Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I emerge after a long absence to vent


1. I dreamed I visited a place that was so beautiful, so full of ice and water, of cliffs and sea creatures, viewed through high, polished windows with a person I loved, that I cried. The way to the place involved a fabric bridge that swayed over an abyss as we drove or rode. The bridge was multi-colored, like a stretched-out quilt.

2. I dreamed of an old friend in two different ways. In the first part of the dream, my husband had told me she’d died; in the second part of the dream, she flowed into my living room, dressed in yellow and smelling of sun.

3. He Who Shall Not Be Named and his son have basically said that all of us who have been sexually harassed in the workplace are to blame for not leaving. But why should we have to leave jobs we love because some Neanderthal with drooping eyelids and large hands can't keep himself from saying things, from reaching for body parts he has no right to touch? In the office, at conventions, on buses on the way from Columbia to the airport in St. Louis. On a train from Paris to Frankfurt. On the UMC campus after I stopped to give directions to a lost student (who harassed me later by following me to my apartment). What does the Orange One expect us to do? Find another job, another school, another career, another train, another bus, another city, another state, another world, another life? Walking away is not always an option. Nor should we have to choose it. Harassers should simply not harass (not pissed about this issue at all).

4. Once, when my child was about 5 or 6 months old and had begun to learn how to sing, she sang to the priest in church (Episcopal) as he delivered his sermon. She did not sing softly; she cooed and called and trilled and shrilled and thrilled. I started to take her out so that she didn't disturb his flow or the rest of the congregation. The priest paused. Let's say he'd been talking about Matthew 10: 7-16. ("Cure the sick, raise the dead, clean the lepers.") He drifted back a few passages, stared directly at me and quoted: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." My Girl and I returned to our seat, invited and welcome. If we’d been at an Orange-haired rally, we would have been asked to leave.

5. I have not watched cable or network news since the DNC convention ended last Thursday night, but I have been reading news online. I go to The Guardian’s front page hoping to read something semi-innocuous (to me) about Theresa May or Boris or David. But the powers that be sense I’m an American, and the big, red face in a big, square photo droops down on me, and all the news is about him. Except for those stories where I read about another shooting death or the terrifying spread of the Zika virus. Can we stop obsessing for a bit? Can you give us a moment away from the steamy piles of words, the staccato syntax, the fluffy strands of toddler hair covering the bald spot?

6. My kitty sits next to me on the sofa. I run my fingers between his ears and down his neck, and he purrs, and the stone in my gut begins to dissolve. It will be all right. It will be all right. There, there.