I’m no closer to answers on what I should be doing.
I do want to condemn the shooting of a public official earlier this week. I do not believe such actions are going to be helpful at this middle stage of metastasizing fascism. Already there are calls to weaken press freedoms in the wake of this attack, which is the last thing we need. The only time raising arms against a public official is justified is when they have already taken your freedom to dissent and they can no longer be voted out, though I fear that time may come sooner rather than later if there isn’t a massive, non-violent action.
Honestly, our best bet is a general strike that drags on for a long period of time and economically paralyzes the country until demands are met, but I don’t see that materializing, and I don’t know the first thing about organizing such a massive initiative.
With nothing doing in the way of a really constructive action, I haven’t been getting more involved in activism. Instead I’m retreating deeper into my writing. I find that it’s the only lifeline I have to keep me grounded now.
Not only am I working on a novel that I’ve been trying to finish for years, but I’m also re-working a novel I wrote in 2010 and shelved, which should be ready much sooner since I’ve already done all of the painful work of actually sorting out the story. I’m thinking of self-publishing that one since it’s outside the scope of what my publisher normally works with. It’s a picaresque slice-of-life story about an unhinged American student living in London; my SF work has been easier to publish and distribute (thus it ever was).
Maybe this weekend I’ll go to the ocean. I’ve needed that. I haven’t felt this helpless or agitated since the life I spent sailing those very waters 150 years ago. I’ve often thought about my husband and I getting work on a ship if things get too hopeless here on land, but it’s a bittersweet thought. The sea was my refuge, but it wasn’t always a pleasant place. We think of freedom in such glowing terms, but what is it really? Wild animals are free; their lives are nasty, brutish, and short.
That’s what the ocean is to me: freedom, in all its glory and all its horror. Beautiful, but stark. The will to live and the thanatos drive separate themselves by a thinner margin there than anywhere else on earth. And on the shore, that liminal space between the rocks and the surf, maybe I’ll clear my head and come to some understanding with this uncaring universe.
Sorry to ramble. I’ve got ten thousand restless thoughts right now and I can’t possibly force them all into some succinct or coherent box.