In a scramble to get out of town a couple of weeks ago, I missed the opportunity to put something in the safe before leaving. I did what probably everyone has done at one time or another and ‘hid’ a couple of items in a drawer where I thought no one would look. Yeah, I know, not a very good strategy for safekeeping, but, hey, I was in a hurry. Thankfully, no one broke in while we were gone, but apparently it was a great spot to hide things in, because, upon my return, I spent a week wondering where in the hell I had put my valuables. Fortunately, the weather in Los Angeles turned chilly and I had to pull out a pair of leggings to wear and, lo and behold, there was my little bag of goodies. I am grateful I was able to reclaim them without tearing the entire house apart.
It seems some Americans have put civility, truth and democracy—the jewels of our country—in hiding, too, and are having a hard time remembering where they stashed them. I am gob smacked by the ugliness that appears to be exponentially increasing. Flight attendants being sucker punched because someone does not want to wear a mask, an organized mob breaking into stores, following people home and forcing their way in, carjackings, and the biggest one of all, the attempt to overthrow democracy itself on January 6, 2020, under the coaching of none other than the narcissist-in-chief. I am afraid that the coup attempt and all its violence were only harbingers of what is happening now in our state governments. Voting rights are being eviscerated. Women’s rights as well. All these righteous people serving their false God.
This depressing news is set amidst what seems like a never-ending pandemic. In this country alone, 800,000 souls have been lost. Omicron has marched in as the rioters did in the Capitol and is wreaking havoc. All of this seems bizarre when we know that an efficacious vaccine is available, with a booster likely to assist in fighting off this new variant.
My evening ritual includes the removal of my jewelry, but the other night I took one earring off only to discover the second one missing. When I mentioned the loss to my sweetheart, he said, “Oh, no! I heard something clink as I vacuumed earlier.” In order to retrieve my earring, he sat on the floor and sifted through the dirt in the vacuum bag. An extremely unpleasant task, done lovingly, and with success. The earring was in two pieces, but reparable and, once repaired, no one will know what muck this pair has seen.
Is it possible that we can sift through the dissonance in our nation and retrieve the fundamental ethics that we like to believe our country holds dear? Perhaps we will find, at the bottom of this filth, a republic a bit broken but reparable. Maybe we will become a kinder, gentler country that is, at last, based on truth, civility and freedom for all.