Can the Center Hold?

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats, from ‘The Second Coming’


I am tired. Weary to death and yet I can’t not get up. I can’t not keep trying to speak, to work, to march, to live into my conviction that the ideas this nation is based on are redemptive and worth fighting for. Ideas that continue to expand: freedom, justice, equality, and  the rule of law and rather than the rule of ‘men’.

I would tell Mr. Yeats that the best of do not lack conviction but, for myself, I am grieving innocence drowned. The belief that our system of ideas pushes us away from demagoguery, hatred, and self-serving as the basis for our actions and toward our better selves. But the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and we must fight to come up for air.

Early on we said to one another, “We can’t normalize this.” Little did we know that the onslaught of things outside our imaginings have become more normal by merit of the volume of expressions of ‘the worst of us.’ It is daily, sometimes hourly. And friends and neighbors who are lulled into the normalization of Trump and his ilk can’t understand the urgency many of us feel. Others have climbed out of their pits and descended on us with the ‘passionate intensity,’ of their self-righteous hatred glorified in fiery rallies designed to show their ascendency.

Can the center hold? Will who-we-can-be as a nation prevail over who we-must-not-be? Ordinary people have become numbed to the insanity and I fear for our ability to extricate ourselves.

I am tired. I can imagine that many, many are tired. And it is okay to be weary. Rather tired than numb. Rather weary and righteous than well-rested and complicit. Rest now, if you need to. The center must hold.


One thought on “Can the Center Hold?

  1. I never imagined that I would cringe at the very sight of a president of our country. I do. Even when I get a flash of one of his minions I feel some very earthy comments rise in my throat. I have ceased all social media contact for fear of losing my normality. I do not wish to bring the left more to the right nor the right more to the left. I wish to step away from them both and walk with those who refuse to be drawn to the side…those who seek to take our country back to the moderate, fair and honest days, not of the past, but of the real and the now. We must regain our potential for all that was the beacon to the rest of the world.
    I am tired…but have so little time left on this side of the dirt or until I become ash and fly with the wind…and I will die in MY CENTERED UNITED STATES.

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