Sunday, November 8, 2020

Heavy Heart, Light Heart

                                                                                                 written 1 November 2020

                                                                                             published 8 November 2020


            I am writing this on November 1st.  By the time you read it, the voting will be over, and the vote counting will be well underway.  Unless there is a blue tsunami, we may not know the outcome for weeks, if then.  Last week, with the confirmation of Justice Barrett, the Republicans completed a project started forty years ago: packing the courts with conservative ideologues, regardless of competence.  Three of the current Supreme Court Justices (Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett), working as lawyers in 2000, helped the Supreme Court interfere in that election.  As Trump and McConnell celebrated their victory, they reaffirmed their intention to challenge this election in the Supreme Court.  My heart is heavy.

            Justice Ginsberg died on September 18th.  On that day, reported 42,555 new American Covid cases, for a total of 6.9 million, and 201,751 deaths.  From then until now, while the Senate focused on ramming through Barrett's appointment days before the election, with voting already in process, an additional 2.4 million Americans caught Covid, the daily case increase jumped to 105,425, and 34,504 more Americans died.  McConnell celebrates, and my heart is heavy.

            This week the Trump administration stated they have abandoned the fight against Covid, and have no intention of trying to control the virus.  Trump simultaneously claimed he has defeated Covid.  It's not clear if this is just another one of his twenty thousand lies, or if Covid and the steroid treatment actually damaged his brain. 

            The Trump administration supports the idea of "herd immunity", and encourages everyone to get infected as soon as possible.  This plan, already considered fringe lunacy by most in the medical profession, got a little riskier this week.  Reports show antibodies disappear more quickly than expected, more long-term damage has been documented, and a more infectious mutation of Covid is rapidly spreading through Europe.  Trump's crowded, mask-less rallies are documented Covid super spreader events, responsible for more than 30,000 cases and 700 deaths, mostly in red states.

            We are in the third wave, with the virus increasing in most states, and mid-western red states lead the pack.  North and South Dakota have the second and third worst cases per capita numbers on the entire planet, and their per capita death rate increased 95 percent in October alone, compared to 10 percent for the entire US, probably the results of the massive Sturgis motorcycle rally held in early September. Trump celebrates, and my heart is heavy.

            Republicans have become the Party of Corporations and Billionaires (PCB), and like the chemical, they are toxic to life.  Because their agenda is so narrow, Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the last 30 years, and must cheat, using voter suppression, gerrymandering, and court packing.  In less than four years, with McConnell rushing the process, Trump has appointed 1/3 of the Supreme Court, and more than 242 Federal judges, about 30 percent of the total, more than most presidents during 8 years.  

            The House passed the Heroes Act Covid stimulus package in early May, recognizing that the pandemic is crushing working people, schools, and state and local governments.  At the time, Senate leader McConnell said there was no need for more stimulus, and he would wait to see.  Since then he has stated that he was willing to "let states and cities go bankrupt".  Instead, the Senate took a vacation, then returned to continue packing the courts, confirming 31 more judges since May, but doing nothing to help Americans or the economy, which is in crisis.  Businesses have closed that will never reopen.  People are hungry.  Even the stock market has begun to reflect reality, recognizing our president is delusional and distracted.  My heart is heavy.

            My antidote is morning meditation.  I sit on our deck, and practice quieting my mind, noticing it running on, but allowing a distance from its story.  The pauses in the narrative get longer.  I sit in awareness of my heart beating and the breath in my chest, just noticing, without evaluation.  I am.  Here.  Now.  Eventually the timer goes off.  I say my closing affirmations, and open my eyes.  I see the clear blue sky, the lovely hills of the Ukiah valley, and hear the sounds of our community.  My heart is light.