Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Much Ado

If only it was simple, if only. The idea that a Congress controlled by one party or the other can fix everything (depending on how you imagine everything being fixed) is so ridiculously naive, it's actually funny - to me at least.

Every American should be required to live in Washington DC for awhile - two years at least. It's not about being a part of the government as much as proximity to the machinations at the Capitol, in the White House, at the Supreme Court and in other federal organizations that makes obvious the complex truth of what really goes down. Until I lived here, it all seemed so very clear. I talked about "the government" as if it were a single entity - it is NOT. And I got so frustrated, so very impatient with "the government" for being clunky and slow moving, convoluted. I believed my values were the RIGHT values.

For heaven's sake.

For those of us who live here, it's obvious that 'the government' is a complicated, multi-faceted bunch of different organizations staffed by thousands of individuals as confused as you and I about how the country should be run. There is no such thing as a red state or a blue state. All states are purple. If only we were as clearly divided as red/blue, progressive/conservative, Democratic/Republican. If only.

Any simple diagnosis of what's wrong with the U.S. is ridiculous. The American soul is struggling at so many levels, fighting against itself. We are conflicted, we are worried. We're dead broke, fat, dumbed down, anxious, deluded and weak. Pointing fingers, something we do a whole lot of here in the U.S., never fixes anything.

So the House has gone to the Republicans. OK. This is a true reflection of the WHOLE of our country right now. Maybe this can help us ease back into bi-partisan politics. It could happen. Or maybe things will get worse still. Who knows?

As a citizen of the District, what I do know is that this is business as usual. Same as it ever was. Onwards & upwards. Shalom.

I've been trying to capture the feeling of this fountain, in the center of Dupont Circle, for years. I didn't quite get it here, but it's better than previous attempts.


Barbara said...

This country's entire history is a series of pendulum swings. The relatively peaceful moments at the middle are fleeting and we are a long way from there right now.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes we are.

The Bug said...

Barbara stole my metaphor :)

Given that my "agenda" didn't really get accomplished while "my" people where in power I'm not sure it matters. Or, rather, I HOPE it doesn't matter - definitely don't want things to get worse...

ellen abbott said...

I doubt seriously that a republican house will ease us into bi-partisan politics. They had it for 8 years and their attitude was join us or get stomped in the dirt.

Tom said...

i usually leave the room while these left/right finger pointing thingies are batted about. but i do love the city--it is inspiring in so many ways, not just red or blue ways
if you happen to see a bunch of high school kids trudging around thurs-sat you might spot my wife, out and about (again) playing tour guide

Paul C said...

As a Canadian I am somewhat mystified at the political turmoil going on in the U.S. It's complex and convoluted particularly around economic issues. I like your carries on amidst the vastness of that beautiful sky.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes it does, Paul.

About the furor following the election, my friend Donald said (comparing the US to jambalaya):

"I suspect that it is our joyful obligation to keep stirring the pot while blessing the delicious diversity that enriches all of life, death and rebirth."


mouse (aka kimy) said...

your friend donald's characterization of the u.s. to jambalaya triggers a memory of folksinger charlie king likening the united states to a "melting pot where the people on the bottom get burned while the scum rises to the top."

unfortunately, despite lots of stirring of the pot there is still a hell of a lot of burning that keeps going on.....evidenced by some new reports of the how the rich just keep getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer.
"The official US poverty numbers show we now have the highest number of poor
... people in 51 years. The official US poverty rate is 14.3 percent or
43.6 million people in poverty. One in five children in the US is poor;
one in ten senior citizens is poor. Source: US Census Bureau."

okay i'll step down from the soapbox now.


Linda Sue said...

Your sanity may be contagious! Ellen speaks from experience and to the frustration we feel, Especially in TEXAS, which should be scissored off the map and become it's own country...

Reya Mellicker said...

Kim I love your passion. Personally I am so sick of venting my spleen. Also I'm not sure how it helps to get so worked up. Please explain?

tut-tut said...

This is today's poem, in A Poem a Day:


Life is ours in vain
Lacking love, which never
Counts the loss or gain.
But remember, ever
Love is linked with pain.

Light and sister shade
Shape each mortal morrow
Seek not to evade
Love's companion, sorrow,
and be not dismayed.

Grief is not in vain,
It's for our completeness.
If the fates ordain
Love to bring life's sweetness
Welcome too its pain.

–Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, tut!! How beautiful.

tut-tut said...

it seemed to fit, sort of, today's mood

Reya Mellicker said...

A difficult mood to describe, here in DC. Still quiet (since everyone has been on the campaign trail) but ready to burst back into action at any moment.

steven said...

reya - i worked in kansas one summer on a ranch and that experience redefined for me the whole idea of america and americans. then i met a girl from new hampshire and that redefined the whole piece again. then i roomed with a guy from jersey and the whole thing happened again. in-between and since i've read and seen heard and known more americans and they have all been incredible powerful vital wonderful wonder-filled wonder creating individuals to whom i'm so very grateful for their very existence and then also, i'm especially grateful that somehow through the grace of all that this place is capable of, i got to be in their company. but i don't know what any of their politics is - don't really care to know actually! they're just people. real. honest. amazingly alive and deeply present people. like yourself. that's all. steven

Karen said...

Thank you for the perspective; I could use some! I live in a state where, as my partner just said, "Now everybody's Republican." It's not so much the party affiliation I object to, but rather the way it gets expressed out here: fear the Other, fear anything different; take care of your self & nobody else (if somebody else needs help they can get it from their church); ideas are suspect, and teachers are worse. I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Again.

Reya Mellicker said...

Karen did you see the NYTimes article I linked to on Facebook, about how we're about to turn a corner and begin to work together again? It could happen. I'm holding that image in my mind and heart. May it be so!

Steven, I always say the same thing to you. Sorry for the repetition: THANK YOU!!