Wednesday Vignette – meet me in the middle

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!


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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15 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – meet me in the middle

  1. Certainly very worrying.

    • annamadeit says:

      There was an unusually measured address this morning, but the trust levels of this administration are fearfully low – far below normal. Watching and waiting…

  2. Tina says:

    You’d think that in a country of 327 million–give or a take a few–there should be some set of folks more competent at running things than the ones we have, right? But I appreciate the early morning laugh, SNL is good at that. It’s tough, but all we can do is improve our little spots, be kind, and work our asses off this year to change this dangerous regime.

  3. Alison says:

    I was never a radical either, I used to love this country and felt its heart was in the right place, even if sometimes it stumbled. I don’t feel that way any more. This country is diseased and I don’t think it’s coming back from this. Nigel, who isn’t a citizen and had more objectivity than me, used to point out the country’s faults, and I would bristle with indignation. I don’t do that any more.

    I made a WV post today — it’s a photo I made of the Lurie Garden in Chicago last summer.

  4. Kris P says:

    It’s depressing but it seems that #45 is consistent with his playbook – he uses one crisis of his creation to distract from people from another. His base stays on the bandwagon, shouting their support at rallies, and the rest of us increasingly feel beaten down and exhausted. There’s a video of the divider-in-chief-to-be in 2011 warning that Obama would use war with Iran to win a second term in office. The man is truly “SAD.”

    • annamadeit says:

      Yup! The Projector in Chief. Nancy Pelosi has hime pegged precisely. It is so hard to stay positive. What will he think of next? I keep waiting for a small coalition of GOP senators to do the right thing. ….. waiting….. waiting…..waiting….

  5. bergstromskan says:

    hahaha for Maya Rudolph, thank you Anna. It is draining to see a big part of the world -USA- belly up, morally

  6. Appropriately ridiculous.

  7. It is amazing how the Republican Party has become a party of absurd extremes, as well as a personality cult for a mentally unstable and morally bankrupt individual. Today’s GOP would reject many past Republicans (say Eisenhower, or especially Lincoln) as “socialists”. What I find more upsetting is how tens of millions of ordinary people buy into this. Anyhow, we can’t let ourselves go crazy over stuff we can’t control. We just have to do what we can do, focus on today, and hope for a better future.

    • annamadeit says:

      “We just have to do what we can do, focus on today, and hope for a better future.” Yes on all of the above. You are right – one person can’t move a mountain, but we can collectively chip away at it, as best we can. Also, we need to remember history. There are so many parallels to the 1930’s and 40’s. I think it behoves us to bring those parallels to the surface and spread them far and wide. Great article here:
      It may not make a difference immediately, but history has a way of repeating itself, despite all our efforts. Sigh…

      • Because we forget … I find it a little shocking that the lessons of catastrophic nationalism seem to be fading in Europe – but then, how many people from that generation are left? I grew up very conscious of WWII because of my dad’s military service and what happened to our family in Europe, but my own kids can’t have the same awareness.

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