Archives for posts with tag: turn out for what?

Here it is. Did you vote? Did you vote for a world we can all thrive in? (Was that even possible, from your perspective?) I guess we all watch it unfold now… all the things: the greed, the lies, the grandstanding, the finger-pointing, the temper tantrums, the speeches, the media coverage… What is there to say about any (or all) of that – that hasn’t been said more skillfully, elsewhere? I got nothing.

Here’s this.

Fingers crossed that we’re a calmer, more reasonable, more considerate nation when this is over. If not? Well… I guess we begin again.

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. 🙂

A moment of levity in the morning seems appropriate on the day after mid-term elections. Right now, the outcome doesn’t matter much; the changes in many cases don’t become effective for months, and the election itself is over. It’s no particular cause for stress just at the moment. Why would it be? Still…my Facebook feed is filled with people who suddenly found their voice, after the election results are in and it didn’t ‘go their way’. Many of those folks voted – they are irked with people who didn’t – and quite a few people didn’t vote, some of them are annoyed that the people voting voted the way they did.  I suspect that this national post-election snit is helpful to someone or other; it is certainly a distraction from the ‘now’ moment, which is too bad… ‘now’ isn’t that bad, generally.

Let’s take a few deep breaths, and cover some basics just to get past the tough bits…

  1. Some asshats and very ineffective people got elected, and this is commonly true; we’ll all survive it, and try again next election.
  2. Some women got elected, and some men of a very particular sort aren’t happy about that; those dudes are literally everywhere, but they are less favored year after year, and may eventually become extinct – possibly in my lifetime. (Party at my place when that day comes!)
  3. Some people who lack ‘the right credentials’ got elected; they’ll probably do just fine given a chance.
  4. Everyone elected has less power individually than we give them credit for, but they probably like to feel important; the media is there helping with that.
  5. Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. joined Washington, and Colorado in admitting that ‘most people’ – the ‘majority’ that is to say – think using cannabis is harmless enough to be legal; historical record-keeping shows this to be true, and it seems likely there is nothing to be alarmed about, unless perhaps you work for the DEA, which may soon be without a mission.
  6. …And if you aren’t sure legal weed is ‘okay’, take a deep breath and remember that most of the people you know who use cannabis haven’t been comfortable ‘coming out’ because it’s been problematic legally, and it may be that indeed ‘most people’ are far more okay with it than you realize.
  7. South Park Season 8 Episode 8… just saying.
  8. Things change. Things change slowly for people who want change most, and things change very fast for people who fear change. Right now is generally reliably right now, and nothing more.
  9. The anger and heightened emotion we all feel when we are frustrated, frightened, irritated, held back, or treated unfairly are real… real emotions, just that and nothing more. Feelings. It’s okay to make room in our hearts to treat ourselves well, to honor our feelings, to comfort ourselves…it may be necessary, actually; I don’t think we can count on an election to do that for us. Becoming mired in the emotions doesn’t really improve things, though.
  10. There will be another election very soon.

The path ahead is strewn with possibilities and choices...

The path ahead is strewn with possibilities and choices…

Here it is a Wednesday morning like any other. I hurt a lot this morning: arthritis, a headache, and tension in my shoulders and neck likely related to both. It’s a lot of pain to be in and still function. I take appropriate pain management steps, and hope for the best. I have slept restlessly since Daylight Savings Time, which is not uncommon. It may be weeks before my own clock resets. My coffee was hot and tasty – and it is early enough to have another shot of espresso if I care to… for now I am not inclined to make the effort due to the pain I am in. My inexpensive office chair happens to be the one place in the house that is genuinely comfortable when I hurt like this, so here I am, and content to remain so as long as I can before I leave for the office to spend the day in chairs that are not at all comfortable for me.  Sometimes life feels like an endurance race, more than a gentle journey of discovery.

I would say more, about other things, perhaps; this morning I hurt enough that taking care of me is the focus of my will and my intention… that… and treating the world similarly well, with equal kindness. There’s a lot of pain out there. I would like very much not to be causing any of it. With that in mind, I go forth into the world to explore the day. Today is a good day to see change in the world.