Brooding

As the days have ticked away on the countdown to Election Day, I’ve found my mood alternating between an almost breathless panic and an odd calm. I don’t sleep much, and when I do, I have nightmares. It’s unsettling, to say the least. This afternoon, unable to focus on the project I should be working on, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.

The mood on the prairie at 3:30 this afternoon

I bundled up against the cold wind and headed for the prairie. With my earbuds tucked under my hat, listening to a soothing musical playlist, I quickly got lost in my thoughts. Before I knew it, I’d made several loops around one of my favorite trails. Not ready to come home yet, I stopped for a moment to sit on a bench and contemplate what might happen tomorrow, and how I might cope with each outcome.

I looked up, lifting my hand to shield my eyes from the bright sun, and was struck by the beauty of the clouds. I think this might be what’s called a mackerel sky, and if so, it’s supposed to be followed by changing weather. One can only hope so, at least when it comes to the political climate in this country. I know I’m not alone in being exhausted by the never-ending vitriol and chaos. I long for the days when we could go about our lives without having to worry every day about the next affront to decency and humanity coming from our own government.

Trees reaching for the clouds

We may not know the outcome of the election for days or even weeks, but whatever it is, I hope there will be some way for us to begin healing. I hope our leaders will begin to lift us all up together. I hope we can mend the torn relationships with friends and family.

I hope…because without hope, all is lost.

I leave you with a short video that I’ve titled, hopefully, “The Winds of Change.”

10 thoughts on “Brooding”

  1. Kim,
    Thanks for your thoughts, concerns, and pictures. I am amazed at how people can look at the same situations and have totally different interpretations. I don’t claim to be right and others wrong, but what I see with this current administration is one finger pointed at a swamp with four fingers pointed back at an even bigger swamp; and I have seen how attempts at dialogues have quickly degraded into dueling monologues. If I had put up a yard sign this year it would have said VOTE CIVILITY INTEGRITY AND UNIITY 2020. Finally, a quote from Alice Walker as a voice of hope: “I get optimism from the Earth itself. I feel that as long as the Earth can make a spring, I can. As long as the Earth can flower and produce nurturing fruit, I can. Because I am the Earth. I won’t give up until the Earth gives up”.
    Thanks again Kim.

    1. Hi Ron. Yes, unfortunately it’s become almost impossible these days to have real dialogue with people who have differing opinions. Both sides have resorted to name-calling that just pushes us further apart.

      That’s a wonderful quote from Alice Walker! The Earth is a vital source of peace and hope for me too. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ron.

  2. Thank you, Kim, for these beautiful, peaceful images and soothing words. Change is possible. No matter what happens today, each of us can do our part to make the world a better place. Thinking of you, and sending you a hug! Now, I’m off for a walk on the prairie. 🙂 — Cindy

    1. Thanks, Cindy. You’re right indeed that we can each do our part to make the world a better place. Some days the best I can do for my part is to refrain from getting into an argument…but I keep trying to do better! Thanks for commenting, and enjoy your walk on the prairie. 🙂

      1. “The Winds of Change” makes me think of the beautiful song of the same name by the classic rock band The Scorpions. It was written after their visit to Moscow around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. It is high time for a similar change to happen in our own country. We need a major political reform and we need it now. The two-party system sows anger and division while often forcing conscientious people to have to choose the lesser of two evils rather than someone they can actually believe in. I agree with Littlesundog that the corruption goes far deeper than just the current administration. However, not for decades has the President himself been this untrustworthy, materialistic, and disrespectful. He is supposed to represent the whole country… what does that say about us? The truth, unfortunately. Because the American people need a reform as badly as our government. Change will only start when each person begins to care less about themselves and more about others. The best thing we can do to help at this is to simply show kindness and understanding to our fellow man. And that won’t change no matter who wins the election.

      2. Kaylee, I’m not familiar with that song but I’ll check it out. It’s my deepest hope that you and your generation will be able to make more progress than mine has. You are so much more engaged already than most adults are, and that bodes well for what you’ll be able to do to make this country a better place for everyone.

        Thank you for being such a kind and loving presence on this planet.

  3. Beautiful photos and video, Kim. It is interesting to me that both sides of the political divide are equally uneasy that things will not go the way they would like them to…as in really, very uneasy. Someone will be disappointed. My husband and I were watching a documentary about Joan Baez and her activities last century and it was obvious the US was in very troubled and divided times then too…assassinations of the Kennedy’s, Martin Luther King Jr., the race riots, the rancour over the Vietnam war…the killing of the students at Kent State and the subsequent demonstrations of millions of University students afterward, all in the same decade! There was a lot going on and it was very troubling times. And of course back further there was the Civil War, which was anything but civilised. So I think it is good to have hope, because there is a precedent for recovery in the US. Things are ever changing, with or without our permission. I wish you well and a sound sleep soon. xx

    1. Thanks, Ardys. You’re right, both sides are convinced that “the world will end” if their side loses. Like you, many people have cited the historical precedents showing that things always get better eventually, but those things don’t give me comfort this time. This president has been systematically dismantling our government for four years, throwing out career civil servants and replacing them with his cronies, all of them intent on stuffing their own pockets for as long as they can. The corruption is so broad and deep in the government, it will take decades to overcome the damage that’s been done. Ah, here I go again…I need to stop thinking about this now or I’ll never get to sleep tonight!

      1. I totally disagree with you, Kim. The dismantling goes far deeper and further back than four years. We’ve been a sleeping nation, allowing our elected officials to wield power and “stuff their own pockets “for decades, both Republican and Democrat. They have crippled and disabled our country. Now, much of this corruption is being exposed by the current administration, and the “swamp” doesn’t like it. How can anyone look away from the corruption that has already been exposed? How can anyone not see the injustice that has followed? That is my truth.

        My experience at the voting booth this morning spoke to ME. I carried that damned measuring stick (like I always do) realizing how intolerant I can be, how passionate I am about my way of life, and judging when I truly had no idea about anyone else’s truth who was standing in line. Not to mention, I hate having to wear a mask, and I never have liked being in a huge crowd of people (I am not social and feel uncomfortable). I was faced with my own ugliness – something I continue to work on. I came home emotional, feeling overwhelmed. Instead of brooding, I will get on with my normal, busy day. While I work, I will be mindful of how I can do better as a person. Regardless of how this election turns out, I am a survivor and I’ll manage. It’s what the wild things do.

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