It is an era of desperation and the era for collective action.
I never thought I would be weeping for a lost Republic. And there I was on a Wednesday evening, weeping in a local pub for an idea of what WAS, a social cohesion, the loss norms and laws and calm… mostly that calm. The country isn’t working – and hasn’t worked in many ways for so many for so long on the raveled edges or even in the worn middle – for those not covered by the extravagant and convenient and inherited trappings of white skin housed in upper middle class protestant heterosexual comfort; not working for those in war-zones of post-colonial greed, both in domestic arenas and abroad.
So I wept, in a pub booth on the eighth day of the now interminable days of Trump’s crazed rein. Perhaps, for someone like me -a quiet hermetic individualist -the greatest loss is that of the personal mental cushion afforded by a (naive and fantastic) trusting that the system is, for all it’s grave failings, working more or less, and the quiet escapist space of personal freedom, or quiet solitude, that was, in itself and selfishly, an extravagance assured.
I dreamed of a white calf. The calf was in a washtub filled with an acid substance (or so I understood), a substance that anesthetized the calf. My perspective was from above and I noted the damp white fur and drugged out demeanor of the animal. The horror was that flesh was being cut from the live beast, who apparently couldn’t feel it, to be consumed – but by whom?
The psychic terrain (brought on by the daily horror of the news, or alt-news, the cultural climate, the antics of the demented potus, the Washington Elite White Males signing away the rights of the rest of us doomed to watch our civil liberties & human rights stocks take precipitous nose dives from behind the remote wall of the television or computer screen) is bleak and barren in the worst moments and robustly verdant – a field for new explorations in collective, anarchic and artistic action- in the next.
So, then, why dream a calf in a washtub, subject to such abuse?
Perhaps, I think, the calf is the body of US, the dreamscaped horror of what a Trump will do-is doing-to the living Body Politic.
I find myself asking these questions: Does Sean Spicer have some kind of brain damage? Would Kelley Anne respond to large doses of Demerol? Why does the Senate not mutiny? Where is path back through the Looking Glass?
I think also of Jean Genet (dancing for the Black Panthers in a pink negligee, pirouetting in my mind’s eye.)
The Moon dangles its thumbnail above the Earth in distant orbit, the desert surface pocked by ancient impacts of hurtling space shrapnel and shrouded in its current phase by the shadow of our own twirling sphere. It has hung above human travesty and great accomplishment, gazing over our planet’s geologic time, so exponentially incomprehensible to the human mind, but where our actions accumulate and actually do matter.