The Bigger Picture

November 8th, 2018

What we did to ourselves a couple of years ago can’t be fixed in a single election, but it can be fixed. And we’ve started.

As published in The Daily Memphian, November 9, 2018

(photo: Spending time with the bigger picture.)

Big PIcture


I’m taking a breath.

The election is over, and however you may feel about the outcome, the sun has managed to come up the last three days regardless. My back hurt before, during, and after the voting, and nobody running helped me get my socks on in the morning. The person who does that got my vote a long time ago, although she may be looking for another candidate.

Nora and I recently retuned from a big trip, one we both looked forward to and dreaded. Lots of walking and lots of steps would be involved, things we don’t do as well anymore. Huge museums, churches, castles and keeps, dark cobbled streets and narrow paths in ancient cemeteries, challenges once relished now feared.

Like any good trip, this one provided discoveries.

As we moved through the bustling caves of the London Underground – minding the gap – and the Paris Metro – lots of pardon moi – people rushed everywhere, running down to make the connection, running up to make an appointment, pushing to get on and off. Unlike previous trips when we joined the fray, this time we watched it go by. We discovered something.

There’ll be another train.

Instead of blowing by everything in a museum in the morning and everything in two more in the afternoon – seeing nothing in-between – this time we took our time. We strolled. We paused. We saw brush strokes, not just paintings. We discovered something.

There are always more paintings. Spending an afternoon with a few big ones is better than spending all day running by a lot of lesser ones.

The things we saw we saw in much more detail, and the things we missed we really didn’t miss at all when we got home.

My ranting and everybody else’s has made me so very tired, I’m now waxing philosophical. We have a president who games the entire country with outrageous three-o’clock-in-the-morning tweets – a.k.a., bait for the media who always bite – a.k.a., dog whistles for his base who always hear – a.k.a., all of the above for liberals (present writer included) who always go bat-crap crazy. More soldiers sent to the border against mothers, kids and grandkids than we have deployed in the Middle East against real terrorism. Ending the 14th Amendment with a stroke of a pen. Imaginary pots of money promised to the middle class. All said to stir the insanity pot that is our time. We have discovered something.

There’ll be more elections. Take a breath. There’s a bigger picture.

Even after all the noise, gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands, this election is not the end of anything, but it is the beginning of the end of all of the above. America has stirred, and the majority will take this country back.

More formerly sure seats at every level will be challenged by the lies of this administration. More candidates will rise from the ranks of citizens rather than from the pockets of power. More women will be encouraged, empowered and elected. More people will continue to challenge authority based on fear, bigotry, misogyny, and dark money. More people who have sat silent will finally stand and scream.

We’ve been made less than we are, and more of us are paying attention.

I’m a Memphian, and there’ll be another train.

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