Blue Sky with clouds and person in shadow

Learnings of An Optimistic Cynic GenXr For When This Cruel Ol’World Lets You Down

From sea to shining sea, the 3-headed monster of self-righteous evangelical missionary Christian continues its streak, bashing everyone over the head with their aggressive campaign to get everything they want, regardless of the majority, constitutionality, or if it does one damn thing for the common good. I’m certain my devote Anglican grandma would not recognize this violent, extremist right-wing version of faith and goodwill toward your fellow human.

My mom would, having turned away from the fire and brimstone of the new reverend at our family church. Then, of course, the final straw, and an event that ended me attending church with grandma altogether, when I came home one Sunday and told her she was going to hell for not attending. Yip, that kiboshed my evangelical churchie stint at the ripe old age of 6.

… 1965, when Planned Parenthood of Connecticut won the U.S. Supreme Court victory, Griswold v. Connecticut (Griswold), that finally and completely rolled back state and local laws that had outlawed the use of contraception by married couples

Planned Parenthood – The History of The Pill

Well, so born in 1967, when SCOTUS decided Roe v. Wade I was 6.

I watched the evil Russians vs America in a Cold War, then watched that wall dividing Germany East from West come down, Kate Bush was singing ‘Running Up That Hill’ on the radio, and I knew every character from The Breakfast Club.

Dear Mr. Vernon. We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us to write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, the most convenient definitions. You see us as a Brain, an Athlete, a Basketcase, Princess, and a Criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7 o’clock this morning. We were brainwashed.

Opening monologue, The Breakfast Club

Today, watching Christofascism rise over the last number of years, I’ve blogged of the authoritarian vibe running through American politics. Posts upon posts, words streamed from my fingertips.

Writing to my dead mom, to my friends and family, and followers I’ve never met. I warned as I learned, shared my deepest fears, my optimistic cynic gurgling up from that inner abyss. Historians, philosophers, and my own two eyes were my guide. To wit, to woo.

And, for a time, it was enough.

American by birth, raised in Canada, I cared deeply for the political turmoil Trump unleashed with his election as President of those United States.

Still, after a while, the truth became dark, the lines I wrote tortured me to write, and like Cassandra from the walls of Troy, I sensed a growing weariness in the air. This monster that had loomed in the nooks and crannies, had become brave, beholden to a man seen as offering a different way, a better way, an American way.

After his election, we watched one crisis after another.

Disinformation, rammed into our silos of solutions du jour via our social media, and as the bright lights of democracy began to wane, many looked away.

All I could see is the right-wing christofascist, set free of all responsibility, empathy, equality, autonomy, be damned woke ideals of liberal democracy.

So, I couldn’t look away.

Longing sometimes for that bliss of ignorance, the myth of innocence, yet, my grandmas seeking of truth and wisdom, was just too embedded in my DNA.

So I couldn’t look away.

Wouldn’t look away

So Friday as that decision dropped overturning Roe v. Wade, I felt this visceral change, something shifted, inside me and outside me, and something that will reverberate for a while.

I feel that a great number of people are numb. Some are angry. Some have no idea what the f**k everyone’s problem is, oblivious of the rough road ahead.


I guess that the first lesson is to SPEAK TO YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, about the extremist SCOTUS rulings. Seriously, it may surprise you how oblivious, in fact, people can be.

PAY ATTENTION enough to know what’s going on, but not enough that you find yourself rage scrolling, hunting, almost obsessed even, with more and more and more information. Not good. Believe me, not a good place to be.

In cases where one finds themselves in this state, put down the device and find some good ol’outside air. Kind of like a hard reboot, a mini vaca, a walk outside just round your block, can do wonders.

Be your block large or small, treed or full of concrete, doesn’t matter. Just get outside, take a deep breath of air, close your eyes, and shift your mind into resting state, not worrying about all that shyte state.

See, in my experience, paying attention must be followed by adequate periods of reboot, to balance the mental scales. Believe me, it will all still be there when you get back. All of it. Maybe even more of it.

WATER YOUR GARDEN, nurture you, for one learns in time that no one can do it better than you. Believe me, no one. I’ve looked.

In a pinch, knowing what nurtures you, and being able to supply it at your whim… tiss bliss.

SEEK OUT LIVE MUSIC. Go to summer festivals, sit on the grass, eat strange food whilst basking in the horn player over yonder.

SEEK JOY IN ORDINARY PLACES, because I’ve learned over my 54-years, few of my best experiences happened in far-flung foreign lands, or exotic locales. No, nada a chic dive, or trendy vibe is required when seeking joy.

Joy is often found in backyard fires, or front porches, at your friend’s house, in the car, curled up with a good book, in silence, or by the distant sounds of children playing, let’s pretend, as you snooze on the couch some Saturday afternoon.

Joy is found in doggies reaching for the one sweet blade of grass, or the sky on a beautiful summer day, wildflowers on a pathway.

Hold that joy, grasp on to it and store it somewhere for later when you need a spark of it, lest you forget what it’s all for.

We move through this world, often oblivious to many things. I’ve found over the years I function best after a nice long walk, a tea on my stoop watching the morning light.

“Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.”

Mary Oliver

Now, get out, why are you still here? Shoo…

Comments or Otherwise

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.