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Belief in Magic

October 10, 2018

This past weekend I left the country while my Ohio Senator, Rob Portman, who regularly votes for party over country, voted to put Brett Kavanaugh in a lifetime seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

43436618_10215668696143519_8958177653370650624_nWe had a weekend trip planned, to Niagara-on-the-lake, where we met some friends who live in Toronto for wine tasting, food eating, and play going. We saw The Magician’s Nephew, Grand Hotel, and Oh What a Lovely War. I love it when we’re able to go to several shows because it’s fun to see some of the same actors playing different roles, like the one who played a strong and evil queen in the matinee of The Magician’s Nephew turned into a fragile has-been ballerina in Grand Hotel that same evening. The satire, Oh What a Lovely War, featured music hall songs from the WWI era (including “Oh! It’s a Lovely War” and “Pack Up Your Troubles in your Old Kitbag”) and disturbing historical parallels, especially the war profiteer companies and their attitude towards human cannon fodder.

43399564_10215675075703004_2545355923514195968_nMy friends who now live in Toronto are from Arkansas, and when we headed back across the Canadian border on Sunday evening, it was hard not to think about the people trying desperately to get to Canada in The Handmaid’s Tale and worry a little about the possibility that it’s a mistake to return to a country whose “leaders” should be “representatives” but are not even listening to the people who voted for them. My hope is that more of the young people in this country will use the power of their votes this November.

My other hope is that “belief” will become less important, or at least less talked-about. It doesn’t really matter if I “believe” in climate change, whether a girl was assaulted, or that the Declaration of Independence was written with a feather, as Dean Young puts it in this poem:

Belief in Magic

How could I not?
Have seen a man walk up to a piano
and both survive.
Have turned the exterminator away.
Seen lipstick on a wine glass not shatter the wine.
Seen rainbows in puddles.
Been recognized by stray dogs.
I believe reality is approximately 65% if.
All rivers are full of sky.
Waterfalls are in the mind.
We all come from slime.
Even alpacas.
I believe we’re surrounded by crystals.
Not just Alexander Vvedensky.
Maybe dysentery, maybe a guard’s bullet did him in.
Nonetheless.
Nevertheless
I believe there are many kingdoms left.
The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.
A single gem has throbbed in my chest my whole life
even though
even though this is my second heart.
Because the first failed,
such was its opportunity.
Was cut out in pieces and incinerated.
I asked.
And so was denied the chance to regard my own heart
in a jar.
Strange tangled imp.
Wee sleekit in red brambles.
You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?
That’s how I feel now.

So many hard-to-believe things have already happened. What matters now is what we do; the Big Lie or the medium-sized lie only matters if we act on it.

Don’t talk to me about your beliefs or your feelings. Talk to me only about what you are doing.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2018 3:28 pm

    Just finished registering to vote in our new state of California. We MUST all vote, so we all know what is the REAL stance of the country. Something like 50% of eligible voters did NOT vote in the previous election – which means I can still hope for the country (though I’m furious at them for not voting).

  2. October 10, 2018 7:13 pm

    Since I live in South Carolina, I don’t even want to talk about senators and Brett Kavanaugh. I am appalled by our senator’s behavior.

    • October 10, 2018 7:43 pm

      Yeah, no one’s ever going to forget the temper tantrum your senator threw or his mean little red face.

  3. October 11, 2018 8:36 pm

    Glad you got a bit of a respite in Canada. Some trepidation about November 6th, but I have not given up that the cracks in this Administration have become too massive to ignore and that people will come out fighting for the good. 😉

    • October 12, 2018 7:37 am

      Newspeak makes it so hard to tell good from bad, though. After working so hard to repeal every aspect of the ACA, now local GOP candidates are trying to pretend they care about health care.

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