Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: National Elections

Don’t Hesitate | Mary Oliver

I feel a tug of anguish these days. It’s in the air. It’s in my body. It’s in the newspapers. It’s in deluges of unsolicited email from candidates frantically running for office. On some days I just want to crawl back in bed and do absolutely nothing but hibernate.

On the other hand, I’ve been reading this short poem by Mary Oliver. Given our national and international anguish, plus my current health issues, I can’t say it’s easy to follow her wisdom. Still, I’m doomed if I curl up and shrink to nothingness.

Here’s the poem. I hope you find it as compelling as I do.

Don’t Hesitate

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

Thank you from my heart for your visits. I’ve been overwhelmed by how many visitors I’ve been getting in the last several weeks. Especially given my inability to post or visit as often as I would like. Which, of course, has been part of my anguish.

Writing is one of the most challenging and joyful things I do. Sort of like playing the piano or watching birds flocking and fighting around the bird feeders each morning.

Praying we all find space for joy (or even more joy!) in our lives today.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 October 2022
Photo of Smudge birdwatching taken by me in September 2022

This deadly pretense

Can’t we all kiss and make up?

Or how about just getting along
I’ll let you be you and
You’ll let me be me

Is there really no hate spoken here?

If not how then will we learn
To hate what must be hated?
Or love what must be loved?

I used to think some glad day
We would all grow up
And leave our troubles behind

You know – letting bygones
Be bygones even though
They still hide in closets, or don’t

My world of yesterday was
Ordered and predictable
Until I grew up and knew better

Some say no news is good news
I say we could all do with bad news
Rather than this deadly pretense

It’s difficult to find my way in our increasingly fractured world. Sometimes I feel weighed down beneath layers of deceit, corruption and pretense. I want to play the blame game, making this mess into someone else’s responsibility.

Now we’re beginning yet another election cycle with slogans and promises aplenty. Vision is important. Still, I’m not impressed by versions of progress or greatness that ignore bad news. Not ‘their’ bad news, but our bad news.

The next national election is about more than political parties or who will be the next POTUS. It’s about our hearts, and whether we’re willing to take on harsh realities that won’t disappear on their own. We don’t need a huge army. We need one person, one attitude, one act, one crazy prayer or dream piled up one after another.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 17 March 2019
Photo of book cover found at amazon.com

Voter Fraud

One Vote plus One Vote
doesn’t equal Two
in this world of One plus
What We deign to throw your way
or not

One plus a Big Wall visible or invisible
One plus Ill-gotten Gains hidden on offshore islands
One plus your Votes, your Loyalty, your Obeisance
At the altar of Our Superior Greatness

One plus the Privilege of sleeping and waking
surrounded by guards and lackeys
who do Our Bidding

One plus the heavy Duty of carrying lightly
Our Noblesse Oblige as we tip Our top hats
and wave Our smooth hands
from platforms of coming elections
begging for your alms

To address voter fraud, we must begin at the top. All the re-counts or investigations in the world will not solve the problem of fraud being committed daily in high places.

I salute politicians who live in ‘the real world’ with those they serve, who listen without going into automatic stump-speech mode, are seen ‘among the people’ as we like to say, and inspire by example.

Yet no investigation into past elections can take the place of investigations into voter fraud perpetrated in the highest offices and levels of government in the USA. Every day. Not just on, before or after Voting Day.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 September 2018
Image found at nytimes.com

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