Tag Archives: notmypresident

WP Daily Prompt: Construct

Construct

It turns out, in another of life’s funny little twists, that sometimes who others think we are is more important than who we are.

Take for example the impact of audience on a performer. It goes without saying that the success of a live performance is relational. The audience matters. I went to a concert recently, I won’t name names, but it was made clear that the singer—accustomed to a warmer, more engaged audience than she was getting that night—was displeased. And her displeasure made for a lack-luster performance. For the most part, the audience did not know her. She was part of a season-ticket line-up. I found her subdued but wonderful anyway and wished I’d seen her in her native Portugal, not chilly, rainy Seattle.

Identity is a strange thing. Often molded by what others see, less by one’s true nature. It is a construct we offer the world. And sometimes, the successful construct becomes the thing itself and is perpetuated, exaggerated and amplified by perception, as in an echo chamber.

And if there really is no there-there, no internal stability, that construct will be vastly more comfortable and vital than the confused, murky, unformed fog that  no one really wants. Construct a priori. Works every time.

photo-on-12-2-16-at-1-55-pm-2

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WP Daily Post: anticipation

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/anticipation/”>Anticipation</a&gt;

I so love the word antici……….pation. The sadomasochistic potential! It’s the perfect word for how we live now, all of us, in anticipation of the next crazy thing the Bad Boy in Chief will do! Never has the highest office in the land garnered such attention, such fascination. This is how we live now.

Someone asked me if I’d heard the latest Warren speech which was supposedly a good one, and of course I had not because…well, because it doesn’t show up in the news. At least not the news I follow–Washington Post, New York Times, Slate, Salon, Politico. Zip, zilch, zero, nada.

But the barest twinkle in the Boy King’s eye gets front page coverage. The latest complete reversal in what he said yesterday or last month or last week, gets screaming headlines because apparently we can’t conceive of something so confounding. But he’s been upfront all along, people. All along when held to something he said last month on or off the record, he simply says, “who cares? Nobody cares except you.”

Do this. Google the following: who cares? nobody cares except you. trump and see how many hits you get. Fox news or CNN or DT himelf asserts that you or I simply do not care. That the news cycle is now less than an hour. That our grasp of reality is being systematically debased. Debased.

Because rather than try to care about fraud, conflict of interest, sexual abuse, demagoguery or the rest, we now have new headlines to gasp about. Headlines! We sit in mindless anticipation of the next outrage.

WP Daily Prompt: tart

Tart
We have an old sour cherry tree out back that regularly produces enough fruit for several pies. I often make one during the holidays and think I will do so this year–a sort of Hello America cherry pie. I’ll use less sugar, less honey so it’s good and tart. Not sour, but tart.

Let me back up. Earlier this year I had brain surgery for a tumor that had grown quite large but was nevertheless, and thankfully, benign. It was unexpected. I was having a blast  one minute and the next I was in the emergency room, MRI, surgery**–like when they started offing characters on Downton Abbey that third season, just about one per episode for a while. Surprise!

(Ok, I can hear my partner saying: wait. What about those headaches? And then you started walking funny. Sure, you can point to that stuff now, but who on earth thinks they have a brain tumor? Anyway, not me. I never, ever, ever thought that. Even after the MRI and they showed me pictures of this 4mm black hole in my brain, I still didn’t believe it.)

My partner of 25 years got our papers together, the legal shit that would assert her right to be at my side. As it turned out, no one asked and anyway, no one in their right mind would have blocked her. She was fierce beyond anything I’d ever seen. Even the lady in Pre-Op, clearly a Marine General in a past life, stepped aside and let her stay, against protocol.

But we needn’t have worried. No one blinked twice. It was excellent to feel so clearly that our worries were old school. That we live in a different time now, that not so very long ago the hospital would have been legally bound to block my partner’s access to me, but time’s have changed. Back then, she would not have been considered my family. My family was family, and to be honest, I would have rather gone through the whole thing alone than have my family there. But time’s have changed and on that front, we were deeply happy and grateful.

Things may be changing again, alas. Intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, racism–all the things we thought we were making progress on in our country–may be making a comeback. I still believe the majority of us do not want this to happen, so who knows how this plays out.

But a tart cherry pie seems right to me. Tart because, well, here in Seattle, we live in a bubble. And I believe we will continue to view ourselves as a progressive haven, not matter what.  But when the rest of the country does something like what it did on November 11th, bubbly places like Seattle are sort of like WTF? We truly don’t get it.

Interestingly, the bubbles in this country tend to be urban and high tax-revenue generating areas. Life is different here. And for someone like me whose very life might depend on progressive standards and laws, it’s been sweet. I know for others in this country, those for whom my legal rights won’t pay their bills, life has been otherwise. I’ve been on the receiving end of not-fair and I know it sucks every single damn day. But I gotta say,  for the last couple of years, for people like me, it’s been unbelievably nice–and new!–to have all the legal rights and protections this country affords its citizens.

So: tart. Without a little sugar, the pie would be inedible and sour. Most of us would like it with more sweetness but that’s just not happening this year. Tart is a challenging taste–sharp, but not sour. Bittersweet.

**PS, a shout out to Obamacare! What can I say? I’m quite certain I was able to get better care, excellent world class care because of Obamacare. I know there’s lots of opinions about it, but when it works for you, it’s hard to diss it.