Archives for posts with tag: rock the vote

Sipping coffee between housework tasks. It’s a rather ordinary sunny, chilly, autumn Sunday. I hear my Traveling Partner working on a project in his woodshop. Lovely day. I mean… lovely day right here. Your results, based on a quick look at this morning’s news headlines, may vary.

It’s a beautiful day to make good choices, and to be that person we most want to be.

…What a mess we’ve made… I mean… as a nation, a society… a species. Just saying. We could do better.

So… the U.S. election is in progress. “Election Day” is just a couple days away. I hope you are not imagining any great ease in national tension based on some particular outcome…? It’s unfortunate that we’ve allowed our political discourse to degrade to false dichotomies and ad hominem attacks. Growing and maintaining a society built on equality, rights, and freedoms shared by all requires a more subtle understanding than that, it would seem. We have, by that measure, failed entirely. It’s sad to observe the increasing racial tensions in so many cities, and hate-filled rhetoric becoming so commonplace, everywhere.

Full disclosure? I’m neither a republican nor a democrat. Nope, not “green party” or libertarian, either. (Nor communist, socialist, fascist, or other organized party affiliation of any brand.) I’ve still got a stake in how things turn out; I’m American. I live here. I shop here. I work here. I earn here. I invest here. I hike and camp here. I enjoy the local roads and infrastructure here. I vote here. This particular election season I voted as early as I could. I think our method of voting is fairly horrible, and doesn’t have much potential for any outcome other than degrading into a two-party system (or system in which only two parties have a legitimate chance at a win). Our government is implicitly institutionally racist – it’s also implicitly and institutionally sexist, and extremely so. I dislike both those things. I vote specifically against those conditions, and I look for opportunities to do so.

Feeling down about the election this year? I encourage you to (re)watch South Park season 8, episode 8, “Douche and Turd”. Definitely. If you’re looking for something more… hopeful… I recommend CGP Gray (on YouTude) episodes from his Politics in the Animal Kingdom work. There are better ways available to us. We’d only have to decide to do differently.

…Honestly, I don’t understand why we have not yet embraced – fully embraced, for real – direct democracy. Legitimate actual democracy. We certainly have the technology to build a secure system for online voting, already. (Do you doubt that is true? I direct your attention to the various online banks and similar systems, as well as your basic banking ATM. Also… the NSA. We don’t lack adequate encryption methods for secure online voting. That’s one challenge we don’t face at this point in time.) We already know the electoral college has nothing whatsoever to do with a democratic election, and is an artifact of another time. (I sound like I am on the edge of ranting. My apologies. You don’t need that from me, of all people. I’m simply continue to be astonished at the lengths parties will seem to go to, in order to restrict people from being able to vote at all. It rather undermines the very concept of democracy.) That’s what sours me most on “this great nation”, I think, we call ourselves a democracy, but we don’t actually mean it “for real”. We very much prefer that our democracy return only results that we personally favor, however harmful or distasteful to the majority. 😦

Please at least just fucking vote, okay? Not a joke vote. Not a “protest vote”. Really vote. Maybe it “doesn’t matter” to you in any way you acknowledge – but it matters to the lives, the literal lives, of so many other people… please? Vote. And… just saying… if you’re going to vote at all, why not also make your choices based on outcomes that will truly serve the largest number of Americans in the best possible ways? All Americans. Even the ones you don’t like, personally. 🙂 Instead of focusing on an assortment of party platforms that were chosen to serve those in power (or the special interests they have obligated themselves to), just put your vote on what will serve Americans – all Americans – the best possible way, resulting in the best possible quality of life for every one of us – and not at the expense of other Americans, or even other nations. It’s not a zero sum game. It’s not a fucking pie. It’s time we all changed our thinking to get better results for the survival of humankind. It’s not about the money.

It’s time to begin again. Let’s start with what we’re voting for.

It’s the Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends. I woke up an hour earlier than my alarm was set, because, of course I did. It’ll be weeks of it before I adjust. I got ahead and get up though, and take advantage of the opportunity to more gradually delay my morning medication. It’s the sort of thing I should take at the same time each day, so I’m sure it’s helpful that I am making that change gradually.

Seated on my meditation cushion, enjoying that quiet time soaked in contentment, my mind strayed ever-so-briefly to the recent work project consuming my consciousness for so many weeks. Well, shit; my blood pressure increased, and now I have this knot in my stomach radiating tension through the rest of my body. Oh yeah. Probably gonna be weeks of that, too. Fucking hell. I breathe. Relax. Repeat. Bring my mind back to meditation, and do that again, repeating the whole sequence a number of times. Working to steady myself in this moment right here, instead of allowing my consciousness to creep forward in time, preventing it from creating a new reality of disaster that doesn’t exist. Halting the process the terrorizing myself using my own insecurities and anxiety and stress about change.

I begin again. Actually, I begin again a couple times, in a very short period of time, before I am really back to meditating.

Weird morning. There’s no real way to determine how much of my anxiety this morning is truly about the completed work project, and how much is actually the literal physical experience of the end of DST. Quite probably a mix of the two, with some extras thrown in. Sitting here at my desk, I’m forced to consider more of the minutiae of what is driving my anxiety when I get a polite automated reminder from my healthcare provider to schedule some routine maintenance. This, too, causes my anxiety to flare up in the back ground. So much adulting to do! Fuck.

Did you vote? Will you? Please? Fucking hell, please don’t let’s have to go over, again, why it matters (so much). I know, I know, it’s a rigged system – but if you don’t at least vote, you get literally no opportunity to participate in the most basic of processes that is useful to change it! Just vote. Then do all sorts of other stuff, too: write letters, emails, make phone calls, protest, vote with your dollar by supporting the merchants who also support the candidates and changes you do – right now even fucking businesses count as people, so support only those that truly support you.

Another Monday. Another moment. Another chance to begin again. 🙂

I woke up tired. I hear the sound of an unattended alarm clock going off, it’s been doing it’s thing now for about 10 minutes. I wonder if its owner is sleeping through it, or walked away having forgotten it was only snoozed, or… I’m sure there are other options in the gigantic database of possibilities and assumptions that makes up some portion of my brain. This  morning I only flip through them casually, and readily acknowledge they are all fictions until and unless one of them turns out to be ‘true’. There’s no assurance that any of them are true, ever, they’re just stories, generally. That’s what a lot of our experience is made up of – stories we tell ourselves.

I slept restlessly, and not very deeply. My arthritis kept me alert and uncomfortable much of the night, and I often found myself flexing my back repeatedly in my sleep – the way I did the night I broke it. The sensation wakes me again and again, feeling vaguely disturbed with the visceral reminder of that painful event. I’m okay, though, just a bit groggy and not very well-rested. No agita or weirdness to it, which is nice. I could do without the headache. I am still unsettled by daylight savings time, and it may take weeks before that isn’t a thing…until next fall. Spring doesn’t seem quite as bad, at least not in the abstract.

I had an interesting conversation with a young non-voter yesterday. She had suggested that voting seemed pretty pointless to her, and expressed her discontent with the way the nation is run. I pointed out that if the only people elected are old rich white guys, then choices, programs, and changes we get are limited to those favored by – and which favor – old rich white guys. We talked through the potential impact if ‘all the young people’ voted, or ‘all the women’, or ‘all the any-particular-uniquely-identified-demographic’ actually. It may have been a light bulb moment for her to realize that there is power in numbers – and the numbers always begin with one. It was an affirming conversation for me, too, but I find that conversations that end in favor of the opinion I have myself generally are. lol

Meditation didn’t quite shake off the irritability this morning; pain makes for a pretty irritating start to the day. My traveling partner sticks his head in the door and gives me a merry good morning greeting. He hears something in the tone of my reply and inquires what’s up. I admit to the pain frankly and simply and get a sympathetic smile and a good-natured “I’ll leave you alone…” It truly sucks on a level I lack language to express that a being so dear to me finds the only positive option on a morning like this is to keep his distance. I can’t fault his reasoning; it is the wiser course. It still sucks. I am grateful to know a love that respects my needs, even when doing so means distance. Love rarely walks hand-in-hand with reason, and I am privileged to love someone who makes that look easy, most days.

I hear the espresso machine grinding beans for shots that aren’t mine. It is a warm and comforting sound of hearth and home. The day begins.

I have no idea what these are... I find them festive and unexpected.

I have no idea what these are… I find them festive and unexpected.

Today is a good day for meditation, and taking time to nurture contentment. Today is a good day to manage pain with great care, and be mindful that I’m not alone in hurting. Today is a good day for sympathy, compassion, and kindness – sharing those doesn’t diminish the quantity on hand. Today is a good day to make good choices, and for harnessing my will to my values through my actions. Today is a good day to meditate more than I planned. Today is a good day to be kind to myself, because kindness kicks ass and I could use some as much as anyone. Today is a good day for perspective, and awareness, and consideration – but every day is, isn’t it? Today is a good day to change the world.