The far side of revenge

Anxiety and occasion

This will be short. Everything feels fraught two days before the consequential election, and my nerves and concentration are shot, as maybe yours are too. The last couple months I've been thinking of a very good poem of anxiety, "Wanda in Worryland" by Wanda Coleman. She writes "i have been known to imagine a situation / and then get involved in it, upset, angry / and cry hot tears." How many late nights have I spent imagining a situation and getting deeply involved in it?

As an antidote to all this upset, I recently remembered a poem I first read probably 20 years ago in a magazine named after it - “Doubletake” by Seamus Heaney. It's one of those soaring, hopeful numbers that I often have a tinge of reflexive cynicism about. I just decided to call them "Occasion Poems": the ones that get busted out to mark something momentous and ceremonial. But in this constantly momentous churning time, I reckon we all need a dose of ceremony, a sense of the truth that:

…once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

I really feel like I heard Barack Obama quote this poem once. It seems like something he’d do. Anyway I will be out here clinging to hope and also to my dog, awaiting a rebirth into justice and peace.

Take care. I mean it.

Yours,

Erin