Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wild and Precious

Too bad I'm not drinking these days...

So Tuesday happened...

And then Leonard Cohen died today, just to ice our cake of despair nicely for us.

If my Facebook and Twitter feeds are accurate (and when is social media EVER NOT totally unbiased and accurate, she said with heavy sarcasm), the world is teetering on the brink of destruction, and apocalypse is nigh.

It may very well be true, though. I was reading a book when the U.S. election hit (Emily St. John Mandel's excellent Station Eleven), which is set in a not-so-distant future where a virulent flu has wiped out 99% of the world's population and survivors live in a word without electricity, internet, gas. It paired all-too-well with actual events, to the point where I looked down at the cat, rolling plumply on my bed, and promised mournfully, "I will never eat you, Molly." (I might have to though. People have been forced to do so much worse; unimaginable actions. You don't know the half of what you are capable of, good or bad. You have no idea what's coming down the pipe.)

Enough. Mourn, if you want to. I cannot take my emotional temperature from the same ten or twenty people I always turn to for wisdom on Facebook without feeling frustrated.

What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?

What am I going to do with mine?

Am I going to rail at the shittiness of the world on Facebook or am I going to DO something about it?   I am sickened by how much time I have wasted staring at that damn feed, watching the same people say the same things, agreeing with each other, "liking" each other's comments; an endless snake eating its own tail.

I am going to try and spend less time online and more time actually connecting with my friends and family in a way that is meaningful to me.

I am going to keep teaching preschoolers and underfunded and at-risk kids how to make music, how to channel all that crazy energy and those wild impulses into something beautiful. I will keep being simultaneously exhausted and renewed by their daffy, impulsive, annoying, beautiful selves.

I am going to try harder to be part of change. To support people who feel threatened and marginalized. I will not apologize for being lucky,  but I will try to acknowledge my privilege.

(I will also stop using the word privilege. Or the word creative, when used as a noun: I'm a creative. What the actual fuck does that even mean? Hell, if we're making early resolutions, I will stop making the thumbs-up sign, which looks dopey as hell but I can't seem to break the habit. And saying "like", as in "I'm like...")

A wise person said to me yesterday that social media allows everyone to feel as if they need to editorialize everything, all the time. I will say this: that if I, or anyone else, watches this shit go down and thinks that writing about it is enough, then we are part of the problem.

Enough. I will post this (and yeah, link to it from my social media platforms) and then I will get off the damn internet and enjoy my two days off. Because I don't know how much time I have left, but I won't live as though I have a sword hanging over my head. We all have that, all the time. Nothing changed except maybe it got a little sharper this week.

That's what I'm going to do.

What will you do?

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