23 January, 2017

That was the week that was...

As per Wikipedia, “That Was the Week That Was, informally TWTWTW or TW3, was a satitical television programme on BBC Television in1962 and 1963. An American version by the same name aired on NBC from 1964 to 1965, featuring David Frost.

The programme opened with a song ("That was the week that was, It's over, let it go...") sung by Millicent Martin referring to news of the week just gone. “

It was also my childhood recollection of a very funny news program that “the adults” loved to watch every week. As a kid, I didn’t always understand the news items or the parodies but I could sense the show was witty; and it began my love affair for all things British. I reflected on TW3 as I witnessed the events of the past week in eager anticipation of it all being over soon.
"O' beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They're beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie..."
("The End Of The Innocence"by Don Henley)

The Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend this year was particularly poignant as several other significant historical facts happened: The Obamas said farewell to the White House, there was a big spectacle on January 20th that caused dyspepsia for millions of people; and then on Saturday, January 21st, an enormous anthropological and sociological event took place known as the Women’s March on Washington.

The Women's March centered in D.C. but active around the United States and the world was a collective action to ensure parity in civil rights for women and minorities. 

"In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore." -- Women's March on Washington

It is no coincidence that the originating 1893 march was planned to coincide with that inauguration (along with subsequent inaugurations) this year's march is on the heels of the divisive election and what feels like a very different inauguration.  This march may raise fists along with flags. Some attended this as a protest march, a show of solidarity and resistance.    My philosophy also teaches me to endorse and choose to be for something or someone; instead of being against something (or someone).

I happen to be a woman who was raised by a single mom working two and three jobs to survive. Although I am white, neither my ethnic brothers and sisters, nor I have equal rights or equal pay.  I am sure there are some folks shouting, "Hey, at least you have the vote now."   What about civil rights, basic decency and safety for African-Americans, Latinos and my LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  

Yes, I realize that despite “alternative facts” and figures, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are celebrating this new president.  My sadness and emptiness will perhaps seem odd to them. Those who share my grief and concerns may be considered as part of the problem to which the electorate voted to dissolve. Either way, I am weary and eager to get back to figuring out how to live in some semblance of civility.

"So many of us have stood up for the marginalized, but never expected to be here ourselves. It happened to us overnight, not for anything we did wrong but for what we know is right. Our first task is to stop shaming ourselves and claim our agenda. It may feel rude, unprofessional and risky to break the habit of respecting our government; we never wanted to be enemies of the state. But when that animosity mounts against us, everything we do becomes political: speaking up or not speaking up.  Either one will have difficult consequences. That’s the choice we get. With due respect for the colored ribbons we’ve worn for various solidarities, our next step is to wear something on our sleeve that takes actual courage: our hearts."
(Excerpted from The Guardian essay, November 23, 2016 by Barbara Kingsolver)

On the web and throughout social media, along with all the divisive diatribe, available are countless editorial posts and pieces offering words of solace and guidance.  Because of "my day job", I will be called upon to offer my own thoughts of hope and light to my spiritual community. My philosophy and faith reminds me that there is a Divine Order to all of this.  I know that we didn't get here by accident. Yet, I am scrambling to find my balance and clarity to find the deeper understanding I need for healing my head and heart.

Along with many whom I admire and respect, I am baffled, appalled and feeling unsafe because of the elected leader of the free world and the cabinet he has selected. Yet, while walking through my disbelief and uncertainty, I am weary of reading ad nauseam essays, reports and Facebook posts to prove how awful all this is.  I get it. Yet to remedy this we have got to stop preaching to the choir and start looking for how to heal the division that this election unearthed. Angry or violent retaliation is only going to exacerbate the pain and separation.  What we resist persists, and I personally, do not want the tone or the effects of this administration to persist.

Even though I have a personal moratorium in place to not read about Trump, yesterday, my husband sent a Facebook post link with an essay that he knew would help assuage my concerns.  Not only do I share this link here with you, I encourage you to read this editorial by Peter Leyden, as one of the most articulate and inspirational editorials I have seen in print since the election:

Let me quickly add that I don't intend to be passive nor silent. This ‘state of the union’ calls me to action more than any time in my personal history.  However, I prefer pen over placard. Trusting that the Constitution will remain intact, the proverbial pen (or keyboard) is still mightier than the sword. Creative arts and creative spirituality are my weapons of choice. My style is more in keeping with Carrie Fisher's advice that when there's a broken heart --make art.

We didn't get here by accident. There is a collective consciousness that created this administration. How anyone responds to what this administration is or does, is up to us as individuals.  No longer can anyone can rest on their complacent or holier-than-thou laurels---no matter what party allegiance.

Can't we all just get along? 
Apparently not...yet.


City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...