I’m sad. Lately I can’t seem to write very much; in fact all manner of good blogging topics are scrawled in my notebooks but are not making it to here. The intent of this self-declared long weekend was to take a few days to reintroduce myself to writing, even to that book I’ve been off and on with for a couple of years, that book of travel tales from the 110 countries I’ve visited, that book that would be good if I could ever finish it.
I might be too sad to write—or do. Not depressed, as one of the many recent articles on suicide said, there’s a big difference between sadness and depression; the first condition has reasons, the second doesn’t need them. I am sad because of Anthony Bourdain, the American healthcare system, and most of all I’m sad because of Donald Trump.
I’m sad firstly because of Anthony Bourdain. I cannot let this one go. This person, this sadness. Bourdain cared about the world in the way I do. Overwhelming curiosity and a need to see around this corner, down that road—and to notice how interesting it all is. And how we’re all so beautifully different, and deep down pretty much identical. There was a quality of too-muchness about Bourdain and his life though. Which was all engaging and exciting for him and for us—until it wasn’t. Damn it.
Secondly, I’ve not felt well for awhile, but after much wrangling with the remarkably inefficient American healthcare system, I think I have the doctors and tests lined up to acquire the diagnosis for the necessary medications. This is likely nothing serious, but it’s cause for mild despair on a couple of fronts. What if, one day soon I, an insured elder, simply cannot see a doctor or get medicine—as is the case for thousands of Americans. And then there’s—what if I’m getting too old to feel well?
THIRDLY AND PRIMARILY, at the bottom, in the muck, of most present angst, sadness, hopelessness, and fear, slithers Donald Trump. Every now and then, there’s a piece that touches so directly on the real and present danger of our freely elected president that I cannot look away; a piece I cannot file in that black corner of my mind reserved for ‘fear and loathing of Trump’ and go on about my day. Today’s reminder of our dire situation is HuffPost’s “America Is Ground Zero For The Global Rise In Authoritarianism” by Richard North Patterson, author and columnist. Patterson gives us America as the follower, encourager, sometimes instigator of all that’s bad in the world, and unfortunately it’s not fake news. Even though I’ve never been a patriot in the generally ugly sense of the word, I guess, until recently, I still harbored the illusion we were more good than bad. Oh well…be sad.
Footnote: New Mexico does have it’s moments of ‘enchantment’ but overall it’s a place of endless sun. A sunny day is a good thing. Years of the sun seemingly determined to burn your soul to a crisp as your exterior crinkles and crumples to dust is not. But, yes I will continue living here where family, friends, work and all those countless small daily-life ties exist. And try to love this place again as I once did—instead of letting it add to my sadness.