I wrote a note to prepare for this blog, something about DISTANCE. But I couldn’t find the note–because of our recent move, because my desk and office are still cluttered with that which I love, paper. Even if I had made the note on my computer, searching for “distance” would probably not have brought me CLOSER.
Having a computer and cell phone can obliterate some distances. But even being right next to a person, even one you know well, can feel chilly and distant. It’s the way we live right now, often divided and at war with ideas. It should not be that way.
THE LAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS…
Yesterday we spent an engaging afternoon with old friends, the people you can say anything to, who encourage your ideas and sympathize with your fears. There is no distance between us. It’s the same with our daughters and our son.
But there are times when we need to distance ourselves from people we love, because there is rancor that leads to arguments, that pulls at the threads that used to bind us. We are living in a time when many of the norms we have enjoyed for decades have been ripped apart. FACE IT. It’s a difficult time to be alive. You have to take a position just opening and walking out your door to shop, take a walk, run an errand. MASK or NOT MASK.
You all know I mask, keep six feet distance, try to abide by the rules. It’s not always easy. Our bodies are probably more on “high alert” than they have been in years, which is not good for our overall health, our blood pressure. YES: we all fall into patterns and habits, but I still worry about those I love, hoping that when out in the world, they will be safe.
I OBEY, YOU OBEY, BUT THEN…POTUS, a major person in the USA who has refused to wear a mask, comes down with COVID19. How should we react?
Brian Williams: Our president is in the hospital. We know very little beyond that. Presidents have hated that… And we are in a unique circumstance as the White House medical office has not been truthful in the past.
Jon Meacham: So much of our common life has been on trial for the last four years. So much so…that everything feels hyperbolic; but events are catching up with these superlatives. To some extent there is a kind of equipoise… and one of the best descriptions of the presidency itself, was written by John Adams in the 1790s… He talks about how the first character of the presidency “would be the subject of all eyes and the object of all contemplation, that he would be a vital role in the republic.” …
The role of the president… has always been vitally important, not only politically but culturally. But what we have seen now, going on four years, is that the habits and inclinations of the incumbent president seem almost to be beyond dominating our mind space. …
Where we find ourselves in this really interesting moment of reckoning, between two things that have shaped us in the last six to eight months in particular: one is distrust, a distrust of experts, a distrust of the ordinary conventions of our lives.
And the other is disease. And the distrust has fed the disease.
Because a huge portion of the population decided not to listen to those who had expertise, decided that somehow or other, they knew better, that the force of reason and science was somehow partisan and not legitimate. It was a bunch of elites trying to tell them what to do. And by God they were going to show them. We are seeing the wages of that–
John Lewis taught us that the key element of nonviolent protest was never become that which you are fighting against. Answer hate with love. Answer violence with nonviolence.
So, in an era bereft in many ways of grace and dignity, we must do all we can to be gracious and dignified. That said, it is an inescapable fact of our unfolding history, that the president repeatedly diminished the role of science and reason in combatting this pandemic and now that is helping to push the country to extraordinary moment of unease as we face an extensional election in 31 days.
FINAL THOUGHTS…When I heard Meacham’s words, I wanted to share them with you. But first I went out, took a walk, tried to gather my thoughts before writing. And as I was approaching home with my earbuds providing tunes–James Taylor sang to me. When he wrote these words, I don’t know what was weighing heavily on him, but today, much weighs heavily on us and on our country. Thus, I share these words, and my hope that you and yours are well and that we will get through these trials together.
Another night has gone, life goes on, another dawn is breaking.
Turn and face the sun, one by one, the world outside is waking.
Morning light has driven away all the shadows that hide your way.
And night has given away to the promise of another day.
Another day, another chance that we may finally find our way.
Another day, the sun has begun to melt all our fears away. Another day…
Wishing you and yours another day. Thanks for reading.
Thanks to Deposit Photos