I know it is supposed to just be the thing that holds me to the Earth and keeps me from floating off into space, but it feels like more. A force that exerts a vast amount of pressure and then keeps you down.
I am Sad and because of that I am focusing on things that will make me more Sad.
I have been asked to modify the description of my presentation... so that it is clearer what I will be speaking about. I am tempted to just say that I won't present rather than working with the organizers who said they are willing to work with me on tightening up the language.
I am hosting 5 8th graders for three days of unprogrammed fun. And I am worried that I am not a social director. And I am not planning enough activities. And that they are not having a good time. Which is dumb because they are having a blast. I was worried before that we wouldn't have enough food. Now I am worried that we have too much food. I feel at once too lenient and too strict. They are very nice 8th graders and other than the fact that they are LOUD I have no complaints.
Also, I am in the slough of despond over current events. For truly there ariseth in my soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place.
The fact that there are more than 2 Nazis in my country.
And I keep thinking that there is just nothing. Nothing that will ever work and they will just keep expanding their hatred and terror and intimidation with guns and shouts and handsome well-manicured smug-talking spokespeople who pretend that this is normal.
Violence is not the answer. Because. Silence is not the answer. Yelling fuels the fires. Speaking softly gathers no audience.
And as ever I am in my same old position as a privileged white person. And I read so many bits of advice that everyone has to give everyone else on the basis of their identity. Because you are white, you should or should not do... These broad generalizations. And a lot of accusatory: don't say that "this is not me." Don't say "not all white people."
And I gotta say those are two pretty unhelpful and kind of asshat-sounding things to say.
I don't feel called to DO anything or SAY anything.
I just want to crawl somewhere dark and quiet and cry and cry and cry. Because I am afraid that this is the new normal.
That horrible people will do horribly violent things. That people who oppose them will disagree on how to oppose them and spend a lot of time tearing each other apart. Which will just open a wider wedge for the horrible people to expand their agenda of violence and hatred.
Existential angst. How adolescent. Perhaps I am too immersed in the land of 8th graders. Perhaps I have not slept enough. Perhaps I have to not eaten things other than caramel rolls and coffee with hazelnut creamer.
I want to read my escapist fiction book (re-re-rereading Tad Williams's Dragonbone Chair series) but I know that when I get to the end of the last book I will be sad. Because the series will be done.
Being weepy while hosting six 8th graders is inconvenient. Have not yet wept. Don't think I will. But it tickles just behind my eyes and I can feel the weight of unshed tears like a mask just under my skin.
Quaker, teacher, parent,