Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

A cat and her teddy - because
we all need to have a bit of a smile.
I'm pretty sure that there is nothing I could write here that would do 2016 justice.  There are bloggers far more talented than I who stand a much better chance of adequately summarizing the crash and burn roller coaster ride that was 2016.  If you were to travel back in time to December 31, 2015 and tell me where we would be on this day a year later...

...well the truth is I'm not sure how I'd react.  I might think you were fucking with me, but there would be a part of me that would want to believe you really did travel back in time to send me a message, and then I'd think about the consequences of what you'd just said...and how if you really did travel back than your prediction might also be true as well.   But I'd likely dismiss that as just fantasy because the possibility of that happening was so ludicrous.  And I'd go back to believing you were just some weirdo trying to mess with my head.

And then ten months and eight days later I'd have found out what you said was true.

I'm not sure my wonder of learning that time travel was real would have been enough to overcome the feelings of despair I faced in early November.  My own fear and that of my friends, neighbors and community members was far too present and besides, you Mr. or Ms. time traveler, are now long gone and we remain here, having to live with the outcome.  If I thought of you at all, it would probably have been with resentment.

But maybe at some point I'd have started to wonder why you came back to New Year's Eve 2015, and why, of all people, did you choose to speak to me?  Did you do so because I could make a difference?  Or maybe something went wrong?  I don't know how this time travel thing works.  You could have meant to appear at the door of some great hero of might and media who would save us all, but for whatever reason you appeared to me.

And if it wasn't a mistake, just what the hell was I supposed to do about it?  I mean you are from the future - you must have known I'd have dismissed your claims.   Was that it?  Was I not supposed to figure it out until now?  Is there something I'm supposed to do?

I'd go over ever word you said to me in our encounter for some hint of what my next step was supposed to be.  I'd probably bring in a few friends who, though skeptical, love the idea of a puzzle and so help me to figure out the solution.  And then...somehow, we'd have a crazy adventure, with many trials and, only after almost losing everything, we'd save the day?

I'm not sure I'd wish that were the case.  I don't know how I would react to such an unfolding of events.  To have the burden of saving the world resting squarely on my shoulders.  The responsibility of being that sort of hero seems far too overwhelming.

But here we are, all of us, being called upon to be heroes.  Because the fate of the world, or at least those we love, really does rest with all of us.  We have to make sure that decency, love, equality, truth, remain something that is still alive in our hearts, our homes and our neighborhoods.

Together, we need to express our outrage and our fears.  We need to stand up to shout and sit to listen.  We must hold each other up and provide each other with space for rest.  We must make sure our fellow humans are fed, sheltered and warm.  We must try to be the people we imagine heroes to be.

I wish there was a singular hero, someone to come set things right.  There is instead just us.  Us.  And the responsibility isn't any less, though it is, thankfully, shared.

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