Launching into a pandemic, during a plague

2020-07-19

by Tom Cloyd - 3 min. read - (reviewed 2020-07-19:1718 PDT)

Sailboat, alone with an approaching storm

Photo by Shane Taremi, 2016, “Sailing to Cape Cod”

 

Four years ago we could not have imagined our country as it is now, nor the gross incompetence of our federal leadership, faced with an international crisis. From the nightmare of election night, 2016, our situation has only grown worse. And each day, Trump commits new outrages. Something must be done.

“Incredulity” was a word that acquired a whole new and visceral meaning on election night three and a half years ago. I remember, two weeks after that awful, unreal night, hearing from a friend on the other side of the country that her sense of distress and nausea simply wouldn’t go away. “Every day I wake up into a nightmare I can’t make sense of,” she said. Me, too, I thought.

It’s the longest-running horror show I’ve ever watched - only this time it’s compulsory, as I can’t seem to find the theater’s exit. Looks like we’re going to have to crash our way through some walls.

Fortunately, I’m not alone. A short while ago a small group of us were called together to work on the problem. What arrogance! Barely over a handful of folks, with families, jobs, other commitments - and we’re going to get Trump booted and bring back the Good People. But how?

Frankly, we’re struggling with that question.

As a psychotherapist, I used to ask some of my clients a hard question: Suppose you were alone in a small boat, at night, a mile from the shore of a big lake. You realize the boat has developed a grave leak. In fact, it’s sinking, and you cannot prevent this. You have a very few minutes to decide what to do. You cannot summon help. You’re an OK swimmer, but hardly an athlete, and you know you’re in 60-degree water.

What do you do?

This was a metaphor for the situation they saw themselves in, of course. It’s also our situation in the USA at this moment. So…what do we do?

No one can answer that question for you, but for me I know that fading into helplessness is not an option. I will swim for shore believing until my last breath that I will make it, even though the odds are I will develop hypothermia and have a heart attack before I reach the shore. Here, of course, the metaphor breaks down, for while the shore I’m swimming for may turn out to be imaginary, the swimming is more likely to keep me alive and functional than kill me.

Doing whatever you can do is better than doing nothing. And it was from that realization that BOCT - Bringing Our Country Together came into the world, and this website with it. The whole idea here is that doing something is a very good thing to do, especially when compared to doing nothing. And maybe a long ponder about what that something could be will lead us yet unseen pathway to real change.

We are still engaged in that long ponder. Meanwhile, we decided to try to stir up a ruckus, and that’s a good part of what our Facebook page is about.

As for this website, here’s the situation::

We are launching this thing during a pandemic, in the midst of a plague of governmental incompetence, if not outright malevolence. The site is minimal, to be charitable, at this early stage but it IS a start, and we have had little time and fewer people to make this happen. We have much that we are preparing to bring to this platform, but for now we’re just launching - into a plague, in the midst of a pandemic.

Please come with us.

 

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