(Written before Thanksgiving)
From November 9th to 16th, I lost 4 pounds. This is not a bad thing, as I could stand to lose even more, but the reason for the loss is not good. I had a similar reaction to 9/11/01: no appetite, with a sick feeling in my gut every now and then. This past week I threw myself into hard labor of various kinds. This physical activity and the grief left me dehydrated most of the time.
Others react to stress by going into super-baking mode, or at least massive carbohydrate consumption. That’s usually what happens to me, except in these extreme cases. I now have my appetite back, somewhat.
The challah baking marathon helped me get unstuck. Normally I would have made a pie to set things back to normal, but I just couldn’t. That feeling has passed, which is a joyful thing, because it means we can have pie at Thanksgiving.
On Friday November 11th, Veterans Day, I went over to a nearby Catholic school where there is an outdoor labyrinth. I started to walk the labyrinth path. It seems you are heading straight for the center, but then suddenly you veer to the right and find yourself facing the exact opposite direction of where you were originally heading. Hey, that’s what Amurrica did on November 8th. I kept walking, thinking anguished thoughts, wondering what God would say to me when I got to the center. Because God’s at the center of everything, right? No. Well, yes, God might be at the center, but God must be at the edges, too. And She must also be completely outside the safety of the labyrinth. What kind of God would it be who would hide in the center while humanity suffers on the edge?
On my way home I saw a flag flying at half mast. It must be because the Idea of America has died, I thought. We are all in mourning for the loss of decency, for the death of the America we thought we had. Then I realized, duh, it’s Veterans’ Day.* And actually, hardly anyone is in mourning. Get over it, already, they say. I continued to feel suspicious of each person I encountered.
I went home and ordered some liberal clap-trap: a ‘Black Lives Matter’ yard sign, a t-shirt, and fair-trade chocolate. It felt hollow and fake, though. I haven’t delved into everything the Black Lives Matter group stands for. But I have decided that saying something is more important than having the perfect message. There is no recognizable slogan that says “Muslim Lives Matter,” is there? My husband made me promise that if someone vandalizes the BLM sign, I won’t go ballistic. I’m not expecting any vandalism, and I have decided that if that does occur, I’ll just leave it there and buy another sign.
I wish I could shut up, but I can't, and I won't. - Desmond Tutu
I’m not anywhere near as brave as Bishop Tutu, but I just had to say something, even if it is just a little peep.
*Actually, I’m not sure that flags are supposed to be at half-mast on Veterans’ Day. Isn’t that what Memorial Day is for? Maybe the flag was lowered to honor Leonard Cohen.