*the one by Upton Sinclair
As you can see by the cadence of my posts, a lot of time and life unfolds in between what I’m willing to share in this public forum, and the drafts that remain tucked away. The type-A side of me, armed with a vision and a detailed communication plan, hates this fact, but as an employee of Gold Dust & Co., she’s no longer running the show.
Until now, the ethereal ball of unconditional love that animates my human form has found her way to these pages by via my trusty alter ego, Gold Dust.
And then shit got real.
Or rather, shit got real on a scale many of us have not experienced in our lifetime.
My central nervous system has been shot for years, so I’m used to living in a body that considers the end of the world a likelihood. Perhaps there are people who would pursue mindfulness training even without intense anxiety or emotional pain, but I am not one of them. If I didn’t need to turn down the volume on the chatter box that is my mind, I’d redirect this time and energy to something with far more visible rewards. Like a macrobiotic diet. Or planks. That truly would be nirvana: a quiet mind and rock-hard abs.
Until now, I’ve been able to reassure myself that the doomsday scenarios result from my trigger-happy sympathetic nervous system, and are not supported by actual facts. Since the election I’ve been wrestling with how to respond to a new normal: Discerning what signals actually do require attention, and then figuring out how to engage without getting caught up in the whirlwind of fear.
I’m learning as I go. Which means I’m making mistakes. (Yuck.) But I’m also developing new muscles. (Yay!)
Through this process, I’ve made the acquaintance of an additional alter ego: Continental Pussy. She’s fueled by the same energy source as Gold Dust, but her voice is all her own. She’s the dark to Gold Dust’s light. She’s the yin to Gold Dust’s yang. She’s the Kali to Gold Dust’s Uma.
If the past three months has taught me anything, it's that the truth can be delivered in different forms, tones, and decibel levels. Sometimes Stevie Nicks sounds like she does on Gypsy and sometimes she sounds like she does on Edge of Seventeen. Sometimes a laid back, go-with-the-flow approach works. I'm now learning that there's a time and place for everything. So when I'm in a centered place and I'm still clear that Shit. Stops. Here. Well, then it's Continental Pussy's turn to provide the vocals.
Current events have supplied us with a number of courageous individuals speaking truth to power, as well as the reality that recipients of such messages are not always receptive to them. Observing Elizabeth Warren handle Mitch McConnell’s attempts to silence her tapped into some old rage buried deep inside me.
Trained to keep quiet, it's as though every instance where I swallowed my truth just stuffed the negative energy down further, compressing it but never eliminating it. I thought it was gone. So did those to whom I acquiesced. This includes the times I proactively silenced myself in an attempt to appease people by not mentioning anything that might make them uncomfortable. I assume this fed the inner storm that drove me to pursue spiritual connection in the first place.
Since the election, the turbulence in the external environment has only intensified, so I’m now in a place where the tensions outside and inside have both reached a fever pitch.
The only way I can relieve the pressure is by surrendering to it. Though an unappetizing metaphor, the relief I experience these days feels like what I imagine the fleshy bits of ground beef feel like just after getting squeezed out the end of a meat grinder. (I warned you it wouldn’t be pretty.) I guess this means hamburger is just a steak that’s given up its ego. And that my fascination watching my grandfather turn venison from the deer he hunted into food for his family paid off. (Interestingly enough, I have the same Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but with the juicing attachment instead.)
All talk of food prep for omnivores aside, the pressures over the past three months aren’t new — these forces were there before. Now they’re just more visible and intense. The process of breaking down the stubborn parts inside me has just sped up, that’s all. The Universe is merely cranking up the speed and the incline on this treadmill we call life. My first instinct is to panic and doubt that my cosmic personal trainer has my best interests at heart, or to conclude that he/she/it is severely inept at gauging my athletic capabilities. Eventually though, I get distracted by whatever home renovation show is playing without sound on the screen above me at the gym. Before I know it, I’ve learned that the only one unable to accurately access my athletic ability is myself.
When Senator McConnell refused to let Senator Warren read the letter Coretta Scott King wrote regarding the (now confirmed) Attorney General, we could say that he silenced her. But that was only temporary. As a result of his actions, far more of us are aware of Ms. King’s words, Sen. Warren’s courage, and Sen. McConnell’s conduct than if he had simply let her speak.
But then I wouldn’t have been so hell-bent on cranking out this piece. And you wouldn’t have spent these last few minutes listening to me ramble on about making sense of life in this increasingly dystopian world. (Which, depending on your view, could be a positive or a negative.) Either way, take it up with Senator McConnell. Continental Pussy is fresh out of fuqs. Best to try again tomorrow.
Editor's Note: Mitch McConnell’s office is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is the opinion of this publication that Ms. Conway’s gaff was actually a foreshadowing Tuesday’s showdown on the Senate Floor… #theOtherBowlingGreen