And After Everything Ends with A Whimper?

At some removed juncture, years from now when American society has the space, the time and the clarity to review the Trump Administration’s impact on the health and well-being of American democracy, some think-tank should commission a study on the impact of Trumpism on the nation’s creative output.

Did the Trump era spurn or spark increased creative output?

I would have once thought that an antagonism to the current regime—which is what Trump and his barely functioning ilk pretend to be even though they are laughably incompetent at almost* everything—might fire the creativity of myself and the artists around me, resulting in some kind of Renaissance of artistic awesomeness.

Perhaps this is occurring outside of my ability to recognize it. Speaking for myself, I’ve struggled to maintain my word counts and my writing goals for the past several years. I recognize that’s not all due to a reaction to the Trump Administration bringing out—or perhaps just exposing—the very worst in America. But watching our nation fold hasn’t helped my writing.

Art just doesn’t seem to matter like it once did.

(*With guidance from an enabling GOP congress, Trump’s attack on the rule of law and their placement of right-leaning federal judges has been expert.)

Words of Loss

Kathryn Schulz has a beautiful and devastating piece in The New Yorker about loss; the misplacing of essential, everyday objects, and the displacing, disappearing, of the essential people in our lives.

Two weeks ago I traveled alongside an elderly couple who were flying home to Seattle because their forty-year-old son had died the day before. The couple had lost another son years ago: the boy was three when he drowned in their pool. Somehow the couple had survived this devastating loss, had had more children, had had another son who in their words was a ‘blessing and a comfort’ after the loss of the first. Now that second son was dead, too.

Last weekend, near our house, a two-year-old boy wandered outside at night. When the mother awoke at 6AM the next morning and found the toddler gone, she called 911. Like many neighbors, as well as the police, we searched for him. Police found the boy several hours later, exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, in a bramble of blackberries a block from his apartment.

Perhaps it’s the national mood, perhaps it’s my own, but this feels like a season of loss. A season of misplacing, a season of losing that which is closest to us. Life changes on us quickly.