When I was in grad school, right around the time of my Mid-Program Review, I remember saying to Tom D. that, when things fall apart, it’s the routine that saves you. I’ve maintained a pretty regimented existence for the last decade or so, and it’s served me well. From time to time I fall out of practice, but keeping an early bed time, running and climbing, eating my ‘approved’ foods at regular times, and reading and writing have all – until now – served the purposes I’d hoped. I’m physically healthy, employed, and engaged in stimulating self-directed intellectual work.
But all of that, I think, especially since the election…
Ok, so if I told time like, ‘before 9/11’ and ‘after 9/11’ when talking about airport security or ‘under Clinton’ vs. ‘under W.’ to talk about the economic state of US, I’m now telling time like, ‘before the election’ and ‘after the election’.
Before the election, maintaining my health, work, and intellectual endeavors were acts of resistance in theory only. They served me well individually, and perhaps, if I dare flatter myself, served as an example to my students of an additional way of being in the world. Now, however, there’s an urgency to doing those same things that I cannot shake. And yet, I can’t seem to generate the energy within myself to mobilize that apparatus to even half the momentum it had a month ago.
Part of me is afraid that if I get too caught up in the schedule, the routine, that I’ll lose sight of just how bad our situation is. Another part of me is still processing unmediated (I haven’t read ‘regular’ news since the election) this new reality; I’m watching and listening for shifts in the people and places around me that might be responses to the coming changeover. I guess I’m still just getting my bearings.