I wonder what it would be like to be a 1,000 year old oak tree. If you made it that long, it’s fair to assume you would have seen an awful lot, and would probably be quite blasé, as you looked down your burly branches onto the crazy world far below. You would have seen the odd, the beautiful, the cruel, the unlikely, and the surprising. And you’d know that, in due time, it would all pass and give way for the next thing to come along. Well, let me tell you—although I’m only a fraction of the age of such a dignified creature—I am SO ready for change. I’m ready to feel that I’m part of a predictable structure again – that I can live my life knowing that at least some things are relatively stable, and transform only incrementally.
I don’t think I’m the only one feeling like I’m currently standing in a bouncy tent in the middle of a massive earthquake. We’re at the brink of a new war—one of our own doing—except those who should have known were taken by surprise. Protocols weren’t followed, regular channels were ignored, and the top tiers of our government where competent people used to be, have holes big as Swiss cheese. We currently have no Director of National Intelligence, no Deputy Director, no Homeland Security Secretary, no Deputy Secretary, no one is heading up Customs and Border Protection or ICE, the State Department has no Secretary of Arms Control, we have no Assistant Secretary for Europe, and we no longer have a Navy Secretary. I’m sure there are a slew of other big holes as well, or holes temporarily filled with someone “acting” that I missed, but these are bad enough. There are very few competent professionals left to guide us through this. Only a bunch of bumbling amateurs.
You’d think one should be able to have confidence that the folks running a country and its defenses would consist of the best and the brightest available, the A-listers who sincerely see the honor of public service. I think it probably used to be that way. I jokingly said that if Iran wants to do something good for the world, they should just aim their biggest and best missile straight on the White House, and rid the world of the remaining rats still running around in the cheese. Of course they would never do that—they aren’t stupid, and I don’t think they’re suicidal—but I girl can dream, right? I have this sinking feeling that that would be the swiftest and most effective way to get rid of what plagues us. The thought of the collection of mediocrity and arrogant ignorance currently occupying such important positions scares the hell out of me!
Anyway, apologies for yet another frantic rant. As I was looking through photos, trying to find one that fit my mood this week, the one that stood out was one of my mother-in-law, contemplating the labyrinth at the Grotto a couple of months ago. As you all probably know, labyrinths are symbols of a spiritual journey. You follow the meandering path, meanwhile pondering the larger questions of life, find your center, and then follow the path back out into the world again. I think we all need to slow the f*** down, isolate our true values from the barrage of trite memes and soundbytes being constantly projected at us, find our spines and our spiritual centers, steady our voices, apologize to the world, and then vote all crooked, self-dealing hacks straight out of office – on local, state, and federal levels. It seems no one can–or will– drain the swamp, but us ourselves.
I have a confession to make. I have always thought of myself as a rather moderate, middle of the road person. When I was in high school, I was part of the Young Conservatives–which in Sweden were very much in the middle. (I guess everything is relative.) Believing in personal responsibility, individual ability, rewards for hard work, freedom to choose, etc., all made sense. Guess what? That still makes sense to me. My values from back then haven’t changed. But there are limits. Since then, the ideology has pushed way past me and so far to the right, I can’t even recognize it. My values are the same they always were, except my faith in the good of humanity has taken a few knocks. I guess in that regard, I’m a bit like the old oak tree. My roots are still were they always were, and despite strong winds blowing, I’m still upright.
A workmate once remarked that I always laugh in the face of adversity. So, let’s end with a laugh, shall we? She really captures the patriotism of previous Superbowl singers—LOL!