PEACE. LOVE. JUSTICE. MERCY. TRUTH. HOPE.
This has been my mantra during these days of darkness. I wanted to put a positive intention out there, and to remind myself of the things I really value. But I have crashed really badly. I still try to say those words, but they are empty.
I think it happened because I suddenly understood that we can’t believe ANYTHING that’s printed or shown on TV, the internet, etc. Photographs and videos can be fakes. The side I’m on may be exaggerating something to scare you into sending money. The other side has an investment in NOT telling the truth. They would probably say the same about me. On Sunday a friend retold one of the stories that’s been going around – it’s about the play “Hamilton” and I haven’t watched so I don’t have any idea what really happened – she told it in a way to make Pence look not so bad. I asked her where she got the news. She said “The New York Times.” That reminded me of a post on Facebook showing two different front pages for the same day. I didn’t read — though maybe I should have — and I remember years ago seeing two different covers for Time magazine. One was for people in this country, the other was for the international subscribers. I suppose that was the first crack in the wall of my adolescent belief in “freedom of the press.” Then I had the experience of being in protest actions and finding the newspaper account belittling what happened. I was RIGHT THERE, so I knew they weren’t telling the truth. The other painful memory is after Kent State (I was in Davis California at the time). I went into a 7/11 and the woman behind the counter was saying “Those kids were pissing and shitting on the guardsmen.” I asked where she got the story. “From an eyewitness in the dorm.” It took me quite a while afterward to visualize the story at which point it became ridiculous. But my highest value is Truth, though I know that my understanding has changed many times since I first thought scientific knowledge was truth. I’m not sure I could say what it is even now. The best I can do is to say Truth is what is in alignment with the Great Powers of the Universe.
So for the last couple of days I have been in the bottom of the Pit of severe depression. The only difference from severe depression in the past is there’s no personal component in it. It doesn’t have to do with me being worthless, etc. It just has to do with the times in which we find ourselves. Right now I am simply not up to what I would want to do, at the least hold on to my values. I expect that will come back it always has. But cooking and eating is very hard, anything else is impossible. I haven’t even walked the dog – I’m just letting her out to run before I feed her so she’ll come back. I haven’t been able to take a shower or change the sheets or do yoga (except in class). All things that have to do with taking care of myself. Well, I’ve come out of it before.
Right now it’s just keeping on keeping on, and reciting those meaningless words that once sustained my heart. I do believe that the arc of moral history is long, but it bends toward justice, compassion, peace.