War and Peace and Dwelling In Possibility
This morning I feel a little like Anna in War and Peace, when she says, of Napoleon, to Prince Vasili, “…if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist — I really believe he is Antichrist — I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my ‘faithful slave,’ as you call yourself!”
I’m aware there are POTUS 45 supporters who read this.
If backed into a corner last night, I would have screamed “I hold his fat ass accountable for this outrage and you, too, for enabling him and buying his bullshit.”
I wanted to say “Fuck you” to everyone who voted for him.
How could you?
How the fuck could you?
But that includes people I love beyond words.
And I can’t.
Whether I ever understand the cult-like following, and the kool aid drinking, and the loyalty, that is not the man I want to be.
I want to live inside of gratitude. I want to ask, even after an event like yesterday, “What’s great about this?”even if I don’t mean it at the time. I truly believe the mere asking sets a process in motion which can lead to answers.
On the other hand, I wonder sometimes if I’m also like Anna Pavlov in this way. Tolstoy wrote “To be an enthusiast had become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her.”
I am the GratiDude, after all. I am “supposed to” write uplifting words and point others toward An Inquiry Into A Gratitude-Inspired Life, even if I don’t feel like it.
I remember being scheduled to give a humorous speech at my Toastmasters club on the day after 9/11. Couldn’t find much that was funny, but I did manage to talk about the place of humor and how much we would need it in the coming days.
I remember how terrible it felt, in the days afterwards, but I have to tell you, I was more afraid yesterday, when the Capitol was assaulted. At least then, we were all looking outward at some unknown enemy, outside the country, more like a virus.
With this, we are looking inward at a cancer, coming from inside our own body, our nation’s body and, like with so many cancers, don’t know how it all started.
It would have been so easy just to let it go this one time and not send out a post. I don’t feel grateful right now. I just want to hide out. I’m mostly thinking about what’s worrying me. No one’s paying me for this, after all. Millions of readers aren’t watching every move or mentally redacting every sentence. I haven’t missed one Monday or Thursday in over four years. Surely I could coast, take a mulligan, everyone would understand. Who’d even miss it?
I have taken this seriously, no matter how many eyeballs I think are looking at this. I think it matters to have gratitude in front of us twice per week, like some North Star. You search the heavens and there it is, unfailingly, at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.
All I know to do right this moment is to work with Emily Dickinson’s words, “I dwell in possibility.”