Sunday, January 29, 2017

Words, Words, Words

Words fill my days.  I read.  Much of my job requires writing.  I listen to books while driving, walking the dog, knitting, and performing chores around the house.  This phrase from Elena Ferrante's  The Days of Abandonment describes the compulsion I feel to consume text,
"As if it were prehensile, my eye grasped the letters of a plaque on the building opposite."

In truth, I am incapable of not reading the words before me.  The maximum capacity of an elevator, the graffiti of a park bench, the small print warnings on the edge of a computer screen.  This is even true when I go to a venue meant to be primarily visual, for example, an art museum.  

What I see when I go to Art Museums
My experience can be like this image, all words with the barest memory of the piece of art.  "Did you see that amazing jade sculpture?" someone might ask.  And I will need to dig through my memory, trying to find text that might fit that description.

This brings me to what I really need to write about. About how painful it has been for me to read the news of late.  About how my prehensile eyes are forced to read about each new executive action and proposed legislation.

About how H.R.586 Sanctity of Human Life Act if passed, could mean greatly limiting women's access to safe, effective, and medically recommended forms of birth control.  It could also mean criminalizing a woman who takes parts in activities known to have an adverse effect on fetuses (you know, like drinking, eating raw fish, drinking too many caffeinated beverages), EVEN if that woman doesn't know she's pregnant.

About how as of this writing President Trump has issued three executive orders to further encourage and promote white Christians as somehow the only true Americans.

About how the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the direction of national intelligence have been sidelined at the National Security Council, but Bannon with his seven years of naval experience and zero years of intelligence experience will have a "regular seat on the principals committee — the meetings of the most senior national security officials, including the secretaries of defense and state." Washington Post.

And I'm not the only one who thinks words are important.  It's obvious the president does as well.  Why else would he have issued gag orders on the EPA and USDA? 

All this to say that we have to keep the words coming and we have to keep caring.  We have to keep fighting for the true United States of America - the one that revels in freedom of expression, press, religion, words.  Be a patriot, not a sycophant.