Today's rhaps is on ... Uncertainty


Joan Mitchell, Mooring, 1971

Eight weeks to the day, I ventured back outside. Dizzy, not breathing well through the mask. I'll read up on the options for tomorrow.


My Zoom therapist recommended a change of scenery. Yesterday it got so bad I saw GENOCIDE in the news, in the Stalin oops Trump republican KGB rigid evangelical sexist racist denials of reality I mean Holodomor Ukrainian Tutsi tribal apartheid shoot 'em jogging in the Georgia street no wait just party member liars covering for each other telling you to shut up and take it Jesus you brought it on yourself ain't dyin' for that shit go crucify yourself for fuck's sake....


Yeah. Time to get out of Solitary.


I did not sleep well, considering the looming exodus, the unmooring of this overcooked cocoon. Then I remembered going into labor, when the variables connected to giving birth quickly exhausted the logical and physical possibilities in the breathing room of a terrified new mother.


So it was time, time to let go, to see through a glass darkly, to squint and feel existence contract to a very small ledge between faith and hope, where no one is calling the shots and sure-footed balance is forgotten luxury.


I also remembered that uncertainty isn't completely uncertain. Like momentum and position, like time and energywe get to know one of them. Just not both together. We can know when but not why, what but not where. The microbe but not the mechanism, the bat but not the location, the bar graph but not the numerical scale.


And the humility that keeps scientists human gets twisted into the hubris that makes politicians gods.


Yes, I do think Moscow Mitch is letting Trump kill the people who do not vote for him, a black and brown genocide among the Chomskys and Fiona Hills, all souls better suited to puzzling out a decent humanity on the planet. I do think sacrificing elderly supporters in the infected nursing homes weighs out in favor of extending this cruel rule, a lesser evil in the republican death panel equation. I do think the disproportionately elected Senate was a bad mistake by white men who saw only themselves as free and created equal, so the landed gentry would always match sparse Wyoming ranches to busy New York burroughs. The rest of us? Let them eat...well, let them find a food bank. Or not. Dystopia has dirty workers to spare out among the nonbelievers. Essential workers, that greasy mob.


But for now...for now I need to let the variables bounce to the floor and roll down the hall, I need to let them guide me to a pre-dawn mist lifting from cold land to a grey and curious sea, I need to repeat with the Al-Anon daily charge that just for today...


I will walk through this morning haze like a beachcomber, sidestepping crabs and baby turtles, turning up treasures at my feet, my cane a divining stick to an unknown future.


Just for today...


I will let go of the coordinates, the n-dimensional chart I pretend to organize each day, plugging data points carefully into nonlinear space.

Just for today...


I will let go of the duties, I will not dissolve the blocks in the UN nor resolve EU disloyalties, I will not unBrexit the UK nor demilitarize Hungary and Poland, I will not unify the Irelands nor the West Bank with Gaza, I will not reforest the Amazon nor rescue the favelas, I will not depolarize these Disunited States of America, I will not fix the Kashmir nor figure out Aung San Suu Kyi, I will not save the sinking refugee boats nor open borders to the exhausted Syrians.

Just for today...


I will not find the words to permeate the Religious Right, I will not minister to the broken, I will not reach the unseeing nor teach the unfeeling, I will just fish quietly in the fog.

Just for today...


I will not know what made me hide unbreathing in the Leiria cupboard, I will not recognize the voice or the language or the anger, I will not...I will not. I will not even try.


But why do you take all this so personally? she asks. Good therapy question.

Because it's my life, rudely enlarged and blown up on every screen right now, it's everywhere and nowhere, it's the air I breathe.

When I can breathe.


As Ewa Demarczyk sings, lecz widać można żyć bez powietrza (you see one can live without air).


Though one does go a little crazy after a while.


9 MAY 2020


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