What We Can Do

2016 is not pulling any punches.

I have already mentioned some of my personal blows. And I am not really ready to discuss our collective blow this past week without it falling into one of my classic rambling rants (complete with multiple parenthesis and footnotes*).

So much that has gone on has been absolutely out of my direct control. And yet it all affects me directly (as it does you) and so I want to respond with at least a fraction of the force that has hit me (and us).

And yet I live on a rock in the middle of the sea. I can’t go to protests, I can’t time travel to stop the car accident (which I probably couldn’t do if I wasn’t island-bound but one can hope), I can’t show up outside my friend’s house with a boombox over my head.

So I do what I can do.
I write. I clean. I work. I read and read and turn off the screen to think about all the words I have consumed. I write some more and cook waffles.

It is such simple, grown up advice but it is ever so true: you cannot control everything so focus on what you can control. You can be kind to your neighbours, you can compliment the cashier, you can cook a good meal, you can take your kids out for a little adventure around the neighbourhood. Doing these small, local acts of goodness may seem indulgent and like a mere distraction from the madness but what you are doing is making small waves of sanity that will contribute to a ripple effect of light and goodness in the world. It’s important, more important than sharing another meme or article, more important than being angry and anxious and sad. We are part of this new world order and the days that you create are part of it so make them good days, days that will shine even when the shadows grow and spread.
(Colette is just outside of the mirror’s frame. She was offended at the time because of some offhand comment that one of her brothers made. She spends roughly 50% of her time being offended by minutiae and 50% being silly.)

*I am actually in the process of, well, processing all the various conversations I have been involved with in the aftermath of the election and untangling the threads so that I can write with some coherency rather than ranting. (And for me, coherency involves parenthesis and footnotes as well as ample time for reflection.)


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