No Clear Ending

There was a lot of social effort yesterday, so I spent the afternoon with administrivia and a certain portal fantasy trunk novel. It helped.

There were also homemade pizzas for dinner (at the kids’ request) so I had enough pesto, carbs, and cheese to soothe many a raging hunger. The Princess is fond of pepperoni, and making her own ‘za is the only way she gets enough; the Prince is a simple traditionalist and prefers sauce, cheese, crust, and not a thing else.

When your spawn get old enough to buckle their own seat belts and run the oven, it’s a glorious thing.

Oddly, the thing giving me what little optimism I possess at the moment is NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag at its tracks. I was underimpressed when I initially heard the news, considering it a stunt and any possible enforcement honored more in the breach than observance, but someone whose opinion I respect pointed out that even if this is cynical lip service, it still represents a major shift. If such a company decides it’s more profitable to do homage to righteousness than to continue to service racist asshats, it’s all to the good.

However, it’s not time to relax yet. Not even close. The wannabe dictator (who, it’s now come to light, wanted the military to clear the streets of the nation’s capital with live fire) is still in power, and his cabal are thoroughly focused on looting the national treasury as well as attempting to brace their slipping stranglehold on the levers of power. This is a point when abusers of any kind are especially dangerous–when they feel their grasp sliding free.

People are still saying “In November we’ll…” and it makes me want to scream. Seeing the results of voter suppression and gerrymandering in Georgia, among other places, anyone who thinks we’ll have a free and fair election months from now is dangerously Pollyanna-ish. It will take so little for the dial to turn and the military to decide Mango Mussolini is still their best ticket for unchecked expansion, and to throw their weight behind him. And anyone thinks that orange blivet and his cabal will let go of power in a reasonable or quiet fashion even if voted out is fantasizing.

I long to go back to zany squirrel stories, to canine tales and feline follies, to moaning about deadlines, to my usual arch observations on the state of publishing. But I’m forced to chronicle, in my nightly diary and here, much different things. If you’re tired of it and want to read elsewhere, I can’t blame you–I’m exhausted writing about it. I can barely imagine how protestors or marginalized people are feeling. And the pandemic is still raging unchecked through this country.

The worst thing is the bleak hopelessness. Reading history means I see how this can all go even further wrong at the drop of a hat. The second worst thing is the uncertainty. I long to crawl in a comforting hole and not emerge until it’s decided, one way to another. I’ve always known it’s a writer’s duty not to look away.

Now, I suppose I see if I have the strength to perform it.

I have no clear ending for this post, so I suppose I’ll just stop here. Please be gentle with yourselves today, dear Readers. Do some self-care if you can. These are interesting times, and though we might be cursed to endure them, there’s no reason not to try to do so with whatever grace–and care for each other–we can muster.