Saturday, August 12, 2017

Tangled thoughts and some happy notes

One mama who is happy to have her boy back
I tried to write a post tonight about white supremacy, Charlottesville, and Confederate statues, but my thoughts are too tangled to make it coherent. Anyone reading this knows how strongly I deplore white supremacy and today’s violence. Were I in Charlottesville I would have stayed hidden inside, partly because I fear violence and party because I think going out to protest the marchers gave them a certain credibility. I am, like everyone, devastated by the deaths and injuries.

It may surprise some that I don’t favor destroying Confederate monuments. The Confederacy and the Civil War are significant parts of our history, and we are foolish to try to either deny or rewrite history. Let the monuments remain not as objects of glory but as reminders that we are now better people, shaped by the fire of that war.

Hate has been legitimized in this country by a president who encouraged violence at his political rallies, mocked minorities and the disabled, banned certain nationalities from our shores, and still strives to build a wall to keep out an entire race of people. It is a sad day for a nation founded on the belief that all men are equal.

On another note. It’s been quiet around the Alter/Burton homestead lately, but today we welcomed Jacob home from camp where he had, in his words, a blast. He went for two weeks; one week in, he wanted to come home. Now he says he wants to go back next year for four weeks. He’s tanned and healthy and happy and grew two feet, I’m sure. I’m glad he’s back. To celebrate, we fixed Polish sausage for dinner—a favorite of his, but I found I didn’t buy enough. Double that order next time.

And on a personal happy note: I wrote two thousand words today on the novel I’m working on. My daily goal is a thousand words, but yesterday if I was lucky I wrote three hundred. The words wouldn’t come. The late Jerry Flemmons, who gave me lots of good advice and counsel, always said when writer’s block hits the thing to do is put your butt in the chair and write, no matter how meaningless the words. I tried yesterday, honest I did, but I stared at a blank screen and finally resorted to Facebook. Today with everyone gone, I wrote twice my daily goal and made a lot of notes for tomorrow’s writing.

I would say all’s well and the world is in its place, but clearly it’s not. Not with Kim Jung-Un and Trumpf rattling sabers and not with the tragic events of Charlottesville. But when I’m discouraged I remember William Faulkner’s Nobel speech—“I believe man will not only endure, he will prevail.” Call me Pollyanna.

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