Climbing That Hill

After a fantastic week of Joe, Kamala and Amanda Gorman, a 22 year-old young woman who made me love poetry once again for the first time since my early twenties, it started to happen.

I began falling into the…

ABYSS.

to the sunken place I go

Strange the way it creeps up on you.  And even stranger how, once you get to be a certain age and have had enough therapy, you know how to begin to creep out.

What brought me careening down there after this cataclysmic week of exciting firsts?

  • L.A. house arrest to avoid a virus
  • Vaccine searching fatigue
  • Zoom communication (meetings, teaching, and even socializing)
  • Screen watching fatigue (what was once fun and decadent now feels dronish and labored no matter how much YOU liked it and swear I MUST see it).
  • Fascism and other tales percolating from the dark side of nowhere
The true spirit of this week #onlyBerniememeIwillshare

Of course, this is merely a partial list.  Feel free to add on and subtract for yourself as you see fit.

I was sort of embarrassed to write this because of the privilege I enjoy.  White, employed (Note: Well, for now, nothing is permanent), happily married, friends, house, food, shelter and pasta guilt-free more nights than I can count because, more than anything else, THAT’S allowed these days).

Still, living through these times feels like dancing on the head of a pin too often than not.  At any point you can slip and impale yourself.  Perhaps not too badly but just enough that a small puncture slowly turns into a crack, and then a wound, which gets larger and larger and then suddenly emerges as a…gaping hole

Nothing to see here… totally normal day

And, you know, that can’t be good.  Imagine what awaits you when you’re fully sucked down inside.

Um, no….THAT’S not what I mean.

Seriously.

Living in Los Angeles, California has had so many benefits but the most recent downside is navigating at the epicenter of U.S. Covid-19.  We’re averaging well over 10,000 new cases daily and more than one million overall. 

Our home state of California has over 3.4. million cases thus far, the most of any state in the country.  When you consider there are just shy of 25 million people infected in the entire U.S. that means we account for almost 20% of cases.

We’re #1! We’re #1! #uhoh

And yet, we have far less vaccines available than other states. A friend in Florida told me it was easy peasy to register for your shot.  Yet the first day you could register in L.A. county, the site crashed, appointments were cancelled and many of us (Note: ME) spent hours trying to book vaccinations at sketchy clinics that wanted ALL your insurance info online and STILL didn’t manage to offer a definite spot for both shots.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the Trump administration had it in for California and gave Florida a larger part of our vaccines just cause HE lives there.

But I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

Yet.

Searches Etsy for fashionable tin foil hats

Nevertheless, it did give me a lesson on how others might have begun to succumb. 

This, of course, was countered by watching a kind and decent man being sworn into the presidency pledging that his first priority would be fixing the CoVid mess by listening to SCIENCE and not poll numbers.

But what was even more encouraging has been his appointment of seemingly EVERY top expert in EVERY field of government to do that and much more AND to, in turn, save the Republic.

(Note: It also didn’t hurt that not ONE of them was related to him by either blood OR marriage).

Like magic… BUT REAL!

Call me crazy (and many have) but I found this to be oddly encouraging.  That and watching the unmuzzled Dr. Anthony Fauci spreading honesty on TV once again, particularly about all things CoVid.  He even got down in the weeds and reassured crazies like me that there is NO real difference between the Pfizer and Moderna shot and that the only reason he took the Moderna one was that it happened to be the one available the day he had his vaccination at the National Institute of Health.  But that he would have done either.

Speaking of straight shooters, AND decency, tell your Fox News viewing relatives there is neither to be found there.  Sean Hannity this week had a banner onscreen headline categorizing Joe Biden’s first week as president  “DISASTROUS.”  Not sure if this was due to the one million shots for the first 100 day pledge, which was already being met after several days in office, or the US reentering both the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization.

My charitable way of saying “you are a moron”

Still, they did surface with two compelling Biden scandals.  Our new president has the temerity to wear a Rolex watch AND owns and exercises on a Peleton bike.

Oh, the no golden toilet of it all!  Oh, the shame!!

The President EXERCISES?!

Sure, I’m being snide but I’ve found that’s one way to brighten up my world and get by.  The other is to take in the fact that after four years DECENCY might actually be back in vogue. 

How do I know? 

Well, when Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was walking down Constitution Avenue with his wife, VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS OF CALIFORNIA, he made international news just for briefly stopping and doubling back where they had previously been in order to retrieve the earring that had just fallen out of her ear.

So shocking was this act of valor in these days, I heard one journalist this week actually say on air, where do you make copies of a guy like that?

Get yourself a man that would wear your name on a t-shirt! #weloveDougie

Yes, that’s how starved we’ve been and how low the decency bar is.  Which means imagining how high we might get back to during the next four years is indeed something to live on for and celebrate no matter how long it takes to get us all immunized so we can return to hugging (and more) in person again.

Though if all that doesn’t do it for you, reveling in the words and images of our young poet laureate on Inauguration Day was a real, um…shot in the arm for my psyche, not to mention a reliable booster on each awful day since.  And that was even AFTER listening to Gaga sing the National Anthem with a giant Dove on her chest.

It was the gold mic choreography that really got me

I mean, if Amanda Gormans exist in the world – a young person with that much talent, grace and theatrical style – who also overcame a speech impediment – to live perform a POEM(!) she wrote for the ages to the world on Inauguration Day –  how bad are things, really? 

Especially when it leaves us with this life lesson:

..We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,

We will rise from the windswept northeast

Where our forefathers first realized revolution

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,

We will rise from the sunbaked south

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

and every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it

Lady Gaga – “The Star Spangled Banner”

Check out the Chair’s newest project, Pod From a Chair , now available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

American Exhale

How much time do you think it was from when the polls began closing on Election Day 2020 to the moment Joe Biden was declared our next President of the United States?

I got you babe!

LESS.  THAN.  FOUR.  DAYS.

For those of us who felt really desperate to hear this news, and at last count that number was close to a record 75 million, it felt like just less than FOUR. YEARS. 

And that is because…IT.  WAS.

It definitely did not feel like the Good Place

When Joe Biden officially becomes our 46th POTUS on Jan. 20, 2021, that’s when you will hear the final collective sigh of relief.  But for right now, the almost 75 million of us will just have to satisfy ourselves with one collective exhale.

And a good night’s sleep.

Say goodbye to junk food, Nate Silver and even Steve Kornacki at the Big Board.  He needs his sleep, too. (Note:  If you’re unfamiliar with Kornacki’s Khakis or obsessive Kornacki Watch, well, here’s a link to get you started).

#TrackingKornacki #WILSONNNN

It’s amazing the indulgences we humans choose and the indignities we humans can get used to, isn’t it?  When I told one of the many doctors I manage to still go to for check-ins that I was beginning to wonder whether my obsessive addiction to this election and its results has any real point to it he asked me how it made me feel?  To which I said:

Actually, it’s strangely calming.  If the apocalypse comes, I can warn people in advance and try to figure something out for myself and the people I love.

To which he said:  Well, then it’s not a problem.

I’m a GENIUS

Nor was binge eating junk food in those super intensive last two weeks really an issue for any of us.  No two weeks of putting any kind of crap into your body will likely kill you.  Heck, some people can do it for 74 years.  Just look at ….

Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t mention HIS NAME so I’m not going to.  Mostly because –

WE DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT HIM ANYMORE!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes, I know.  He’s not gone yet and there are a couple of more months where anything can happen.  But while we’re exhaling, can we also take a few moments to just feel good about ourselves???

The first WOMAN in our almost 250-year history – not to mention the first WOMAN OF COLOR during that time – has just been elected VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

That’s Kamala Harris. 

Introducing MADAM Vice President

Not to mention, do you know she is also the FIRST DEMOCRAT FROM CALIFORNIA IN U.S. HISTORY to ever be elected to one of the two top jobs?

You’re welcome, America.

Are we forgiven for this now?

We have also lived to see another brilliant woman of color responsible for spear heading the dismantling of the death grasp the Republican Party has on the throat of the Old South when it comes to presidential elections.

That’s Stacey Abrams. 

It was her persistence and dedication to voting rights and voter registration after she lost her 2018 race for governor due to voter suppression that was key to flipping GEORGIA BLUE just a couple of nights ago.

She knew #AmericanHero

I mean, if that had been me I think I’d just about be crawling out from under my covers by now.

Which brings us to our President Elect.

I’m old enough to vaguely remember when this balding young guy who just got elected to Congress found out his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident that also badly inured his two young sons. 

I also remember my young self thinking:

That’s one of the most horrible things I’ve ever heard! This guy’s life is toast.  Oh my god, how can something like that happen???? 

Which was the same moment Joe Biden turned to the universe and said, Um, not so fast.

Drive the ‘vette to DC, Joey

See, it’s not an accident at this time (and in this year) he became president after a near half century of public life that included TWO unsuccessful runs for the White House.

After four years of hysteria and desperation, he is about the ONLY politician in the country who could collectively move and inspire us simply by proclaiming to a small crowd of our fellow citizens in a Delaware parking lot, during a pandemic, things like:

  • We Won’t Lead by the Example of OUR POWER but by the POWER OF OUR EXAMPLE…
  • THE ONE WORD THAT DEFINES AMERICA IS…POSSIBILITY.

And

  • KEEP THE FAITH…then… SPREAD THE FAITH.
My moment of zen

Yes, somehow these were the very words we all needed and longed to hear.

See, when you talk about how you’ve lived, and the principles that have worked for you, you don’t need to insult your enemies, lie to your supporters or indulge in the LONG CON in order to get them on your side.

All you really need to do is tell the truth.

Could you have imagined that as THE winning strategy last week at this time?  Can you even imagine four years of it???

Yes we can.

Mama Cass – “New World Coming”