Forty years ago, I worked with the most brilliant mentor I’ve ever known. She was a tender woman, a paradox and a ferocious teacher. We were in a healing group one afternoon. One of the other participants was sobbing because her partner had revealed that he had a new lover. “I thought we were closer,” she said, “I had so much hope.”
My mentor put her arm around the woman’s shoulders. “Bad news, sweetheart,” she said, “hope is a con.” There was a shocked silence. I knew that what my mentor has said was true. Please use Hope is a con. as your prompt. Write for thirty minutes. Please send what you have written.
Here is a stunning piece on the paradox of feeling out of control by Mary Ann Van Degna:
FUCK ! trump is president and I FEEL SO OUT OF CONTROL
I do not feel out of control. Ok, I do but I don’t want to feel that I am.
I won’t allow myself the feeling of panic, anxiety and fear. I want to feel focused, directed, and angry so I marched the day after the inauguration to feel the power of choice, to state my case and I was not alone.
WE were not alone. People the world over feel the way I do.
That is what I tell myself so I don’t feel out of control.
There are those who are afraid and have started to build their bunker .
The powerful like that – it’s what they strive for. Trump, with only the id and his idle dyslexic mind, unable to read or comprehend since childhood depends on the Bannons of the world to tell him he’s good and whispering in his ear,
“Remember your base. The ones we hood winked with the promise to keep them safe.”
Boogey men are everywhere when one remains a child.
I will remain angry and vigilant the adult in the room.
I am resisting the feeling to be out of control but it’s there. My heart beats faster more often as I read headlines and watch news coverage of innocent people in airports, detained.
Putting them on planes and sending them back from whence they came?
My heart pounded in my chest. I would not shut out the crowds and the noise by turning the television off. I needed to feel I was there because I could not get to the airport to protest nonexistent policy and the slipshod use of a pen.
I feel so out of control because the power is in the wrong hands.
I try to think like the Dalai Lama but FUCK THE DALAI LAMA he ran away to fight another day and the guy doesn’t fight. He’s a pacifist.
I am not a pacifist.
I feel out of control but I am not out of control.
The paraphernalia in my life, the superfluous stuff for the sake of comfort and décor is now my nemesis. I have turned my energy out onto shedding my home of my stuff. The collections of things I thought I should collect the overabundance of stuff stored.
I’m keeping the old ancient fluff, the ceramic folk art my children created for me, the doll my mother brought back from London for me because she knew I would miss her too much. The things that remind me where I came from and who I fight for.
At least I have not invested in a bunker loaded with food and water.
Too cozy, too happy, did I not see this coming from my bubble?
I did. I talked about it with the like-minded but I didn’t yell and argue and blame early those who needed it.
When I was young a girl Bobby wasn’t better than Billy Jean. She wiped the court with his ass and he laughed. It was sport. Phyllis Schlafly sold American women down the proverbial river with fear and self- loathing hidden beneath her quaffed hair and button collar suits. I should have yelled, marched, and gotten totally out of control but I didn’t. Now I am.
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