A Little Hope Here?

I don’t know where to start. My heart hurts. That’s not a good place to begin if I’m going to allow others to read this, if I want them to come back, is it? We’re smack in the middle of our holiday season, a season that is in essence about love and forgiveness. A time to be merry and jolly and to consider our gratitude for all the gifts life brings us – the people we love, the trials from which we learn and grow, the promise of light returning.

And yet, still and all, it’s the truth. Not only my heart, my gut. I feel as though I take punch after punch directly to my solar plexus. My primary strategy to avoid the punches is to avoid the media. I don’t watch the news on television. I never read the newspaper. I barely look at social media and when I do I scroll past nearly all of the political reports – true, false and otherwise. I find solace and hope in pages such as “Odd Couples”, “Women After 50”, “Claire Ryann Crosby” and “StoryPeople”. Hope is a commodity I find difficult to come by these days, if I don’t work at it.

I wish I could say that my strategies have the desired effect; that attempting to keep my head buried in the sand, to live a life of naiveté actually allows me to be clueless and uninformed, actually salves my anxiety. They don’t. How does one maintain hope in today’s political climate? That has become the primary question on my mind these days. I’m aware that there are still good guys out there doing their best to keep the demons at bay, to represent us and preserve our way of life. And yet even while they seem to hear us, it feels that there is nobody listening to them.

 I ran across this today – sadly, at the age of 83 Bill Moyers is signing off, not that he doesn’t deserve a break. In his farewell statement he wrote, “… please remain vigilant and engaged as citizens in the civic and political life of your community and our country. Democracy is fragile, and no one can say with certainty that it can withstand the manifold risks to which it is now exposed.” That statement, coming from that source is about as sobering as it gets.

I don’t have any big answers. I believe that we all do what we are able. Those who are politically savvy do what they can. We who are not support those who are. We take care of each other. And even though we – I – don’t want to know what I know, I can’t turn away from the present. The only hope is to fall together. Otherwise we’re going to fall apart. There are significant forces at work that want that, that want us to fall away from each other, to become divided and angry at one another. We must find and touch the common ground of humanness within each of us. We must look inside and be guided, rather than be influenced from outside. We mustn’t turn away.

I leave you with this. For those of you who don’t have time to stick around for a live performance, I’ve posted the lyrics. But they’re better with the music.

On the Turning Away

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”

It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known

Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord

Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

Pink Floyd

Songwriters: Dave Gilmour / Anthony Moore

On the Turning Away lyrics © Imagem U.S. LLC