Monday, January 28, 2008


I drove home through the icy, dark night from my chorus tonight. The sky was silver above the dark evergreens and the snow pale and cold. Up the long, hemlock-framed driveway, the car stops, door slams. Into the house. An egg sandwich and bowl of cereal later (my breakfast before bed, which differs from the breakfast after bed that will happen in 7 hours or so), I am watching him on television.
Why I do this to myself I am not sure.
Suffice it to say I always have a lot of commentary to bequeath upon our president when I watch him, but on this blog I will limit my commentary to two statements.
1. Nu-clee-ar. Not nu-kyuh-lur.
2. 359 days left.
That's all about that.
I do feel overwhelmingly grateful that I am privileged enough to live a life where I can be entirely insulated from and isolated from my government. When Charlotte died, I simply could not take other people's business anymore. It was all too much. We had no television, we had no newspaper, I turned off the radio, and suddenly it was quiet. I was surrounded by tall trees, rain, sun, air, my neighbors, and the friends that drove up the driveway. The days and weeks slipped by, and the weeks turned into months and even a year and I still rarely turned on the radio, because now when somebody is killed in action I don't see the carnage on the battlefield, I see his mother at home, head in her hands on the chair, a pool beneath where her head rests in her hands. I see the images that flash through her minds of a towheaded toddler, a gawky teen, of a boy who just wanted to be brave and felt proud and wanted to be noble and strong and good. And he was. He probably was. He did his job, and he probably did it well, and he followed directions and he did what he was told and he fought for what he was being told to fight for, and he probably fought really well. But see, I don't think that the person who started the fight was right to start it, so I weep for that boy, and his mother, and I am proud of him and for the sacrifice he made but I don't think he should have had to make it in the first place. Does this make sense? I don't see politics, I see people, and I disagree with the politics, which makes seeing the people even harder.
So I don't really tune in to what's going on, really at all. Sometimes this feels wrong, but mostly it feels right. I am happy in my world here. I don't feel it does me a whole lot of service to know all about what is going on elsewhere every single day. Greg listens to the radio on his long drive home and fills me in if something very important has happened. I do occasionally watch things on the television that come in on one of our 3 channels if I feel I might be educated in a general way or if I just kind of have to see it in a voyeuristic kind of sneaky way, like tonight. But mostly I just live here, in my little, liberal corner of the world. I always love this quote to explain politics where I live, and it comes from my kindergarten classroom I guess it must have been 6 years ago? We were getting a new governor. It was election day.
Me: So, today there is an election for a new governor. Does anyone know who's running for governor?
All the kids jump up and down, raising hands and popping off their benches to try to be called on first. The child called upon shouts out the name of the democratic candidate, and a chorus of others join him.
Me: And who is xxx running against?
A few blank stares, and a hand goes up. The lip kind of curls, and the voice is a little harsh: "A republican." It is said like you might say the name of the bad guy in the movie. Nobody knows his name. And I have literally, and seriously, and I am not kidding, I have never met a republican as long as I have lived here. This is not to say anything negative about republicans, because I know and love and adore quite a few well-meaning republicans, but it just explains some of the politics that do surround me in my greater community.
And this works for me.
So that's all for now. This is probably the most you will EVER hear out of me about politics, and it is all over, and now I'll get back to being a mommy.
We used to say to Liam, when he was one, "Who is George W. Bush?"
And he would answer, totally seriously, "A monkey."
Good night.


charmedgirl said...

i'm not really a democrat, but i AM a die-hard anti-republican. my husband, on the other hand, is a wanna-be republican. we have many really funny "arguments" over our differences, but i usually get the last word by saying, "YOU DON'T EVEN VOTE! i don't care what you think!" he usually tries to say he's going to register this year, just to cancel out my vote, but who's he kidding?

Aimee said...

Anyone who doesn't vote doesn't get to complain. That is my rule. And just so you know you aren't the only one brainwashing your kid, when Erin was one and we showed her a letter W, she would say "Moron!"