Thursday, August 6, 2015

ANNIVERSARIES: Hiroshima, Voting, Hearts and Debates

Today, August 6, is a propitious day. It was seventy years ago today that the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by the first ever attack with an atomic bomb. Fifty years ago today, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson. This evening marks the first annual Fox News Decides Who Runs For President Among Republicans Debate. Six months ago today, I suffered my heart attack and I have not been the same since. I look the same. I act pretty much the same. But I have lost some of my stamina, my energy, my desire, my interest, my drive. I have them still, but they are just not as keen as they were. I find I just would rather not than do. Part of this, I am certain and I have been assured, is part of recovery, and that recovery cannot be set to a timetable. Part of it is chemicals – the chemical composition of my brain that tends toward anxiety and depression anyway. I think of myself as an exuberant individual, but now I feel subdued. I feel as though I woke up on February 7 in an alternate universe where Donald Trump is running for President of the United States; where cavemen govern Congress; where Winter came and went decades ago; where thousands of people can be displaced for the sake of a sporting event; where a country that once pledged never to start a war now seems poised to make it their business; where violence is accepted with a shrug: we just can’t help it, it’s just who we are. I still like to read, to watch, to listen, to comment, but the edge is gone. At least, the edge is shrinking proportionately to the realization that my power to affect change, or effect it, is also diminishing if it ever existed at all. I am still curious about politics and history and science, but I live in a world where fires of all kinds are burning out of control and I choke on their drifting smoke – and it makes me profoundly, desperately and utterly sad.

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