I am watching waves crash against the rocks as they reach the western edge of the continental United States.
The northern California coast is magnificent. Yesterday, the wind turned the ocean sea green, the white-tipped edges visible to the horizon, and pierced you with its ferocious chill. The wind is not so powerful this morning. The air is cold, but it does not penetrate the way the chilled wind did. The ocean is back to being Mediterranean blue, its undulating beauty much less ominous.
Still, some waves crash over the rocks down below that rise three stories above the surface.
I forget that spring can bring that bracing chill with it some days. It is often more bracing than the winter’s chill. I don’t know why that is.
I have been on blog silence for nearly three months, suffering from butt-not-in-chair syndrome caused in part by patella-femoral syndrome. My knee got out of alignment and sitting for longer than 15 minutes made it ache so much I could not concentrate on anything other than the pain.
So, that was the proximate cause of my silence.
But, I also just plain didn’t know what to say, as a small group of young Republican men have begun their assault on common decency in the name of fiscal responsibility and freedom.
As I have said on Facebook they remind me of an old joke: A small underdeveloped country, in an attempt to become relevant, calls a news conference to announce they are sending a man to the sun. Won’t the man burn up, the reporters ask? Don’t be silly the country’s official says, we’re sending them at night.
These boys (and an occasional mean girl) seem to be hell bent on making sure women remain barefoot, pregnant, and muzzled, and the poor and middle class are so focused on daily survival that we don’t have time to participate in democracy.
They seem to have no sense of history – no understanding of what the world was before they came into it – while being simultaneously ignorant of how decisions today affect the future. Not to be trite, but they either don’t get the concept, or don’t care about seven generations.
I’ve heard Joe Scarborough belittle the notion that the BP oil spill hurt the Gulf because the Gulf is so large, it can’t be ruined. Well, except for those dead zones that have been created.
I’ve heard Scott Walker refer to public employees (teachers, police, firefighters) as the haves while the taxpayers are the have-nots. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that public employees pay taxes.
I’ve heard history being rewritten to sanitize our history of slavery.
And then, of course, there is the absurd notion that denying a woman the right to make choices over her body and health is a pro-life position. Cut funding for abortion, cut funding for maternal health, cut funding for children’s health, cut funding for education, cut funding for childcare services.
I don’t call that pro life – I call that anti-life.
I’m pissed. I’m damned angry. These are not brave courageous men, these are boys who have been given license with no regard to consequences.
So what has this got to do with my knee and waves crashing into the edge of the continent?
Take a leap with me.
You could not tell by looking at it that my knee was out of alignment. I suspect that its misalignment would be measured in – whatever miniscule measurements you could imagine. But that tiny, indescribable change in alignment made a huge difference in my daily life, in my sense of well being, and in my understanding what it means to live in a body that is mortal and must be paid attention to.
Our planet is like our bodies. A small temperature change can have repercussions far beyond our ability to discern the change in temperature. Who can predict the repercussions of a dead zone in the ocean?
Right now, the rocks stand in the way of the waves’ inexorable ascent on the shore. But little, by little, the water wears down the rock and some day, they will be gone.
These men who are imposing their agendas on us are little men. Smart and clever they might be, but wise they are not.
Send in the crones. You don’t have to be old or a woman to be a crone. But you do need to have the humility borne of life experience and compassion for what it means to be human, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than one’s own ego. Morgan Freeman said he would live another 30 or 40 years and still he wouldn’t see the end of the universe. He’s a crone.
I’m angry. I’m damned angry.