I can feel it. The exhaustion. The dread. The disbelief. The existential fear of what might come next, of wrongs that will likely never be righted.
The headlines are often very grim, not to mention one’s Twitter feed. We see crises that have been manufactured, exacerbated, even actively cheered by a president who seems hellbent on division. We see a culture of shameless and taunting corruption. When will it end?
I know there is also great worry in many at the process the Democrats are going through to choose a nominee. There seems to be such disagreement and personal animosities. A crowded field seems to diminish its members rather than elevate them.
There is no escaping that we live in an age of damage and tumult. But we do not live in an age of capitulation. I see that spirit wherever I go. What it will take will be the energy and stamina for perseverance. The future, by its very nature, has yet to be written and we can all do our part in writing it.
This weekend, may I suggest trying to take time for a breath, a walk, and a moment of pause. Maybe read a book, take a friend to lunch, try to escape the heat of the news cycle. To do so is not to abdicate your responsibilities to bear witness. It is to marshall your strength for the fight ahead. Others are also watching and paying heed. We need to take turns.
I have spent the last few days up in the country. I took in nature, did some fishing between long walks with family. I listened to the wind, the rolling thunder, and a grandson who I will always remember as a child but who is now an adult.
In the evenings I did turn on the Democratic debates, such is my instinct and duty. But I didn’t listen to a lot of the pre or post-debate analysis. There will be other times for that. And the narratives from today will be different tomorrow.
It is hard with the nanosecond news cycle, with the daily outrages, to take in a sense of a longer narrative. Perhaps it is the perspective of a long-lived life, but I find myself thinking back to the ebbs and flows of history. And I find in that a certain peace that challenges, even great world-threatening challenges, can be overcome.