Oh, That Mythical American Me

I grew up fed on old stories of my Dad’s ancestors, of fireballs at a crossroads, and once he told me I would have done well as an Evangelical preacher on the circuit, as I have a particular tendency, I guess, to go all preachy. Just last night the word my girlfriend used was swamy, so it must be somewhere in my blood, some preacher. Maybe I’m the great great great-granddaughter of some revival-style preacher, warning of fire and brimstone, maybe of the promised land, or the devil’s hand.

Why do I write this stuff, maybe you wonder that, cause I wonder that on occasion, but, then I watch something like this, and I feel this welling up, of, of hope I suppose I would name it, but also for some reason there is still this sadness, of a loss I can’t yet describe, strangely it haunts me.

Well, we all know the legends of what made America. We know its bones, the tales, myths, legends, truths, lies, and fairy tales, and as alive for me as my Grandma reading tales of Braer Rabbit, this mythical place I saw growing up really only from afar, now watch helplessly as it has been taken over by the forces of this fragile self-esteem and narcissistic rage of such a hateful and unhinged man.

Some kind of shade hangs over the place I was born.

Long ago I took a pilgrimage to Plymouth Rock, I was in my twenties, and, gosh damnit, there was a rock {well, fine, rock with a gaudy romanesque pillared thing around it, but a rock}.

Went to Norfolk, Virginia, where Dad lived for a while when he was a kid, and saw the mothballed ships of the Atlantic fleet, and a great big gigantic aircraft carrier coming in Chesapeake, or something, this huge thing passing over our heads as our car hurtled underneath through the tunnel some brilliant mind devised, and remember Dad’s face swelling with pride, knowing this gigantic thing cruised through the water over our heads.

We drove past Walton’s mountain, been from one coast to the other, drove up and down i95 so many times, through Pennsylvania, Maryland, on our way to visit my father’s family.

Went to some battlefield from the civil war, went to where the Wright brothers first set flight, right there in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the state where I was born. Saw Fort Bragg, the Great Dismal Swamp, and Mayberry.

Photo by Pixabay

I’ve seen the smog of LA and the crazy LAX. Saw the clay roofs of San Diego, and Disney’s first land, before the world came to be in Florida, but I’ve been there too. Epcot, St. Pete’s Beach, and it’s beautiful Pink Hotel. Seen Whales off of Cape Cod, ate baked beans in Boston.

Like someone said recently, on some vid from YouTube, isn’t America suppose to fight the bully? Used to be so. Used to be.

And that is part of why I write, maybe, to get all that stuff out into the wild, to write out what I see, hear, read, filter it through my own sieve and take out the bits that matter, least to me, that bothers me, that I see as dangerous, bent, funny, ignorant, brilliant, or, em, loco from crazytown, but I digress.

Wouldn’t it be wild to see both sides of the aisle, the left and the right, meet in the middle and turn around and fight the clown to the ground, as one, for what else do they stand for? Eh? Tear down the walls some pretender thinks will make America great, and all the isolationist, authoritarian fascist crapola, and shame away those placards that spread only hate, and embrace their mistake, as one.

You can be two after, just for now be one.

Photo by Andre Furtado

Maybe Canadians are less concerned with colours, creeds, religions or otherwise, but what brings us together as one is an expectation of our leaders to act like friggin’ adults; like, em, always.

Not just on Sunday, or when they feel like it, or only on TV, ALWAYS. We kick em out if we don’t like what they’re doing, and believe me, it’s happened. Boom. Gone. Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

Ain’t showy, don’t go for antics, and just so ya know, Trudeau is skating on thin ice in that particular arena. He might be a pretty face, generally a good diplomat, but, Canadians don’t care for that sort of showy game show quirky act he put on in India. Nope, get your damn normal clothes on an act like a Canadian. Geesh. Oh, and I think if he feels the need to say sorry one more blawdy time and I think we’ll implode. Enough.

But, ok, kidding aside, and this is another reason I write, is that I often think most Canadians just see the bonkers act going on down yonder south with a wry grin, and oh, those silly Americans, at it again, and don’t always see the full picture, the place, the things happening that are NOT normal, the rot at the edges, not the way it is supposed to be.

Maybe writing as a kind of signpost, of a sort, yeah no, danger ahead.

Photo by Pixabay

Maybe it is that voice in the dark, planting seeds, making some small ripples in the pond, out into the web, perhaps sparking, I don’t know, something. Bits and pieces of what I see, read, think, arrogant I guess, to think I can make any difference at all, but why not? Why gawd darn blawdy not?

My Canadian grandmother, my mom’s mom, started a paper way back in the 50’s with a friend, and it still publishes today – called The Signpost.

I worked there when I was in my last years of high school, doing up ads for the fair papers, all hand done, on sheets of blue-lined paper, little rolls of decals and lines, words and letters in different fonts, it was glorious. Mom worked there still, had for years, as had I, stuffing fliers every Tuesday night (I think it was). Pocket money for the week sort of pay. No hard-hitting news. Just, you know, church ladies, who had tea where and what crimes took place, like Joe’s garage was broken into, some kids vandalized a park, local stories, a community voice.

Personally, I am not interested in the politics of this side or that, left or right. No, instead I do try to focus on the person at the top, the chaos he brings with him, with his own swirling mass of corruption and crooks tagging along, exposing the holes, the chinks in the armour of America, the government, the role of leadership, and maybe in the light of all that can be an acknowledgement as to the fragility of this democracy. Maybe. Something worth fighting for?

Guess we shall see, in November, whether people care about any of that.

That stupid rock with its gaudy marble roof, the fables, the legends, the heroes, an America perhaps in myth alone, but still, underneath all that is the real history, the truth.

Of lovers and foes, pilgrims, the pioneers, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island hoping for more, to be more, where more was possible.

But that man down there doesn’t really care about any of that, has little interest in such things, as they’re not about him, and therefore can’t be all that great. No, he acts like he thinks he knows what he’s doing, but in truth, he is way out of his league, and his grandiosity won’t let him see it. He rages against the machine, but the machine is there for a purpose, for justice, liberty, equality, freedom of speech, and still, he batters up against the institutions that protect the people, well, lately from HIM, and no, that’s not normal.

Not normal for the president of the United States to have a team of babysitters who wander around after him cleaning up his messes, keeping him out of trouble, or from causing trouble, placating him, keeping him as inline as they can manage. And, rather eerily, like some message written in the steam from their breath on the white house window, one finger from an obscured body writes help.

I also write, like a long line of those of us with words to share, thoughts to bring out into the light, a truth, my truth, knowledge, instinct, gut, and the dark things that believe they can wink out that light? Well, be just a little dim.

More than that, I also guess I write, like I would if someone was attacking my sister, my Dad, lifelong friends, cousins, family, I would, as a chivalrous knight of old, loyal to the end, to those I love, I will always defend. Always.

Those who deny freedom to others,
deserve it not for themselves

Abraham Lincoln


featured image :: Min An

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2 thoughts on “Oh, That Mythical American Me

  1. I’m impressed with all the places you’ve been. I’ve only been to Niagra Falls in Canada. I’ve been there several times. I’d love to see more of your country. Unfortunately, I ridiculously have to get a passport now. Which I lazily haven’t gotten & they aren’t free.

    I am very glad you do care about the continuing decline of democracy in America and the damage being done by the current resident of the WH. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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