Cloudy Sky

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I can’t get it out of my head: the sense that my last post somehow damaged something in me. I can’t sit still, I keep getting up to look out the window, I can’t do my work, even trying to get to sleep took a while.

It’s true what so many commenters have said, that there are a lot of Americans who don’t support what is going on in America or with Bush. I know that. Just the opinions of the commenters here alone proves that. But then how does one come to terms with all that is happening right now? People talk of being peaceful inside and trying to work out the problems then. When I don’t look at the news and get away from the city far enough so that I can’t hear the planes overhead all the tiime (four of them just went by overhead right now as I wrote this…), I can allow my mind to settle on other things. But a lot of that involves cutting oneself off from society. How does one not get angry when Bush appears on television or in the internet news and says and does the things he does?

As Americans so often remind everyone, America supposedy has a government “of and by the people”. How then does one separate the people in general from what the government is doing? Where does one direct the anger if one is not American? I speak out about America as a country and what it is doing and I can’t help but include the people when I refer to what it is doing.

Bush made the State of the Union Address last night (I haven’t seen, heard, or read it), something that is supposed to be meant only for the American people, and yet I’m sure he spoke about the “world being a safer place” or what not… meaning he was addressing the whole world. If he was addressing the whole world, if he takes it upon himself to dictate to all of us what we may or may not do, then why do all of us here in the rest of the world who are affected by his words and actions, have no say in deciding whether or not he gets to stay in office? Americans can at least vote about the matter. I have no vote. I have to rely on the will and mood of the Americans, hoping that they get some sense into their heads.

So please tell me, where do I direct this anger I feel, while at the same time professing a love for many Americans and for the country as a whole? How do I find a sense of peace about the world (I like myself and am comfortable with myself personally) when there is this man, with his contingent of madmen, who wants constant war and strife? Where do I draw the line between speaking my mind and shutting up?

More than ever I think it is time to cancel the borders and stop defining the world by the names of countries. I speak as a world citizen, a Terran, a Child of the Planet Earth. I look upon this preoccupation with some imaginary boundary called “America” and wonder, who are they kidding? Yes, America is a beautiful and admirable place, as is every single other patch of land in the world. There is no border within the natural world, it is all one. Perhaps it is time to stop defending America or Japan or Germany or China against the rest of the world and learn to defend this whole piece of cake we inhabit, all, together.

8 Responses

  1. Daisy-Winifred

    As always I find it difficult to make response quickly and am in truth still digesting this and the last post.
    I can only say at this time that the disquiet you feel and the anger you express is not some lone voice in the wilderness but part of a chorus of hearts that beat rather in time with a larks song than a war-drum.
    For myself I find that the anger, disquiet and depression that can sometimes fearfully overpower and stop me in my tracks cannot be surmounted by ‘quick fixes’ of change of gevernments, power brokers or war mongers for it seems they come from the same gene pool as myself no matter their accent skin colour or gender. What is deposed, weeded or removed in other ways has laid seeds in my heart as much as others it is only by tilling this soil I call my life with the tool of choice do I find that these seeds do not come to fruition though there are times when they do begin to germinate.
    I cannot change the world situation if I do not change my own situation, I cannot change the world situation if I do not change my neighbours situation, I cannot change the world situation if I do not change my communities situation, I cannot change the worlds situation if I do not change my villages sittuation…..I could go on.
    For me it is not the enger and despair I might feel about world situations that is place for my heart and mind to be. The changes, additions for good, for growth for love that I have the power and place to make is in my daily life. That does not mean I do not write letters to ‘men of power’, resist by withdrawing my taxes or active agreement nor would I flinch from breaking a law that means subjugation for others but in all my actions it has to be about my small day to day life expressed and powered by love and light.
    What does that mean in concrete terms not a great deal in the magnitude of the world but to my neighhbour, to my community, to my village it may mean a moment of beauty because I plant bulbs in the hedgerow of the lane I live on, press the community councel to make a pavement so we who walk may do so safely by the side of a very busy road, join the village action group to plan for the enabling of the whole village to have means to voice their needs and grievences and know they are heard. All small insignificant things in the world scale but it is in the ‘insignificant’ that I have choices I can make, changes I can effect and a meaning to be found for the world at large.

    The words of a much clearer thinker than I come to mind “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now” Goethe

    Each morning I stop in front of a mirror placed outside my bedroom door and look myself in the face and smile. This is the beginning of each new day even when the smile may be a little weak or crooked I still smile because I have discovered that is the beginning of a changing day for as lips smile so too does heart and carrying that through the day sometimes enables me to change the the world because I discover I have helped another heart to smile too and that for me is the real world, the world I can change, can encourage, can empower through my day to day living.

  2. dale

    A couple things. One is the superstition — it’s nothing else — that our anger (as opposed to our actions) helps anybody, in any way. It does not. It’s wholly useless. As a motivator it’s treacherous and unreliable; it clouds the judgement and (ultimately) saps the will. And as for the public world — it only adds one more shriek of fury to the hurricane. Look it in the face, as superstition. Our anger helps no one.

    The second thing: that we, like George Bush, are wrong. Trapped in confusion, fleeing from monsters that aren’t there, and running into the arms of “refuges” that want nothing but to devour us. We’re no different. George happens be president of a country that happens to be the military and economic top dog at the moment, but he’s driven by blind panic and unreflecting desire, just as we are. It’s not as if he were a free man, or one who sees clearly.

    I agree that America in the flush of (the sunset of) its empire is not a pretty sight, but it only inspires anger if you take it at its own representation, as a confident self-assured man of destiny. Really it’s a frightened little boy, screaming at nightmares. It deserves pity. It really does.

  3. Dan

    M,
    Recognise that the anger you feel is hurting you. Only you. It does nothing to change Bush, America or any of the things you dislike about America. It is hurting only you.

    The intensity of media messages hitting you is unparalleled in history. A century ago it was possible to live a life without such intense stimuli. It might still be so if one turns off TV, lives in an ex-urban community with a scale more harmonious to a peaceful existance.

    Take an action. Any action. A modest, manageable, wholesome action that has an impact on making the world a better place. It could be building a house for a low income family like Habitat For Humanity, or helping stock shelves at a local food bank, or volunteering to visit terminally ill patients in a hospital or hospice.

    Get a dog. Walk with you dog, show it your world, out of the city, take clues from your dog, where to go, what to stop and sniff, how to sit or lay down contentedly. There are so many things we can learn from a dog.

    Be part, just a part of the society of animals of this earth. Don’t try to be special, unique,or a critic. Be humble, be loving, be generous. Be at peace.

    It’s a paradox I know. But it works.

  4. Denny

    Last May, my mother died after an extended illness. She was 79. It took me a very long time to be at peace with my relationship with her. I had a great childhood, and I always loved my mother, but she was an astoundingly flawed person. It was hard for me to relate to her. I would call and the conversations would never go as well as I had hoped. Afterword, I would feel frustration and anger. Eventually, I realized that I was expecting her to live up to my ideal of the mother I wished she was or expected her to be. She never did. When I finally decided, she is who she is, and accepted her warts and all, I was able to relate to her in a satisfying way. When she was needy, I just gave. When she exhibited character faults, I looked past them and acknowledged the positives.

    America is never going to be the motherland you want her to be. To stop the anger, maybe you need to accept that, accept her warts and all. After all, “America” is a concept. There are also the people who live there. There is the land. There are the good things happening, as well as the bad things. Same as everywhere. It’s hard to give up your hope for the ideal, I know that well. Also, you can continue to affirm in your life and writing the positive values you want America to embrace. What more can a person do?

  5. adagio

    I do understand your anger. When news arrived on the BBC last week that Bush now wants a manned station on the moon, to send men to mars, and to spend a trillion or so dollars doing so, i was so angry that i shut off my television and didn’t turn it on again for a week. Why can’t he take care of America’s problems…. why doesn’t he provide free health care, shelter the homeless, feed the children in America who go to bed each night hungry.

    But you know… my anger got me nowhere. It served no purpose and i found that i just had to let it go. If anger is kept inside it festers, doing us no good. I like what Dan wrote above… and completely agree. Find an outlet, be it in nature, community service, etc. Anger that can be transformed into doing something positive is a powerful response to the seeming insanity that Bush has created.

  6. ntexas99

    When I read your “Smoldering” post yesterday, I simply didn’t know how to comment. And even reading your posts (and comments) from today, I’m still stumped. But I wouldn’t want my silence (or the silence of others) to misinterpreted as disapproval.

    I agree with what is being said about anger robbing you of something. I also agree that at some point we must admit we are powerless to have what isn’t there in existence. That we must find a way to accept the present situation, and look for ways that our piece of the puzzle can be enhanced in some way.

    To me, one of the most dangerous things to be living is a life in which hopelessness is allowed to flourish. As an American, I am horribly frustrated with our current President, yet I also recognize that he was elected (although we go on forever on that argument alone). Nonetheless, he is the leader we are presently forced to accept. Whether or not I support his agenda or his methods, at this point, is irrelevant. What is more important is what I chose to do in the next election. Although I already recognize, in advance, that electing a candidate based primarily on a “not-Bush” ticket is dangerous. So I try to learn, and educate myself. Arm myself with the needed information to be a participant in the direction I hope to see in the future.

    All that being said, I still am assaulted by the utter hopelessness day after day. I want to build a bridge to people worldwide, yet today my being an American closes more doors than in any other time.

    I want to be able to reach out, and I want to be able to say that all opinions are welcomed, and considered. I encourage you to continue to use your blog as a forum for venting your frustration, and for searching for answers that might help you navigate these treacherous and wearying times we find ourselves in.

    I want to connect with you, not as an American, but as a person of the race of humans that inhabit this earth. Your voice is welcome.

    I must think even further on this, and absorb even more. But the bottom line for me is that I agree with your right to publicly share any and all opinions, without fear of retribution or rejection. I will continue to hope for a better tomorrow, because I must.

  7. Setsunai

    I felt last year was the worst year for the world in my lifetime. It is the blatantness of the US approach that is worrying us non-Americans. US military power is now such that they do not have to follow any of the established global rules, and the current government knows that well.

    For the sake of the US and the rest of the world, but particularly the Middle East, Bush and his gang need to be removed from power in the coming elections. If they are not, they will take their reelection as a signal to become even more uglily unilateral, as they continue in their pursuit for world domination.

    What can we powerless do? First, I agree with other commenters that your own compos mentis is sacrosanct. You can do nothing about anything if it is making you unwell. Next, I think speaking beyond your peers may be important. The borders we must break down are the easily accepted borders between left and right. Otherwise we have all stopped thinking.

    This weblog has a role to play in the approach to the next U.S. elections. Butuki, you write clearly and with conviction. Use this weblog to explain why it is a bad thing for us all if Bush is re-elected. You may influence the vote of a few people. That few people could make the difference in the election. (Also, if people who disagree strongly with your view come to your site, and even if they abuse you, engage them politely on the issues, elicit their opinions, question them etc. Change your frustration to optimistic patience – you know what is going on and as you said, you are confident and happy in yourself).

    In modern democracies where elections are won by capital invested, it is easy to feel hopelessness. But it’s just a slight adjustment to change that hopelessness into something else.

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