Monday, January 16, 2006

"The Open Space of Democracy" (Terry Tempest Williams)

The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we ben generous? Can we listen with our whole being, not just our mind, and offer our attention rather than our opinion? And do we have enough resolve in our heart to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, ever -- trusting our fellow citizens to join us in a determined pursuit of a living democracy? The heart is the house of empathy, whose door opens when we receive the pain of others. This is where bravery lives, where we'll find our mettle to give and receive, to love and be loved, to stand in the center of uncertainty with strength, not fear, understanding this is all there is. The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power.

That's from Terry Tempest Williams' "The Open Space of Democracy" which you can find in CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now (pages 36-39, the paragraphs from page 39). Stop The Next War Now is a book that I keep thinking of as the Bully Boy makes more and more war noise with regard to Iran.

I'd love to tell you that tonight I am as high minded as Williams, but that's not the case. I'm very concerned that Bully Boy's eager to launch a war with Iran for a number of reasons including the 2006 elections. Iraq got everyone's mind off the failing economy, the corporate scandals, the fact that despite bombing Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden was not captured (dead or alive Bully Boy once blustered). So on the eve of the 2006 elections, I wouldn't put it past him to attempt to rally the nation to yet another war. (That would be our third under Bully Boy for those trying to keep track.)

Possibly you think the Democrats have wised up and wouldn't go-along-to-get-along again? They were slaughtered in 2002 due to silencing their own voices. But it's four years later and they do not appear to have learned anything at all.

Last week, they couldn't even question a potential Supreme Court Justice with any guts, strength or grit. So I don't have a great deal of hope that they'll finally find the guts to stand up to the Bully Boy if he attempts to launch a third war (while the other two are still ongoing operations but possibly Iraq will fade from our memories the way Afghanistan did once we invaded Iraq).

Rebecca and I were on the phone earlier today and we both think C.I. summed up the mood in yesterday's "NYT: Carlotta Gall brings you news, Adam Nagourney brings you fluff" and today's "NYT: 'Dianne Feinstein's comment is very disturbing' - Kate Michelman." When the party can't even defend a woman's right to privacy, the party's demonstrating that they're useless.
I say Harry Reid needs to step down as Minority Leader in the Senate and that Diane Feinstein needs to step down from the committee along with Herbert Kohl. (I'll continue to spell it "Diane" because I don't care how she spells her name. I've got a knife in my back, it's only important that I can pick her out of line up, not write her a thank you note.)

So I'm trying to find my peaceful zone and not having a great deal of luck after the betrayal of the Democrats in the Senate who are intent upon sending signals of no filibuster for Alito. If you don't fight for my rights, don't expect my donations.

Right now, I wish CODEPINK was a political party because I know they'd stand up and be counted. I'm sick of the Democrats and their ideas of a slap on the wrist being swatting Bully Boy on the snout with a tissue.

I'm listening to Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach's Painted From Memory tonight and I only listen to that when I'm very depressed. It's a good album and probably not depressing for everyone. But I'm only in the mood for it when I'm depressed like tonight, like today, like all weekend. The last track, track twelve, is "God Give Me Strength" and that pretty well sums up my mood.

I actually prefer the version on the Grace of My Heart soundtrack but I was in the mood to wallow in my despair tonight.

I firmly believe that you have to experience your feelings. It does no good to close them off. Feel it. Own it. Explore it. That's the only way to get through it. I know people who are able to bottle up their feelings and function. I don't think that's healthy for everyone, possibly the ones who do that are exceptions.

So if you came here hoping for a pep talk, I'm going to disappoint you tonight.

If you're feeling as angry and betrayed as I am, maybe my sharing helps.

This is where I am tonight. Hopefully, I'll explore these feelings and get them in some sort of order by tomorrow but today they are still too fresh and close to the bone.