ill winds

It is difficult to settle down. What world is this? I have been largely preoccupied with my own personal losses and catastrophes. I’ve been less interested in the papers. I can’t find myself in that immersion in daily media that has for some time been my main modus vivendi, even before my current deficits set in. But I have insight into the situation where too much is wrong to begin to work up a plan, or a vision, or a will to reconstruct. Or salvage. Times are such that it is too late. There is an analogy here, to the devastation of a body politic. I read an article in Slate or Salon today, I can’t remember which and don’t feel like looking it up – with apologies to the author. The article – what we need to do to fix this, was exhausting and depressing even before we try to begin. Yes I thought. But its too late now.

In 2007, when I was first diagnosed, my surgeon B set out the prescribed year that would follow. As I listened to her catalogue one catastrophic treatment after another and the damages and losses that would accrue to that, I felt myself sink into a blank exhaustion. Or was it just refusal. I said, what would happen if I didn’t do anything? She was shocked, nonplussed. Well, she said, the tumour will grow and then it will spread and then you’ll die. Yes, I said, but I can do everything you just laid out and have the same outcome. And so it has come to to pass. I am glad I refused what I did. At least I staved off the worst for a while. i just wish I had let myself enjoy it more. My body intact. My work. My days getting up and doing the normal day to day things people do when they get up. Sleep. Love. Funny things. Good tv. Visits home. Trips to Toronto. Making the house nice. Raising a puppy. Learning to box. Finishing my book.

I can’t see redemption in any direction. What was the point of living just to arrive here, at the end of the world, and it’s a bad end. I am horrified at people. The selfish, cruel whatever it is in people that they would even contemplate voting for such a terrible man. I am angry at the absurd unquestioned narrative that crystallised around Hilary Clinton. She was not a flawed candidate. She is and has been a good person, a dedicated public servant, a comsciencious and honest broker at everything she had done. The made up scandals, the empty  accusations, the pathetic demonisations. I am worried about my family and my friends. What kind of life awaits K or T or S. I think of K, who believes that possibilities are open to her. That she has a right to determine her own life, follow her passions, invent her future. And I am sorry for myself. Now I have no way home.

[From my letter this morning to S.]

Hi S, I’m in a state of shock. I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s the end of America. The end of checks and balances in government, then end of the Supreme Court as a force for the protection of rights. I can’t imagine what life is going to be like for girls and women, minorities, the disabled, the ill, the low earning and poor. It’s a catastrophe for the USA and for the world. Love Deborah

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