We are in the middle of a huge, hot, steamy, stanky pile of transition, and it is scary AF.
There is no doubt that we are all up to our eye balls in stress and anxiety. Adults are feeling it. Kids are feeling it. People (like me) who were once only wanting to see and spread “positive news” on Facebook are no longer able to ignore it. (And by the way, I felt it even when I was ignoring it….I don’t know why I thought denial was a sound strategy…) The bottom line is, shit is fucked up right now. We are in a huge Pile Of Transition. It’s a big, hot, steamy, stanky pile, and folks are getting stuck in it whether they like it or not.
When we get stuck in the P.O.T. we all react differently. Some folks will sit in it and quietly let it happen while closing their eyes and hoping it will simply disappear (see “positive news spreader” as described above). Others, are trying desperately to make sure that everyone else is also in the P.O.T., or are at the very least least aware of the P.O.T., and so they attempt to educate us all on the areas of the P.O.T. they are most passionate about.
Many have fallen into a place of despair and can’t see anything but the P.O.T., while others are so pissed about the P.O.T. that they’re yelling, screaming, and stomping their feet, meanwhile the P.O.T. is splashing all over the damn place. And then there are those, and I think this may be the largest group, who are terrified of this P.O.T. They can’t see an end to this mess, are not sure where it’s heading or what they should be doing, and the unknowingness scares the crap out of them.
We are an anxious people.
People are scared, y’all. I’m scared, I admit it. Any sort of transition is hard. I mean, the old saying about moving and funerals being the two hardest things a family can go through is totally true. That being said, we are a people, 327 million strong, who are moving and mourning ALL AT ONCE. We are fucked up right now.
Women’s rights are being threatened. Racial tensions are being called out. The Earth is LITERALLY DYING. Climate change is wreaking havoc. Politically speaking…honestly, I can’t even go there, but one of the worst fears I have has to do with our White House and global war. Not to mention the divide within our country that only seems to be getting bigger by the day. I mean, in what universe did I ever think that white supremacy would be an issue in this day and age?
One of the biggest mind fucks for me has been the realization that I have been living blind. Women haven’t just now begun being treated unequally. Many if not all black Americans will tell you that race problems have been here this whole time. People have been screaming about environmental issues for a long as I can remember. Remember Save the Whales in the 80s? That’s probably my first memory of seeing environmentalists at work. That was almost 40 years ago!
So why now? Has the age of the internet managed to disperse information so effectively that we are all now finally well educated about the health of our planet? Has the ability to upload videos of white people calling the cops on black people, who are simply living their lives, finally shown us the reality of race relations? Have we been so indoctrinated into a Hollywood culture that it took famous people calling out other famous people’s unforgivable assaults and sexual objectifications for us to take this shit seriously?
Or does it even matter why now?
We’re here. We’ve created this pile of transformation either through our own actions, indifference or denial. Now we have to work as a people to get out of it. Queue panic here because this is where it gets hard for me. Are we past the point of being able to do that? Can we work together at all? We are so divided.
This is not comfortable. I am not comfortable. Change is not comfortable.
But then there is hope. I have a substantial amount of hope in my heart that all of this is leading us to a better way of living. I know from my own personal transformation, that change is fucking hard, but possible, and so worth it in the end….until the next change, that is. I am a woman who used to be completely ruled by fear, who is now having lengthy conversations with friends and strangers about how to get past it. It’s a surprise to me too.
Acceptance, hope and patience is what we need to embrace in order to get us out of our P.O.T.
We must accept where we are now, and accept how we got here. We must keep hope alive that we can dig out of our pile and also accept that this is going to take some time. Even if there is a shift in White House power, this is going to take a minute to resolve. And I’m not sure resolution is what we’re looking for.
Evolution may be a better word. When I was a kid, and we were learning about evolution, I would look at that drawing of man, as we went from walking on all fours to standing upright with a spear in hand, and often wondered if man noticed evolution as it was happening. Did man ever look around and say, “Hey Guys! Anyone notice we don’t walk on all fours anymore?” or, “Hey Y’all! I don’t have so much body hair these days! You?”
Granted, this current evolution may be a psychic change more than a physical one, but that is what we are experiencing. We are in the middle, if not at the tipping point, of an evolution. If you think about it, that’s pretty freakin’ cool. Scary, yes, but cool never-the-less.
So, what in the hell are we supposed to do? I wish I could say. I think each of us has our own way of dealing with the current P.O.T. and so I will only speak for myself. I have come to the realization that I cannot remove myself from the P.O.T. and that I am also not above it. None of us are. I must engage, but I also have the option to engage in a way that is healthy for me.
I do know that the time for me to be quiet and polite is over. I’m not saying that we all have to be out on the street, yelling and carrying signs (although that’s fantastic), but we can all be doing something each and every day to help make the world a better place.
For starts, we can be kinder to each other. We can look each other in the eye. Even strangers. Even the one holding the sign that says, “Anything Helps”. I can’t afford to give everyone money, but I can certainly make eye contact and say hello.
We can start by treating people, ALL PEOPLE, like they matter. It’s small, but it’s something, and hopefully something that will give people hope because, frankly, we’ve each been acting like the world revolves around our individual selves for far too long. We are small, so let’s help each other crawl out of this P.O.T. and walk upright, with spear in hand, because if kindness is step 1, then step 2 is fighting for myself AND the person standing next to me regardless of sex, race, economics or politics. We are one. Let’s start acting like it.
The painting at top is from my Lovely Mess series and is titled, Night Rainbow (24x24, Acrylic & Paper on Canvas, $1200). This is a nod to one of my favorite children's books by Cooper Edens called, If You're Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow. Edens also suggests, "If there is no happy ending, make one out of cookie dough." Making our own happy ending seems like good advice, these days.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure