By the time this is read, I am hopeful that the first night of the Democratic National Convention will have begun to help us find our sea legs. I know we all remember Michelle Obama saying, When they go low, we go high. This is a time to retain our principles while we collectively make the effort to restore and reunite the soul of our country, and save our democracy. It is also a time to show strength, resolve and grit, as we engage in ridding ourselves of an administration that has caused so much fragmentation and suffering.
Fighting for equilibrium
by Suzanne Brita Schecker, Treehouse Community, Easthampton, MA
As the Democratic Convention begins, I am fighting for equilibrium, hanging on, looking for my sea legs. Storm clouds hover, persistent warnings to stay awake, remember something from our history. Below me, emotions: fear, anger, sadness, love. Waves of longing roll in, crest and move out again, the eternal motion of time. Thomas Hubl’s words about healing the collective traumatization that keeps us separate, blind to one another’s needs and suffering, walk around in my broken heart. We are many who want desperately to work together to heal our world and yet we seem blocked at every turn.
We have a virus that keeps us distant—no hugging please— that kills the vulnerable first, the poor, the elderly, the people of color. (What else is new?) A virus that has been politicized and weaponized so that we sometimes punch each other in the face for wearing a mask—a mask that science tells us will protect one another and slow the spread of Covid-19. We are living with a monster-sized collective shadow, a hungry ghost so dark and evil, it has moved into our White House, our courts, our Congress, chewed up and spit out our laws and Constitution and gobbled up the brains of half the country’s people. Millions of us slumber and millions more are turned around by gas-lighting and propaganda until we no longer know up from down, right from wrong, or truth from lies. It’s as perfect a brew for dictatorship as the world has ever known.
Me, I have a persistent infectious bacterium that has eaten up half the ball of my left foot, still growing, impervious to antibiotics and threatening me with the loss of my foot. I have surgery scheduled for August 24, a week from today, and we will remove a small infected bone and attempt to restructure the foot to ease the pressure on it when I walk. It’s hard to resist the metaphor: it seems we also need to surgically remove the infected bone that has taken over our government and restructure the foot so we can move forward.
Much as I look forward to unifying, intelligent and wonderful speeches about restoring the soul of our country, I also hope we will use our time together during the convention to speak forcefully and honestly about the precipice we are standing on.