I'm going through a period in which I just feel sort of dull, which I hate to say is how I generally feel when not stressed to the max. I'm content in general, though not with the physical state of my body (stiffness and aches everywhere), but work is in a very gentle phase right now, slipping into my queue at regular intervals, a story or two from the magazine to edit each day, first pass pages to give a final read, an hours long video call with the editor of the book I just wrote that's coming out next March, in which we organized the order of images for the 16-page photo insert, some fifty pictures in all, for which I will now have to write captions. None of this brings the crashing anxiety of a blank screen and a whole book to bring into being from scratch, and yet that is when I feel most fully engaged with the work I am privileged to do in this life, most inside my being, not aimless and dull.
As I wait for the hoped-for next project to come online (have faith, my mother would say), I sit in front of the big window in my light filled living room, doing gentle work, thankful for my life, and the people in it, yet dreaming of being at that table on a verandah in the hills of my island home, or visiting that yellow house in whatever corner of the planet it exists, and generally being out in the world, the way my friend who just hiked to Machu Picchu in Peru is, instead of sitting inside my house, living inside my head, waiting for the next rush of contracted terror and adrenaline, and calling it purpose.
So the midterms, they gave me some hope. The 24/7 media had us believing that most of America is made up of would be MAGA insurrectionists when in fact most of America voted in repudiation of facism, and threw down the gauntlet for democracy. Some of the margins were razor thin, it's true, and that's still concerning, but I believe we dodged a bullet, installing governors and secretaries of state in most of the battleground states who will fight for the integrity of our elections, despite gerrymandered maps and continued efforts at voter suppression. I hope this means that fairness and decency will prevail in 2024, and in the meantime, Dems won the Senate, which means they will be able to appoint more judges who might actually care to uphold the rule of law, and that's a much-needed thing.
I ran across a quote that stuck to me back when I was a teenager. "I live in a small house, but I look out on a very big world." It occurs to me now that there are worlds within, and worlds without, and at the moment, I am in limbo between them. But Thanksgiving is around the corner. The first of our houseguests, my cousin from Trinidad, arrived this week. She is as easy to have as a true sister.