Sunday Morning~ The Partridge and the Lion
Pa thindi nkhwali, mkango uli pomwepo. ~ The partridge is in the tall grass, and so is the lion.
~ Chewa proverb
July 24, 2022
I was six years old when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened. I have no recollection of my parents being worried about our fate or being glued to the news. I wish I could ask them what they were thinking at the time. I was nine when I first remember hearing about it. My third grade teacher said something about how close we came to being in a war and I had no idea what she meant. Kennedy was assassinated when I was seven. That’s a lot of scary shit within a couple of years yet, those events don’t evoke memories in me of fear for our future. Life went on as usual. I remember my parents and their friends talking about it. I remember watching the funeral on television. I remember watching Oswald get shot on TV, my mother gasping, my father saying something like, “Well I’ll be god damned.” Having just gotten through World War II I’m curious what they were thinking. Were they truly not worried about the fate of our country? Or was I not sensitive to their fears?
I doubt I could have hidden my fears on January 6th had I small children in the house. I wonder what impressions my reaction would have left on them. I took a shot of whiskey at noon trying to calm my breathing. I was in a panic. This past week as I watched the hearings and saw the raw footage of the inside of the capitol, I don’t think I was overreacting.
I’m trying to remember times when I had to be very brave. Was there a time when I had a choice between right and wrong and stepped forward to stand up for justice? Although I’ve had moments in my life requiring courage, I can’t find anything in my brain even closely comparable to putting my career and long term security at risk. As I watch the young women testify in the January 6 hearings–––republican women with a lot to lose, I stand in respect and gratitude. Coming from a party and culture with rampant misogyny, I am grateful for their courage. I have been overwhelmed by the composure and clarity they are demonstrating. I want them all to know that. I wonder what kind of threats they endure? And yes, the guys have been stellar witnesses, too, but the women stand out to me. I guess because the loss of our civil rights is a bit raw right now. There aren’t enough men speaking out about it. Why not? It bothers me. I was clapping while listening to Liz Cheney in her closing statement. I’m enjoying watching her lay shame on the men claiming privilege behind some stupid excuse. I’ve gotta admit, she’s doing a great job. She described brave young women coming forward and being a role model for younger women everywhere. I agree. I wonder what security they have been given? Do the men running from responsibility understand what fools they look like? Do they care? How will they spin this? If they had come forward during the second impeachment our country might look differently now. But that’s not what happened. This is where we are and this is what we have to work with, so I’ll take it and be grateful for now. I’m praying this will have a just result.
I’m thinking of how I can be most helpful in the November election, wondering at my age what will push us toward the results we need for democracy to survive. Two more senators and keep the house. It is all I can think about. I’m trying to figure out how to voice my opinion in a meaningful and productive way. Is this the bravest thing I can be doing? The flack I get from my blogs is nothing compared with what the witnesses face. Where should I focus a fraction of the courage the women testifying have shown? This will be a lifelong threat for them unless we radically change the power structure. A dream I doubt will be realized in my lifetime, but I’d like to contribute to that evolutionary progress.
Courage: Finding the partridge without getting eaten by the lion.
Love to all,