Panorama of San Bernardino

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thank You God It's Me Juanita

Thankfulness can be a stretch for me. Every year at Thanksgiving dinner, my little sister Annette, who is not so little anymore at 42, says, "Everyone say what they're thankful for."

We go around the dining table and it always sounds so cliche. Everyone says the same things: thank you for family, for friends, for the food (that's my mom's favorite), for their spouse, for economic prosperity, and on and on. It is one cliche after another. Said with the most earnest of faces. We all clap. And it is heartwarming but as a writer, and as my usual sarcastic self, I yearn for the bitter irony.

Then I thought, how about this year I be thankful for something that feels like a curse? I should be thankful for my infertility. And for not bringing a child into the world who will have to live under the darkest of Lords, akin to Sauron and Voldermort, and the Dark King.

He who shall not be named. Please don't make me say his name.

Before the election, I wept over my childless life. For the last nine or so years, I cried and prayed asking why or why over my lack of little ones. After failed IVF and a miscarriage and years of trying, it is something I have had to reconcile.

My lack of kids has vexed me. Irritated me. Saddened me. It has left a pit of despair in my heart because I am a maternal person. Just ask my two Shih-Tzus Frodo (hence the Sauron reference) and Chewbaca. They are my furry princes complete with red Christmas capes. I am their Queen mother. Up until now, my fur kids have not been enough to fill the void in my heart.

Then the unthinkable happened. And now, I thank God for my unproductive, barren, infertile, dry and empty womb.

Because my child will never have to know what it is like to deal with what is to come. I will not have to explain the hate, the lies, the corruption, the civil rights destroyed and laid asunder. I will not have to tell dark and true bedtime stories of utter terror. I will not have to be afraid that my child will know nuclear war.

This Thanksgiving, we are forgoing family time and going to the den of depravity, Las Vegas. It feels fitting. It suits my mood. And on that day of thanks, I will sit at a slot machine and raise my beer to toast my bunless oven in these worst of times.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A recipe for the times

In the book 1984 by Orwell, there is a famous quote, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." That is how I feel this Sunday after the election. Stomped upon. My hope is almost nonexistent. Now, I do not know if Trump is the next Hitler or Mussolini, but what I do know is that there is the very real possibility that America just elected a fascist dictator into the White House.

I always say that if you want to know who someone is, just listen to their words. And we have listened and listened to Trump. We have heard him scapegoat and rant on Mexicans, Muslims, the undocumented, women, and most of all Hillary. And we have watched his actions. We have seen Trump raise his hand in a Nazi style salute to his crowds. The violence and hate, it was all too crazy at first to even believe.

And Hillary, poor Hillary. She played by the rules and had proper decorum.  But, if I know one thing after representing people in 1368 incompetency proceedings, it is this: you cannot argue with crazy, and Trump is crazy. A crazy egomaniac, former reality television star billionaire, who just was elected to the highest office in the land.

Now there are those who say, just wait and see. Wait and see what? Am I supposed to wait to see if he is who I know he is? What am I, are we, waiting for?

For the boot to fall? For the presses to be silenced? For the retaliation to begin? For the mass deportation? For Newspeak (see 1984)?

What is left without hope? Faith, prayer and action. Yes, I am a believer. This punk rock girl is a lapsed Catholic (of the James Joyce variety) who somehow found her own kind of all tolerant and inclusive faith and belief in college after taking a class called Bible is Literature. In that class, I learned that the Bible is all parable and metaphor and the God of the Old Testament is an angry God. But, the New Testament was different. Jesus was all about the love. To me, whether one believes Jesus was a prophet or the literal son of God does not matter, because his words and actions were what mattered. Jesus told us not only to love our neighbor, but to also pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-44) And to let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds. (Matthew 5:16).

So that is what I will do. Faith, prayer and action. A recipe for these times. Because I have to believe that they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)