Clashing Blues

Hold me back, I’m getting ready to RUMBLE !!!!

First, though, let me wish all veterans everywhere a Happy Veterans Day. You’ve served us proudly and selflessly and we will never forget you.

That said…..

I am feeling a profound sense of disappointment and disillusionment today and it seems everywhere I look that feeling is compounded.

I grabbed the blue pillows from the chairs out in back and brought them inside so the pressure washer guy won’t spray bleach on them. I tossed them on the couch with the other pillows and the colors clashed horribly. Any of those blues on its own is fine but together they are repulsive.

The television was playing a movie about St. Francis of Assisi and the part I caught was a Catholic church service where the hymn they were singing was a chant in parallel 5ths. Now I know why the rule against them exists in music. My eardrums buzzed painfully.

The first few posts I saw on Facebook this morning were about our President backing down on his pledge to keep tax cuts in place for all but the very rich. Trying to cheer myself up, I Googled GLBT veterans’ organizations to look for something to post about proud men and women who have served in silence and only came across sites that had little substantial information surrounded by pictures of hot half-naked guys.

I am feeling betrayed by everyone I try to stand up for. I see Democrats as people trying to do the right thing in the right way but today they look weak to me. The church I wish could see past its own prejudices only comes down harder in dissonant opposition. The men and women I champion as pillars of integrity turn out to be nothing more than what people claim them to be. When I saw a pile of Silly Bands on the sidewalk just now, all I could think of was New Kids on the Block, INXS, Hanson….silly bands. Save for the bucolic scene of the dad next door playing football with his daughter in the front yard, this day would seem a wash.

And now I think of my friend, Keith, newly arrived in Afghanistan for his 3rd (?) tour of duty in this never ending debacle while our former President, the one who got us into this mess, is parading around the country bragging about the crimes he committed while in office. I am feeling ashamed of what Keith went over there to represent, this country of supposed virtue and openness. It’s bad enough that he has to be there at all when so many of us find it hard to support his efforts in our hearts. We want him home.

Not one of us doesn’t have the blues lately and they’re all different shades. We can’t even be bummed out together because “your blues ain’t like mine”. I wish I could write something that lifts us up, that transcends this color-clash, but I can’t seem to find the words. Nobody seems able to, not even the man whose oratory so inspired us only a few years ago.

Where are the words? Where are the deeds? Where is the integrity?

We’ve always found reason to be proud of our country in the past, and I know we’ll find it again. But this place of unnerving indigo blindness feels hopeless and dark. The Chilean miners probably had more light half a mile underground than we do under blazing azure skies.

How do we learn to keep our spirits up like they did and not succumb to the clashing blues?

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  1. christina
    November 11, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    okay…WOW! i think that’s all i have to say. speechless… :O

  2. Larry
    November 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Ellen, my friend, do not be disheartened. I agree that the progress of our society looks to be in peril and our progressive leaders seem to have lost their footing. But while the news around us seems bleak, I believe struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would not be as strong as what we could have been. Tennessee Williams once said “Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle, you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.” All of life’s gifts are sweeter for the effort that we put into obtaining them.

    Today I have been thinking about our veterans and trying to understand why I feel so close to the men and women serving today. While I know of a few relatives and friends of friends who are actively serving, I have very few close friends in active duty today. Yet, because we share a common bond of service, we become brothers in arms and we understand each other in ways no outsider can. It is the common experience of struggle that binds us together through the generations.

    The same is true for our struggle to move our country forward. You and are share a bond from the struggle we share to make out country a better place. So do not be ashamed of what this country represents. Keith’s struggle is our struggle as well. I am proud of Keith and the men and women who serve with him in these difficult times, not because they represent a perfect country, but rather because they represent a country that allow us the freedom to continue our struggle for progress. While there are bad people and bad times, the struggle continues forward toward better times. From slavery to freedom. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights. From “a women’s place is in the home” to Women’s suffrage and equal rights. From gay bashing to gay pride and soon, the end of DADT and the right to marry for all. The struggle continues. It will not be easy. But we are all better because of it.

    Thank you for being among my Brother’s and Sister’s in our shared struggle.

  3. November 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Larry, there is something to be said for the active involvement of being able to take up arms and step directly into the fray and feel like you’re doing something to help. Perhaps that’s the inclination soldiers have to do what they do. As for the rest of us left behind, we are in many ways helpless to do anything but continue living. Ultimately, it is only in our neighborhoods that most of us are truly effective and that’s why so many choose not to look beyond them. But for those of us who do, who are trying to get a glimpse of the emperor and his new duds, we are left only frustrated when we see the truth and can do nothing but point it out. But always the light illuminates everything eventually and we get our redemption–but the journey really sucks sometimes! 😀

  4. November 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Hate to drop another drop of water in the already full bucket, but me and some fellow teachers were feeling betrayed by Obama from the get-go. He promised us an end to this crazy test mania and a progression toward more authentic assessment. Then, he got in office and not only backed down on his word, but continued the Bush policies of NCLB more vigorously than the nucklehead himself! He makes us (and our American children) compete for federal funding now, and as part of that competitive package, the teachers have to promise to weaken their “due process” rights so that we can be fired immediately, like an “at will” hire. This Obama is a democrat? Really?
    And now I could go on about other upsets: his not allowing DADT to fall by the wayside finally, as a Liberal Democrat would, and as we all who voted for him expected. His continuing a useless war in Afghanistan, his swinging now farther to the center so much so that he is almost a Republican moderate. There– I’ve said it.
    Ellen, although my new first grade assignment is heaven sent, and my marriage is a total joy and my life happy, I live with the background clutter (above) swarming around my head like a swarm of angry gnats. So, I understand, and I worry with you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Mama Nance
    November 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Ok…altogether now “chi! chi! chi! le! le! le! los mineros de chile!”

    Now does that help a little ? Ha!

  6. Mickey Grooters
    August 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Well – lots of things seem the same since this Nov. blog, but some have changed- as in the military DADT repeal- that’s a good thing. Obama has caved on some things, but he is looking better than congress, and just think – had McCain won. . . .and Palin been our VP– everyday that ought to be grounds for praise. There was the Lilly Ledbetter Act. And perhaps with Congressional Approval at an all time low (what if it goes to 0?)folks will be more serious about understanding how utterly stupid some of the folks are who run for national office, and how small-minded – and how bankrupt of moral principles. .. and the Democrates will sweep in with a broom, like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. . . at least in those states where the vote is not supressed.

    I like Laurie about how her life is fine. . . but she hears the angry buzz of gnats swarming in her head– I identify with that. Maybe the precise blues will not harmonize- but then, perhaps one can go on a chair across the room. It looks like you do a great job of loving the one (be it animal or human) in front of you. And so for some of us out here– you are sharing the pillows — mine might not quite go with your blue– but it is still blue.

    So let’s toss all the multi-hued blues into the air in a giant wish/prayer that those recalls in Wisconsin – the challengers will beat the s–t out of the incombants :-).
    Happy Sunday.

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