Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Whose Side Are We On?

So I'm still hanging out with my concussed head. Getting very slightly better very slowly. The pace of change is not within my control, and, I'll be honest, I tend to be annoyed when things are not within my control.

And then there's President Trump.

I've said repeatedly that I have no political home: my personal beliefs don't mesh with either party. Never has that been more true than now. I have friends on both sides of most of the arguments.

I would really just like to write about my horse. Or my books. Or something that is not politics. Anything.

At the same time, this seems to be one of the times when we as a people are going to be judged by our actions. I don't just mean our votes. I mean what we do after we vote.

I didn't march anywhere--honestly, I couldn't have physically managed it. I hate that, but it's true. But I knit a hat that was worn on a march, and I read my sisters' stories of marching. I'm trying to keep abreast of the real news. Writing and calling our congressional representatives--great. Voting every chance I get--absolutely. I support social justice with my money and my time. I'll keep doing that.

My biggest gift is with words. That's where I can make the most difference: the stories I write now, and the ones I'll write in future.

My novel Leap of Faith starts with a girl, the protagonist of the story, stabbing a classmate in a middle-school cafeteria. When I first school-talked this book I was surprised by the number of students who disliked my protagonist at the start, and only gradually came around to having sympathy for her. I always tell the students, "I'm firmly on the side of the kid with the knife." They're puzzled--they understand, and correctly, that Violence Is Bad--but I think that by the end of the book they understand my point of view.

I'm pretty sure I'm not making much sense today. Sorry about that. We'll blame the concussion, shall we? I might as well get some use out of it. What I'm trying to say is that we need to decide who and what we can defend, who and what we can uphold. And then do it. This is no time to be idle.

That's not really about President Trump. There has never been a time to fail to do good.