March 4th, 2020

Iguana 2

I grieve for the imperfect but seemingly reliably improving country I grew up in.

I have used my Hebrew name by preference since I was 17. I decided that my values and consciousness come from two strains--Judaism (especially Haskalah Ashkenazi Judaism, but that absolutely built upon traditional religious Judaism) and Americanism. I was reminded constantly of the one just by living here and I also wanted a constant reminder of the other. But despite my name, being American has generally been much more prominent in my thoughts.

This week, the history and modes of survival of the Jewish people is becoming more prominent in my thoughts. It is at least temporarily eclipsing American history as the context I see myself in. I find myself wondering if it's getting time to escape before the fire, and if so, to where. Or does my childless status oblige me to stay here and fight, even if I no longer think I know how to fight effectively?

Not knowing what to do adds even more unease, on top of the horror and unease that's been building as the events of the last 4 years have unfolded. I am an American. I love my country. It is my home. I can't stand the thought of running away. But I don't want to stay in a burning building when someone has sabotaged all the fire extinguishers.

I hope I can wake up later this year and laugh at this post. There's a decent chance Trump can be defeated, which would halt the decay, at least for a while. It would leave us on a precipice, disoriented, and liable to fall off in the coming decades. But at least it would halt the head-long rush over the cliff.

I hurt. I grieve for the imperfect but seemingly reliably improving country I grew up in.