I wanted to clarify something from my last post. I’ve been trying to process it myself and put it into words. I felt it very strongly but it just wasn’t languaging in any intelligible way quite yet.
In the last post, I mention leaving the U.S. It’s hard not to feel like I should leave when I am surrounded by people who want me gone.
Please understand: I would leave if that’s what’s necessary to live to fight another day. That’s my criteria for leaving. I’m actually worried about my life and that of my son and daughter. (And friends, and others I care about.) Am I safe enough here to not be completely incapacitated by stress and fear, to not be in physical danger? Where is a safe place from which to do the work that needs to be done? How do I tell?
(Related angsting: What can I do to help? How can I best contribute to this work? How to know?)
Game of Thrones would have been an entirely different story if Ned Stark had gotten the hell out of King’s Landing.
(Also, if he hadn’t compromised his principles just because Baratheon couldn’t be arsed to have any, if he’d had the wherewithal to realize who his enemies were, and if he and Catlin the Self Righteous had raised Sansa to have at least the sagacity of Princess Buttercup. But I digress. Thankfully we are not in Westeros right now. Obviously it’s more like The Handmaid’s Tale.) If possible, it is better to engage from a place of strength. And, also, non-death.
Anyway, this post is mostly for my benefit. Right now I am overwhelmed, and I don’t know how the next couple of months will play out, and I’m both afraid of being a coward and of dithering too long in King’s Landing. I sincerely hope to look back on this post and think, Anxiety much? But, until then…
I am still struggling to find my place in the work ahead. I am still struggling to find my place in the world.
(Third fictional reference for luck’s sake:)
Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam : I know.
It’s all wrong.
By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
But we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
That meant something.
Even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.