things that last...

I've been trying not to dwell on it, but it's hard. I have been in such a blue state lately, since the election. (And by "blue state," I am referring to a state of melancholy as opposed to political blue state/red state.) Anyone following my Facebook page that night knows how distraught I was at the outcome. But I promised myself that I would not allow myself to dwell over it. When I woke up Wednesday morning, I made a conscious decision to keep my faith in God, because he IS bigger than any of this, and to believe that things will work out ok.

My faith is still in God, but I am not doing a good job of not dwelling. And this is rather unlike me. I'm not prone to ongoing bouts of anxiety and worry. Not like this. Yet here it is. Every time I hear mention of the president-elect's plans for things like civilian security forces and for confiscating 401Ks and IRAs, my stomach tightens. It scares me. I cannot shake this sense of foreboding. I feel fear that I've never felt before. 

Maybe I am over-reacting...I pray I am, I pray I will be wrong about all of this. I really do. But what if I'm not? I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. But it makes me feel small and alone to feel these feelings, like there is so little I can do, if anything, to change the course of things. And so I pray, because I know that is the one thing I can do that can make a difference. And then I read or knit or listen to music, because those are really the only things that divert my attention from the ominous feelings.

I was out having coffee with a friend the other day, and we'd been talking about a lot of this stuff, so it was fresh on my mind as we parted ways. Before I left, I stopped to use the bathroom, thinking about how much all I really wanted to do was go home and get lost in the book I'd been reading earlier in the day, Eclipse. (I find that these stories of vampires and werewolves and undying love are a wonderful distractor from life's true terrors.) 

It was then, in a bathroom stall in Starbucks, that I had this strange epiphany: no matter what happens in the future, no matter how bleak and terrifying things might become, even if our country is torn from its foundations as a safe, free place, the stories will live on. Stories written through the years, all of them...their words will live on because no matter what the government tries to take away from us, they cannot take away the beauty of the words we've read, or the images of the art we've observed, or the notes of the music we've listened to. Those things -- even if their physical manifestations no longer exist -- their spirits will live on inside of each one of us who has had the privilege and honor of enjoying them. 

And as odd as that thought might be, it was a comfort to me. And I was so thankful for it. Thankful because even though I've never managed to finish a novel myself, as a writer, I fully know how much of one's heart and soul goes into writing. It's a part of you. It is significant. And for it's significance to simply disappear because some worldly entity has chosen to destroy the world around it, that would be so unfair, a true injustice. There's a reason that art manages to sustain throughout the lives despite the odds. Paintings on cave walls, stories passed down orally from generations past. They live. They have life and they give life to us at times when we otherwise feel lifeless. They are important.

So, that is the odd little epiphany that is acting as my glimmer of hope in what is otherwise a dark time for me. We can all use some hope, can't we?

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