Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: 2020 Election

What we’ve lost

The urge to write is upon me
Though ‘about what’ escapes me
Not because nothing is happening
But because my world is shrinking

Behind me an organ plays and
A choir sings about what we’ve lost
A kind of dirge marching slowly
Across pages of my weary mind

Yesterday I gave up trying to figure
It all out as though truth were a
Puzzle to solve for fun and recreation
Before blowing it to smithereens

Is this the beginning of the end?
For what am I willing to live or die?
And why am I here in the first place?
Does anyone out there know or care?

The heaviness of our post-election massacre of truth isn’t a good sign. I keep reminding myself that ‘they’ and ‘we’ are not in control. Though what we do matters, what happens next matters even more, regardless of the outcome of this political tantrum about the 2020 Election. Following the wrong leader can be deadly.

In addition, finding our way home is more difficult and not nearly as much fun as getting lost. Do we have enough shared good will or desire to find our way home, together? Perhaps we’re too busy scoring points, or too certain this attempt to keep Trump in office will fail. Maybe we’re unwilling to see what we’re doing to each other, no matter the outcome.

And here’s another reality: Disenfranchising certain voters has been happening for decades, though it’s never happened to me. Perhaps the silver lining in this cloud is that some of us will finally get it. That is, how it feels and what it means to be deemed nobody.

Happy New Year to each of you, and thank you for visiting.
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 January 2021
Image found at mynorthwest.com

What will become of us?

What will become of us?
Even the Supreme Court
Can’t fix this sickness unto death
Leaking through our doors
Streaming through our apps
Insinuating itself into every
Pore of our nation’s unchecked
Pandemic failure to thrive

Tomorrow the Electoral College
Does its business not once for all
But as an unintended trigger of
Anger, elation, false dreams and fake news
Now available 24/7 on demand
Minus warnings that lies and innuendo
Are more than dangerous to our
Collective health and welfare

This past year has been an exercise in bleakness. Which reminds me that Advent is about despair, fear, unjust rulers and religious leaders, sickness, and sorrow. In the bleak mid-winter.

When I hear people talk about “getting back to normal,” I cringe. Our track record when dealing with the aftermath of national crises, including unjust realities, isn’t great. Even the birth of Jesus of Nazareth didn’t solve everything.

We keep hearing that Covid-19 vaccines will make things better. Perhaps. Nonetheless, I’ll do what I can to support changes that matter for the good. I’ll also celebrate when we manage to get something right and just. It does happen every now and then, along with painful failures.

Between now and the end of this year, I’ll post as I’m able. Praying each of you is taking daily time to rest, meditate, and consider the impact of 2020 on your life and the lives of others.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 December 2020
Image found at christianity.com

Farewell, November

yew branches thrash and bend
blown from every direction
the bird feeder flails

relentless nature
announces the arrival
of another day

sitting beside me
a small heater hums softly
to rain drops falling

What a strange month this has been. Lots of flailing and thrashing. Too much bluster, and too little calm. Especially in our news cycles. Even though November is my birthday month, I’m happy to bid it farewell.

Do I miss the energy of 2020 Election bluster? No. True, it made for breathless news cycles. It also made for unfiltered offloading of frustration, despair, angst and anger. In the end, however, it reinforced my belief that hope doesn’t come from any one of us. It comes from the One who sees everything without blinking an eye.

So yes, there’s a method to the madness of this world. Still, I’d rather have it interpreted from above than below. Today’s unhinged weather reminds me that though I’m not in charge, I’m still alive.

Just now the thunder crashed closer to home than I like. Happy Monday!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 November 2020
Photo found at toughlittlebirds.com

Token presence and absent voices

Token presence rarely hides
absent voices in weighty matters
of life and death

Games rigged from the start
of nothing new are as deadly
as no token at all

Yet who am I to question
privileged presence in
the land of the free and the brave?

Yes, I’m a white woman.

And yet…I know the haunting feeling of being chosen at least partly because we ‘need’ a woman (of any color) in order to validate our committee, our faculty, our administration. Just think of how this will impact our promotional material! All for the price of less than a white male.

Potential money makers. That’s what women were and too often still are. A way of showing the world our school, our company, our church is doing the right thing. Put another way, you can trust us with your daughters of any color.

I don’t mean to sound cynical. I mean to be clear. Especially now, in this transition from Trump to Biden. Tokenism still happens every day at every level of hiring and top-level appointments. Especially here in the USA, land of the “free” and home of the “brave.”

We live with the sad and sorry outcomes of decisions made and unmade in light of political, personal, and financial considerations. It isn’t just the White House. It’s also businesses, local churches, hospitals, educational institutions, community leaders, and who gets to drive the garbage truck and who doesn’t.

After all, we don’t like it when things get overly-complicated or contentious. Especially in our own small worlds. I’m praying our new administration won’t fear complex, contentious discussion that broadens our small worlds, and brings us closer to other worlds.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 November 2020
Image found at medium.com

missing in action

missing
in action
full stop

The background noise of Mr. Trump and his defenders isn’t going away anytime soon.

The foreground clarity of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamal Harris isn’t going away either.

In fact, each day brings a bit of hope. Not because Biden and Harris won the election, but because the next POTUS is taking his task seriously. Not for popularity or personal gain, but for the heart and soul of this nation.

Still, I don’t wear rose-colored glasses.

Wealthy patrons of Mr. Trump and sold-out members of the Senate and Congress have a lot to lose. So do white people who feel entitled to more and better, or who refuse to look into the history and hearts of our black citizens and learn to lament and repent.

Showing up. I can’t remember when our current POTUS showed up for all of us (including his followers), much less for the rest of the world (unless it benefited him). I’m more than ready for a full stop.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 November 2020
Photo found at pinterest.com

Absence

absence eats slowly
into edges of presence
morning rises late

It isn’t just the season. It’s my life slowly diminishing one day after another.

The 2020 Election has opened a door for substantial change. I want to be part of the geriatric action. I wonder how many others raised in my generation (1940s and 50s) feel this as well. Here we are, often carrying painful bodily and emotional damage. What will this Election mean for us?

I’ve been thinking hard lately about my schedule, and how to manage daily routines without cutting into writing time. I’m not there yet, but I’m seeing a little light. Which is all I need right now. A little light of day and a little light of hope for our future as a nation.

Praying for small and large gifts of kindness, gratitude and hope to rise like the sun, against all odds.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 November 2020
Photo of November sunrise in Ashland, Oregon found at outdoorexposurephoto.com

Haughty eyes and lying tongues

This morning a Bible college classmate from the 1960s, a Trump supporter, forwarded an urgent message from a former Republican Congresswoman. In it, the Congresswoman calls Christians to pray for five things, all related to the (wrongful) outcome of the election.

Her bottom line: Democrats in seven key states stole or tried to steal the election from Mr. Trump and his followers. Her language pits conservative ‘evangelical’ Christians who voted for Trump against voters of any religion who didn’t vote for Mr. Trump.

Her language is incendiary and blatantly partisan. It’s also skillfully filled with conservative church language designed to ramp up self-righteous anger, especially at other Christians, in order to achieve a political outcome.

I don’t buy it. At the same time, it’s a troubling sign of our times.

In her strongly-worded message, the Congresswoman quotes from Proverbs 6:16-19, applying this to those who, in her scenario, fixed the election outcomes so Mr. Trump would lose. Here’s the passage:

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

This strongly worded caution about the way we treat one another isn’t just for Democrats. It’s for anyone and everyone, including Republicans, Independents, non-voters, the Congresswoman herself and Mr. Trump.

Praying this day will bring us closer to each other as United States citizens dealing with huge problems that increase by the hour. We need each other now more than ever.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 November 2020
Image found at pinterest.com

At the Purchaser’s Option | Rhiannon Giddens

It’s worth the fight. I can’t get this phrase out of my mind as we wait. Not just for the announcement about who will be our next President, but for the backlash that will surely follow.

Rhiannon Giddens’ song is about slave trade in the USA. Blatant back then, it’s somewhat more sophisticated today. Yet the bottom line is the same. Being disenfranchised isn’t only about voting. It’s also about being denied full humanity because of race, color, gender, age, religion, wealth, or any other test for who counts most.

Yes, we need a President and Vice President who can help us move in a humane direction. Still, we can’t afford to sit back and coast. The evils of yesterday’s blatant racism are still with us in a thousand permutations, compounded by Covid-19.

In the meantime, here’s a song that invites me to stay strong and focused on the work ahead, not on the ever-present backlash.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 7 November 2020
Rhianna Gibbon’s song found on YouTube

sweet hush of silence

sweet hush of silence
fills the old woman’s ear
lulling her to sleep

I wrote this haiku just before I went to bed last night. Not because it’s fun (though it is!), but because the process requires focus on the present moment. Letting go of everything. Beginning to ‘see’ what’s staring me in the face. A gift, waiting for me to acknowledge its presence and then capture the moment on paper.

On 1 December 2017 I wrote my first haiku. It’s in my first haiku mini-notebook with about 100 others. Here’s what I wrote that day.

silence descends
over dismal swamp —
a child weeps

Though I haven’t written one a day for many months, I’m drawn to them during our current upheavals: Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change, Loss of Protected Habitat, Building the “Wall” and Divide and Conquer moves having babies.

Gail Sher wrote one of the most helpful books I’ve read about writing. It’s called One Continuous Mistake. Actually, the title is about life and writing. Without mistakes, how will we learn? How will we discover and accept our humanity?

Haiku opens up insights and connections I wouldn’t otherwise notice. I’m not an expert. Still, I’m fascinated by the way writing haiku helps me see deeply into what’s in front of me, especially in nature and in human nature.

These days, writing haiku beats the TV screen, ubiquitous radio news feeds, and photos used to create shock, if not awe. It also reminds me that this is not my final home. I’m coming to feel more comfortable about being a wayfaring stranger passing through this life. Haiku helps me look for more than meets my eye.

Hanging in there with all of you. I can’t wait until this election is over, if not done with. Then the real work can begin, no matter who becomes the next POTUS.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 November 2020
Book cover image found at amazon.com

How do we vote for this earth?

This gorgeous photo is a tiny reminder of how much our climate is changing. Whether you’re a climate change believer or not, one thing is clear. Fire with a mind and life of its own is taking us down.

I’m not a climate scientist. I’ve been on this earth for nearly 77 years. Yet I’ve never seen so many apocalyptic-like fires ravaging the West Coast and middle states. To say nothing of drought, flooding, and the invasion of insects and pesticides that suck the life out of trees, crops and human beings.

This election isn’t just about who our leaders will be. It’s about this earth, and what we’re leaving to children and young adults.

We’re not Adam and Eve. We are, however, the current keepers of this earth, whether we like it or not. The next generations are already reaping the whirlwind we’ve unleashed on this planet. Do we know how to vote for this earth?

This topic wasn’t on my mind when I got up this morning. But being faced with Word Press’s latest surprise (no more automatic classic editor), I decided to face the music and see what I could do. I like simple. I like uncomplicated. Neither of those seems true of the Grand New WP Plan for my writing life!

Hoping your day is chugging along without unexpected reminders of how old and retro you are! Actually, I remember when retro was cool….

Elouise♥

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 October 2020
Image found at unsplash.com

 

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