Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Among my many contradictions...

... I am a gloomy optimist. Wolterstorff and Heschel make sense to me. It feels better than being a cheery pessimist.


give me farsightedness
strain my hope
for river crossings
promised lands
the life of the world
to come
tomorrow in Zion
the gates flung wide
we labored and sang
and the walls kept tumbling down

You ask how I feel about the election. I am relieved the blinders are off. Were you surprised to wake up today and discover that the bully beat the smart girl? I wish I were surprised. You thought we had made so much progress for minorities and human decency. Here is where you have called me a cynic. But your despair today––no, I am your gloomy optimist.

Yes, America is that absurd. Yes, so many actually do think that America belongs to white people. The work's just begun. It's everyone's problem now. All day around the city, people everywhere were crying in public places and engaged in civic conversations. Yes. How did we get here? By only caring in the eleventh month, the eleventh hour. Sorry Charlie. Didn't have faith in the system to lose. The unthinkable happened before – think of the Japanese Americans in WW2. It's gonna be okay.

Yes, I am hopeful. because now No, really, who is an American? is a question we all have to ask and answer, again.

Maybe this leads to the end of the electoral college system. Maybe it ends the two-party system. Maybe I should visit Taiwan before WW3 levels it. Maybe we learn to reach out to the margins, the ignored, the forgotten. Maybe the media shapes up.

Anyway there's no way he can do all the ridiculous things he said he would. That wall he said he would build, it's already there. That pipeline she's supposedly opposed to, it'd get built anyway. The ship fo state is this massive lumbering thing. And anyway as president, he can't just say whatever he wants anymore. There's always impeachment... right? She would have made a shitty Democrat (though a skilled stateswoman).

There's nothing new under the sun. Some years we plant for the seasons. Now we plant trees.

it's coming through a hole in the air
from those nights in TianAnMen Square
it's comin from the feel that this ain't exactly real...

on a visionary flood of alcohol
from the staggering account
of the sermon on the mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all

the sorrow in the street
the holy places where the races meet

from the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away

imperial, mysterious in amorous array
democracy is coming to the USA
sail on, sail on, oh mighty ship of state
to the shores of need
past the reefs of greed
through the squalls of hate
sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on

i mean i love the country but i can't stand the scene
and i'm neither left or right i'm just staying home tonight

// Leonard Cohen

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