if not now, when?

Monterey sunset

First, here is September’s calendar.

There are two streams of thought running through my mind. Maybe they appear separate at first, but they intertwine because everything does. At least in my mind.

First, we are dealing with two pandemics: Covid-19 and Trumpism. Most of us wear masks to protect each other from the first, and I wonder, what are all the different ways we can protect each other from that broken man and his party, intent on destroying us all?

The other stream is the idea of chronic and acute.

A personal story: I have some minor health issues related to inflammation. Rosacea, wonky digestion, fatigue, and fibromyalgia. (The last is not minor for so many, but mine is very much under control.) I have worked with a functional medicine provider, and I know what I need to do to take care of myself. And sometimes, I don’t do all the things. Several months ago, I had a stress reaction, and my face exploded. It was burning hot, bright red and swollen, and where it wasn’t swollen, there were deep grooves. Scary as hell. And yet, nothing serious. By the time I got to urgent care, the swelling had died down and I was back to my normal. And there have been no face explosions since. For me, it was an outer manifestation of inner unrest and a colorful illustration of the inner-connectedness of acute and chronic.

Speaking more globally, the acute is obvious (see Covid and Trump) and like all emergencies must be dealt with immediately. So, we vote, we mask up, we donate, we write postcards to voters, we talk to our people, and we do whatever we can to stop the bleeding. And then, we look at how we got here. Or, ideally, we work on both the acute and the chronic at the same time, if we can find the energy and the will.

3 thoughts on “if not now, when?”

  1. Thank you for your thoughts, Susan. And for your photo, too, it’s beautiful.
    The tipping point is fascinating to talk about. It is the moment when energy changes. From chronic to acute, the occasional to the commonplace, the normal to the abnormal – the tipping point is that time when energy shifts. On a societal level, the energy change inspires awe (though not, as with Trump, in a good way). Inside a person, a deliberate, willful decision is a tipping point from cloudy habit to crystal direction. From doubt to self-possession, from fear to clarity. Deliberate, willful decisions take a lot of energy and they are draining over time. It’s nice to have them just when you need them – like this afternoon for me, or in November for the country. When needed, that would be nice.

  2. Ack! I want to add this, because I don’t think it was clear in my first post. You were writing the the chronic and acute are related and I was agreeing with you, citing the tipping point – that moment when things change from one state to another – as an example of that relationship. How things come together, or how they converge, both are still a type of relationship. So that’s what your post made me think of. That, and so much has changed, from Obama and BLM to Trump and to… And, as you wrote, there are also different, related conditions going on inside oneself. Low level rosacea etc. and then a stress reaction. I find the same in tipping from lethargy to activity. Do you have a pattern to your tipping point? For me, exercise is a clear tipping point – it usually helps me go from blah to rah. Another is outer order; having my outer belongings in order creates inner order. Outer order and exercise are not answers to ongoing existential questions and dilemmas, but, for me, they provide somehow the inner stability that allows me not to get unnecessarily drenched by the inevitable rainfalls of inner life. The physical affects and connects to the ineffable, somehow. Ok, thanks for letting my mind wander! Love you!

    1. Mind wandering is good. At least, I hope so because my own mind is forever meandering.

      As for a pattern to my tipping points, it’s mostly intuitive for me. I just know when something has tipped over. Exceptions being things like Trumpism because I don’t recall a time when I was ever not alarmed/disgusted. So, it’s not like one day I woke up and said, whoa this is bad. More like, have we hit bottom? Nope, there’s more. And then, more.

      Exercise helps keep me out of a funk and can contribute to action. And I know that the call to action for me is again, intuitive. And emotional. Hope that makes sense!

      Thanks for your wisdom and encouragement! Here’s to some better news, both in November and going forward. xo

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