Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Measure of Our Desperation

We've got two choices: resist or cut and run.

Cutting and running is the choice of the privileged and the desperate, so maybe it's more about the measure of our desperation.

Here's a poem:


In our teens we all bought girdles
with rubber knobs to hold up our stockings.
We wiggled into them, our “foundations.”
So many things look absurd from a distance
that people still take seriously,
like whether there's a Heaven for pets.

What ever happened to my girdle?
One day I peeled it off for the last time
and all hell broke loose.

Connie Wanek, from Rival Gardens

I cut and pasted the poem here from The Writer's Almanac this morning after reading someone's post on Facebook. 

I bought a copy of Wanek's book and hope she doesn't mind that I've put her poem on my blog. Maybe you'll buy a copy of her book, too. 

So many people are throwing around their desire to flee the Disunited States of Amerikkka, Inc., and I get it. I'm a person who rarely feels sick to her stomach in the literal sense of the word and have probably actually vomited only about five times in my entire life, but I've felt more nauseous and fearful over the last few months than I have in the 53 years previous that I've lived on the planet. I wouldn't mind living in a small space along the coast of Costa Rica despite the bugs. I'd move to New Zealand, but traveling that far in a plane with Sophie might be worse than taking the fallout of a nuclear bomb from North Korea. 

You'll have to forgive my dark, tasteless humor if you're new here. 


The thing is, I can't shake my privilege. What about all those who won't be able to cut and run? Are we as desperate as those people who travel thousands of miles through deserts and over barbed wire with only the clothes they're wearing? I'm not. This is as much our country as the fuckers who are ruling it right now. I'm going to have to remain fierce and resist the bullshit, even if the resistance amounts to nothing. If I take the measure of my desperation, I immediately plunge back into the many moments of watching Sophie seize and suffer, of watching my sense of control slip away, vomited up in some intense instant and then flushed down with water, my own face clammy against the cool of the bathroom floor. And still. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm going to have to remain fierce and resist the bullshit. In this moment, this now, that ends the moments before and begins the moments after and on. 

It all sounds dramatic, maybe too dramatic. Peeling it off and letting all hell break loose sounds better.


*For those who are new, I hate this word and use it sparingly and in jest.


  1. This is MORE our country than it is of the fuckers who are ruling it right now. Don't forget it, either. They have no love for its people whatsoever whereas so very many of "us" do.
    That's how I see it, anyway.

  2. I am not kidding when I say I have more than once thought about bringing you and Sophie to Canada. We have a crappy little basement suite if you ever get desperate. It's not much but would be something until you could get on your feet. We have Netflix and medical. You have to pay for the Netflix.

  3. Ms. Moon hit the nail on the head. I just keep wondering how long this fat, old man with bad dietary practices and the thinnest skin and evil temper live. 'Course then we'd have Reverend Mike Pence and his crazed sense of right 'n' wrong. 2018 is not that far away. If we can all just remember to vote and throw some of the ruling "elite's" pals under the wheels of history. Resist!

  4. re above: "can live", I meant to write.

  5. "The thing is, I can't shake my privilege." That sentence makes me feel so embarrassed in the face of those who have none. It's a wonderful paragraph, E. I identify with all the elements of it. Fighting in the face of something that may amount to nothing fatigues me, but still, it's the only thing to do

  6. Many said it so well. This stuff IS dramatic and oh so scary. I'll be fierce with you.

  7. You and Sophie have been much on my mind this past week. Just when I think the lying orange lump can't get worse, he does.


  8. The crazy thing is, this isn't overdramatic. It is a completely proportional response to the insanity we are witnessing daily. You have framed it perfectly, our outrage, our resistance, our frail stubborn privilege, and the decision godammit to hold our ground against the fuckers in washington. thank you.

  9. This too shall pass. In other words it won't always be like this and it can't get too much worse, at least I hope not. Though it's perhaps easier for me to say Elizabeth, from so far away.

  10. I tend to want to hold my ground and not cut and run even if it is an option, stubborn like that. Besides, where would one run to? The State of the World isn't so grand anywhere right now actually and I rather like my ground however shaky and insecure it might sometimes be in 'caregiving' mode. I do try to keep it all in perspective since in disadvantaged Countries the most vulnerable rarely have a measure of the options our privilege afford us here and I am most Grateful for that even as I am part of The Resistance and try to hold our Ground in the battle. Big virtual Hugs to you and your precious Family... your 'How We Do It' series of archived Posts have Ministered to my Soul, Thank You from the bottom of my Heart. Dawn... The Bohemian



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