Reality changes all the time and it is never going to change back. We are never going back to the pre-Trump era or the one before the sexual revolution. We are never going back to racial purity.
I have to assume I’m a racist. I don’t think I am, but there are a lot of other people who don’t think they are who seem like they are to me. Racism, and the thing we call ‘race’ when we mean culture, are difficult to talk about because we live in a primitive society. We’ve built warehouses to incarcerate generations of young black men rather than talk about it. We say ‘the n-word’ because we have to be treated like children who aren’t allowed to say dirty words, too ignorant to understand their meaning.
Women and people of color who see me as a stranger must sometimes also see me as a danger. It would be reckless to treat me as a friend without getting to know me a little. To some people that feeling of instilling fear in strangers is a comfort, but it makes me nauseous.
Kurt Vonnegut said we’re still in the dark ages, and he’s right, but that doesn’t mean the dark ages won’t end any minute. Reality changes all the time and it is never going to change back.
I let my mind go out and play while I took care of some chores. I watched it from the windows, swinging from the trees. I kept myself from running out to help when I saw it stumble and cry. Sometimes you have to hit the dog on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper to get it to learn.
My mind got up and limped away from the place where it fell and got hurt. My chores are more easily performed without that little one getting underfoot. It will come back home when it gets hungry or needs a place to rest.
Like all new years, 2019 dawns with limitless promise and if the past is any guide 2019, like 2018, will end with most of those promises unfulfilled. It is the few that will be filled that provide hope for our dreams.
Fear of the unknown causes so many problems, but their solutions also lie in the unknown. My one resolution for 2019 is to embrace the unknown, to hold it close, and to learn as many of its secrets as I can before it is whisked into the past, into the comfortable realm of experience.
We came from the place where they mold your dreams into memories that do not fade. We walked along the river that flows both ways until the machine ran out on us and the molten rocks flowed down the hills. We talked with the man who taught one of us how to swim and invited him out for a meal.
Before we could eat with the man who taught swimming we first had to eat with the next generation, growing and laughing and eating their fill with appetites we will never know again. We also partook, in one place or the other, in rituals of celebration and remembrance.
On the way home from both of our meals we took local roads past the place where the wolves prowl the rails and the snakes draw the innocent out of their shells and into the woods where it’s easier to feast on them. I’ve come to know this place like the back of my hand.