If Only I Could Be Light!

posted in: Day In The Life 27
"Música en las Tullerías" by Eduard Manet, 1862. Image: National Gallery, London, via Wikipedia.
“Música en las Tullerías” by Eduard Manet, 1862. Image: National Gallery, London, via Wikipedia.


Having a blog about my life is strange, sometimes.

I am sad. But I’ve been avoiding writing about it because who wants to hear about that? Actually, that’s not the question. The question is “Who wants to hear about you being sad, Mary, for more than one post?” After all this time, I should know you better than that, my darling, but I suffer from wanting you to like me, wanting to entertain you, wanting to be Good. Though I “keep it real” here, how real do I allow myself to keep it? How real, really?

When I say I’m sad, I don’t mean I’m dealing with a sadness that won’t allow me to get up off the couch. That’s not where I am. (Well, okay: I am on the couch at this moment, but I just got back after a day at the newspaper office and a drink with a friend, so I’ve not been on the couch all day, which we all know is something that can and does happen, sometimes.) No, the quality of my sadness of late is something gnawing at me lately but isn’t eating me whole, I guess. But it’s slowing me down, keeping me from you for fear of letting you down, and it’s been making certain things harder.

I’m telling you now because if you’re feeling that way, you should know you’re not the only one.

It’s got a lot to do with culture. My friends, my friends. I’m afraid for us. We have become, it seems, a tribal society. If we don’t listen to each other, if we don’t try to understand, if we don’t swallow our ruinous pride from time to time, we’re doomed. My identity as an American is so foundational to this life I have. Thus, when I see this terrible political climate — everyone is implicated! both sides guilty and foolish! — it would be strange if I didn’t feel sad. Our country is aching, fighting, warring, hating, barbing, spitting mad. But…we’re brothers and sisters. Aren’t we? Aren’t we, after all, but you wouldn’t know it, looking at godforsaken Facebook. In this case, that is not a figure of speech: I think God has forsaken social media. It is a calamitous wasteland, a monster. I loathe it. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t dream of censoring it, but I see some of these Facebook comment pockets — and it matters not on which “side” they’re posted — I put my head in my hands.

I’m not better than anyone. That’s not it at all. It’s that I believe in the better angels of our nature and when angels forget our nature, I guess, it’s heartbreaking.

There. I’ve gotten it off my chest!

It’s been hard to write because even though I try to “keep it real” around here, even though I’m among friends, it’s still hard to be totally honest. Few people Instagram their terrible blemish, few people make Pinterest boards of ex-boyfriends, you know? But if I don’t tell you that a) I’m sad and b) why, then why would you come here? There are Pinterest boards for fantasies, Instagram accounts for pretty pictures 100% of the time.

Pendennis just looks at me, you know? He won’t let me get away with that for very long.