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Love will win

A dark, wet, cold day. A woman said as we were leaving the funeral event this afternoon, “The sky is weeping too.”

So, another shooting, another lunatic, another savage, horrendous waste of human life, this one anti-Semitic but no different than the ones destroying black children in church or people celebrating music and life anywhere. Forces of racism, hatred, and death have been unleashed in the United States and the world. We thought, with Obama’s election, that the world had fundamentally changed. Now we’ve turned over the rock and there it is, crawling out – the worst of humanity. Trump and his team, which includes Ontario’s current premier and the leader of the PC’s in Ottawa, beginning to attack the media in the same way. Dark dark dark.

And then I went to a memorial event for Ann Ireland, who was the writer/coordinator for the creative writing department at Ryerson. I worked with Ann for twenty years and received my last personal email from her at the end of July, about contracts. On August 8th, she wrote to us all that she was resigning because of a health crisis and would not reply to any emails or phone calls. She died less than three weeks later. Today, we heard that Ann chose assisted death; knowing her end was nigh due to terminal liver cancer, she arranged her final day with ten of her loved ones around her, and apparently said, “Wherever I’m going, I hope it’s not boring.”

According to one of her best friends, she also said, “Please tell people – in the end, work doesn’t matter. I’ve shredded two partial novels. What matters is love and family and friends and kindness.”

Thank you, Ann. I wish I’d known you better, but then, I always say that at funerals.

Out into the cold rain and home to more news about the dead in the synagogue. And then a text from my beloved daughter:
I’m so thankful today, Mum. I took this morning’s terrorist attack hard. But then we went to a double birthday party for some of Elijah’s friends. A Cameroonian couple and an Italian couple celebrating their beautiful daughters with our Tibetan, Cuban, Japanese, and Canadian friends. Grandparents, parents, kids of all colours playing together and having fun. Love will win. But we’re going to have to work for it.

Love will win. But we’re going to have to work for it.

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6 Responses to “Love will win”

  1. theresa says:

    That's exactly right. Someone turned over the rock and the creepy things emerged into light of day. And every day there's a terrible instance of their influence. I wish I could say I felt optimistic about the power of love. On the local level, on the personal level. yes. But honestly, the number of stupid and aggrieved people out there who somehow believe that chanting in large groups about violence and scapegoats makes me want to stay in my house and huddle under the quilt. There's a very good, if depressing, piece here: https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2018/10/24/Chris-Hedges-Big-Crash/

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, "stupid and aggrieved" – a perfect description of the enemy. Except that what really terrified me was watching Steve Bannon on Bill Maher a few weeks ago. He's not a monster, he's articulate and highly intelligent, this man who is leading the charge to white supremacy and far right policies, now not just in the U.S. but in Europe too. So yes, let's huddle under the covers and wait for better times. They will come. (She said with her fingers crossed.)

  3. theresa says:

    Yes, I agree that guys like Bannon are not dumb. He's a strong-man wannabe. But it seems that men like him (and it's usually men, though Marine Le Pen comes to mind…)are able to motivate the stupid and aggrieved to support them. They know which buttons to push. Trump is not particularly intelligent but he's ruthless and canny. He likes the adulation. And watching clips of rallies, with supporters chanting Lock Her Up (really? She's still the scapegoat, after Flint, after the failure of his university, his tax evasions, his bad deals, his lies, his charity actually paying for his kids' Scout fees in the past, his essential laziness, of both mind and work ethic, his mean soul), I am horribly chilled at the resemblance to the Hitler cult, the people out for Franco and Mussolini,the various Central and South American dictators. I hope those better times will come. But how did we — because Harper was cut from the same cloth, as is Jason Kenney and others — let it happen?

  4. beth says:

    I spoke recently with a friend about why the world is sliding into Fascism just about everywhere. I said, Is it the migrant crisis? He said, many reasons, but mostly the internet, which allows people to find their own kind in privacy, to express violent thoughts anonymously, and to escalate hate. But one thing – Flint – you mean I assume the water scandal – occurred during Obama's time, and it's clear in Michael Moore's new film that Obama did nothing to fix it. So no one is perfect, but some are pushing the bottom as low as it can go, and then lower. By the way, Ideas had a great interview a few days ago with Steven Pinker, who has just written a cheerful book about how everything is getting better. We'd both better read it!

  5. theresa says:

    I just remember a rally in which Trump said he'd fix the water situation in Flint. And you're absolutely right. No one is perfect. I think the much-diminished state of public education is partly to blame. Isn't part of our horror at the prospect of fascism due to extensive reading and study of history in school? And at home? Our parents were often veterans or maybe our grandparents. Sorry to go on about this but it occupies a lot of my thinking these days…

  6. beth says:

    Yes, mine too, Theresa, and yes, the degradation of education is a huge part of this too, for sure. I mean, they now have a president who knows absolutely nothing about 99.9% of the world. Let's look for things to cheer us up right about now …

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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