Saturday, January 20, 2018

The World is Falling Down

Damnit. This is why I didn't want a website. Somehow now that I've declared "writer" to be part of the stamp of my brand, I feel beholden to this blog. As I should I suppose. I mean, I feel so inspired and can't wait for the creative vacuum that just might ensue post-grad-school. But considering I'm working on a lot of different projects simultaneously while juggling classes and have started submitting for professional gigs, carving out time to sit down and write to keep the world abreast of blogworthy revalations is...difficult to say the life.
Wahwahwah! Life is so hard when you're living the dream.
I guess I can always change it. I mean, it just as easily could have been permaculture enthusiast or bicycling advocate or educator or meditation/yoga teacher. Maybe it will change.
But for now.
I've also had some other writing assignments this week from my therapist.
Processing grad school can be tough, but processing MPVFT disorder can be even harder. I was diagnosed with My Parents Voted For Trump disorder over Christmas break, when my mom confessed to me in a moment of exasperated guilt and ignorance.
Isn't it weird to think of how much you've changed throughout your life, and yet you are always yourself?
I'd like to take this moment to thank my siblings (all of whom did NOT vote for Trump, glad I raised 'em right). As the oldest, I tested out every kind of meanness on them. And they survived. And then they became my greatest teachers.
I spoke to both my sisters this morning on the phone. Yeah. It was that kind of morning. My salt of the earth sister...she's my righteous barometer. And she was feeling crippled and depressed. Over how her neighbors treat their dogs and her inability to speak up about it. But instinctively I know it's about more. New moon in Capricorn? Or...
The world is falling down.
Hold my hand.
Part of the abuses my siblings have suffered is that I immediately texted them after my mom's confessional. Part of me was just so angry she had lied. But mostly it was to call in the troops. I felt the ground beneath me had disappeared.
The election of Ronald McDonald to our highest office was one of the worst things I've ever felt. And I understand that there is privilege in that statement...and perhaps some hyperbole and dramatics. But "one of" is entirely true. And not like Trump true...which is actually false. They're real easy to get mixed up these days. But stay with me.
I started crying when it became evident it would be a tight race.
I didn't think it was possible.
Insert my echo chamber guilt here.
I didn't stop crying for the next 12 hrs, until the results were in and I sobbed myself to sleep like a baby.
Perhaps I could have said more. Did she not know anything about this man???? She never even said "I voted for Trump."
She said, "I couldn't vote for Hillary."
She works in arguably one of the worst public schools in a depressed area in Louisville, KY. 8 years of Obama hadn't changed anything. She sees kids suffering from terrible home lives, illiteracy, anger, mental illness, lack of health care to treat said illnesses, and apathy. Her job is to keep them in school.
With the promise of what? Working factory jobs at Riverport for minimum wage that doesn't cover the cost of living?
She voted for Obama. She was ready for change. She had the hope he inspires.
But she became impatient. She doesn't know how to help. But she thought drastic change in the opposite direction might just help matters. The powers that be could use an outsider to shake things up. Drain the swamp.
The thing is, I think the America First slogan really got to her. We have so much to work on...and we should probably do that ASAP, right?
The world is falling down.
Hold my hand.
I don't know. I mean, I guess she's just ignorant and tired and embittered and probably got a lot of Facebook ads about all the stupid shit the Clintons have been involved in.
How she missed the glaring racism (hello, Central Park 5 + his rental stipulations in his buildings + oh, I don't know...all the bullshit that comes out the hole in his head, aka: the shithole) is very much beyond me. Or maybe she's racist?
Harsh. She's ignorant and has loads of implicit bias and is a product of her environment. Her environment and her role in it both suck. She's marginalized like any woman over 50. Not as marginalized as most of the students she encounters everyday. But struggling, nonetheless.
To one another the other may as well be from Mars. The contempt is palpable. This is not entirely my mom's fault. The system is broken.
The irony is this: it's hard not to turn it into a defense of my mom.
In 2011, I was a teacher in the public schools in Louisville. I had to call the security the day I subbed at Iroquois High School.
Looking back, I made an ignorant comment. It was not conscious. It was more of a Southern witticism that short circuited out of my mouth...perhaps in an attempt to sound funny and lighten up, but mostly to arrest a situation. A situation I didn't know how to handle. I witnessed a young 16 year-old black man straight-up smack a young black woman across the face. Hard. Like harder than mean girl Tiffany Whatsherface slapped me after basketball practice in the 7th grade, when we were having some basic white girl bitch fight because of raging hormones, familiarity's contempt, and well...basic bitchiness. (I'm not just protecting her anonymity, btw. I genuinely don't remember her last name.)
Anyway, it was distressing. And I said, "Excuse me?! Sir. I don't think so. Step away from her. Didn't your momma ever teach..."
Before I got "you" out, the kid was on me. Coming at me, hitting his chest, "You talkin 'bout my momma."
The world is falling down.
Hold my hand.
It was a really stupid thing to say. I see that. I've worked in childcare a lot, and this was soon after the leap into the education world. It's a joke or leveler I've said to lots of unruly kids whose mommas signed my paychecks. Mostly to reinforce momma's rules. Which in my experience thus far had been consistently against slapping people in the face. I've said this to kids of many races...but kids with enough privilege to have parents possibly overpaying for my services via
This young man clearly had no such privilege.
My mom is in this school all day.
There is little to no humor in such an environment. It is no laughing matter.
My mom loves to laugh.
There is angst. And after 8 years of hoping and nothing in her micro-environment changing, she got distracted by a clown.
Like a child.
But she gave me life, and loves me and has been an awesome mom.
Hence the therapy.
Luckily I get to work on a show about civil rights. About our country. Based on Our Town.
When I get to be in the room where it happens with playwrights like Christopher Oscar Peña, I feel like I'm doing something. (And yes, I threw in that Hamilton quote for my mom who knows every word to the musical...she's a conundrum folks). Being a part of something provocative makes me feel redeemed. Like I'm a part of the movement.
I happened upon a Facebook live video of Jim James promoting his new "Tribute to 2" album, and he covered civil rights activist Abbey Lincoln's The World is Falling Down. The lyrics could've been taken out of the script we're diggin into, and this song's had me crying for 2 days as I navigate my writing assignments from my therapist (Dear mom, I may never send you this, but...), and a script where I vacillate between my basic bitch teenage "self" based on Abigail Fisher and a homeless woman who may or may not suffer from mental illness.
I'm grateful to my friends of color who have been there for me through the years...who have held my hand (even when it wasn't there job) and helped me along in my path from basic-ness to greater compassion and understanding.
I'm sorry that somehow my demographic, my own mother, had a hand in electing this madman to power.
I will speak all the truth I know to this power.
Truth trumps Trump "truth."
But part of that truth is that I'm also grateful to my mom...who has been there for me through the years...who has held my hand (even when it wasn't her job) and helped me along in my path from basic-ness to greater compassion and understanding.
The world is falling down. But I'm glad I have you.

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