Monday Morning Quotes

Monday Morning Quotes
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Since 1998 I've been sending out these reflections first thing each week--one or more quotes plus my thoughts about the intersections and contradictions. They're archived here back to 2002, and a new one is posted every Monday morning. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #1002 - #TheNoNewNormalNewNormal

18 Oct, 2021

THE NO-NEW-NORMAL NEW NORMAL


"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
Eli Wiesel

"This is precisely the time when artists go to work.... I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge--even wisdom. Like art."
Toni Morrison

"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world."
Jane Addams


Very little is as it was.
We can't keep going as if this is a short-term stop-gap measure.
We can't go back to our before-lives as they were.
And everyone I know feels unstable,
grieving,
unsure of exactly what to hope for
fairly sure we are still at great risk of losing our country's democracy.

It's not an easy time, loves.
But it is the times we have.

I feel so many--including myself--
creating a new normal as long as we don't quite accept it as
THE new normal.
You know what I mean?
We definitely felt that way about the total shutdown--
that it was truly a temporary stop-gap--
so we gave ourselves over to it fully,
whether we gave ourselves over to solo lives, living on Zoom,
despair, or some combination thereof.

This is different.
This odd hybrid.
Parameters changing all the time.
Needing to adjust all the time.
Needing to allow the feelings but not be submerged by them.

But isn't this what I've been writing about forever?
That the systems you thought would save you would cripple you?
Fitting in? Being accepted? Pleasing people? Dancing with the crowd?
Hoping for the brass ring, the award, the honor,
that would make you finally feel okay about yourself?

The shutdown may have been for baking and cooking and growing things,
and that's beautiful,
but this time is for re-discovering
(or, for many, discovering for the first time)
what has meaning for you,
what has value for you,
what is worth it for you to invest your time and love.

So just remember I'm here for you.
One thousand MMQs are here for you
(yup, there are now 1,000 archived on my website--crazy, I know).
Those pundits on TV still have high-powered jobs and/or major book deals,
and the best of them know it, and say it,
and don't pretend to speak for those who are caught up in this
economic crisis,
this educational crisis,
this artistic crisis.
this emotional crisis.

But those of us who are in the thick of it,
loving others who are also in the thick of it,
we have to find a way
that is both a new normal
and a non-acceptance of this as the new normal,
that is ever-flexible, finding ways to adjust to the changes,
ever vigilant for the potential re-uprising of the autocratic 45,
with a high dose of self-care in the process.

I'm here for it.
We can do this.


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