Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In good faith

I love this moment from last Thanksgiving. I see these faces and feel nothing by joy in their existence. They remind me of the promise that exists in the world, even if my niece does look a little skeptical of whatever it is my daughter is telling her.

Things have been a little unsettled over here lately. A dear friend is facing a situation I can't write about, but it's fairly consuming on this end. I do wish I could post about what's happening, as writing helps me process, but there are larger privacy considerations. In the meantime I'm wading deeper into research for my next project, which is at hand. I'll need to start drafting next week, so I'm buried in transcripts and other reading this week, trying to master the language, history, people and preoccupations of a particular world. As always at the beginning of a new project, I'm nervous, not yet sure how I will accomplish the work, but knowing that having undertaken it in good faith, somehow I will.

Speaking of good faith, I'm very moved by the sincerity with which my son, now 24, is listening to the presidential race debates and political news shows, and the care with which he is analyzing the various candidates' positions. He's so much more versed in their policy positions than I am; I tend to be rather impressionistic in this process, going with my feelings about what I see and hear. My son is more methodical, delving more deeply, with an intention that seems to me very pure. Today he took a quiz on the issues at, in an effort to clarify what matters most to him and where he falls on the continuum of values and belief on each issue. He just emailed me the results. No surprise, he's a far left leaning progressive, and Bernie Sanders is the one whose ideas most align with his. But Bernie is followed quite closely by Hillary Clinton, and then by Jill Stein of the Green Party. I think it's important to be idealistic when you're young, and my son is certainly that. But I'm very impressed by the thoughtfulness he's bringing to the question of who deserves his vote. He's not taking this decision lightly.

Against the blaring backdrop of the 24/7 political news cycle, what's your style of assessment and/or what considerations matter most to you?


  1. I'm a bit more like your son in that I go to websites, look a policy statements and even examine voting records. I am also a far-left progressive. Unfortunately, where I live is generally not, so the Greens Party has no traction and Democrats tend to be outnumbered. I have voted for Sanders because of his stands on issues.

  2. For local voting I am much like your son and look closely. Good grief for judicial elections it's damn hard to get info, but I do. For national ... meh. I'm fine with either democratic candidate and will vote against any of the republicans. More impressionistic I guess. Bring me Elizabeth Warren and I'll be excited.

  3. I marvel at the work you do. It sounds very difficult to me and I would love to be able to watch someone do it - how you approach it, what steps come first, then next, etc. Kind of like how you described some of it today.

    I would be a completely emotional voter except I have my husband and son - both with analytical natures but differing outlooks - to inform me and I make full use of their brains.

  4. That is an awesome picture. Too funny, as I was reading about your son and the politics I was thinking about that website and going to recommend it and then your writing went right to it! Ha! I got Bernie too :) I wasn't too surprised but I wasn't sure I would so it was still interesting. I hope you can do some journaling or symbolic writing about your friend's situation to help you process... by symbolic I mean fictional, sort of "this stands for this" and then you reason things out. It can make your brain sweat but it's helped me sort a few things before when my mind was just churning!