Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Day of Giving

The last few years the Martin Luther King holiday was designated as a day to give back.  In Seattle the schools were encouraged to have students work on site that day or volunteer as it accomplished said goal and in turn receive credit for a graduation requirement that includes civic volunteerism.   So many Schools opened to enable and allow kids to do just that, provide meals and a well staffed secure place to meet that obligation.

Here in Nashville I have no clue.  The week prior I ended up ill with a combo flu/cold/bronchitis and when the snowmaggedon took place on Friday I was firmly ensconced in my home working on recovery.   After several days in forced isolation getting outside to clean the sidewalk access to my home, mailbox and garbage was worth the cold and hacking cough to just be able to do anything other than sit.  Funny I choose isolation as a coping strategy living here but when it is forced upon you you become desperate for any human contact so even managing the bus to the Y was worth it.  We had a break on MLK day and I walked through the park and managed coffee at my favorite Barista Parlor to laugh and at least get out of the house.  Round two began on Tuesday with more snow and cold that literally froze the city.

My neighbors did nothing.  I managed again with rock salt I bought at the Store on Monday and a broom to once again clean the street access and looked at car after car piled with snow that froze overnight making removal near impossible.  Had they simply swept it off, started the car removed any ice they would find their vehicles operational and easily accessible. But then again none even swept their doors.  The level of ignorance here amazes me on a daily basis and being stuck inside listening endlessly to coverage over what amounted to 2-3 inches of snow and freezing temps hysteria becomes after awhile mind numbing in a whole other way.  But again this is the South and two things lacking are weather awareness and well awareness.

Then came the Trump physical and the reality that watching one's diet, exercise and attaining proper rest and stress management is a waste of time as you can be in perfect health both mentally and physically despite it and despite a history of Alcoholism, Alzheimer's, Suicide seems interesting that he is genetically superior. So hand me the butter and Vodka, mama need to Netflix and chill.

But other than watching Amazon Prime and Netflix for days on end (which has an appeal for about a day then no) I went to social media for that social thing.  Endless tweeting by everyone, including the President confirmed my worst that few people do anything but rile themselves up tweeting to no one about the same things Trump tweets about only in reverse.  It is exhausting to follow and frankly after a vent what is the point?  There are books to be read, drawings to be made, art to view or shows to binge that for a few hours talking endlessly about the negative issues that dominate the media and dialogue can be put on hold.

I even threw out my beloved New York Times only reading the front page and the Arts section as what I am learning that is absolutely of import that cannot wait?

I cannot wait to get to the Y to run on the treadmill and watch Property Brothers or Fixer Upper and be brain numb.  I look forward to walking even in the numbing cold to catch the bus and just chill literally and figuratively for a couple of hours and sit in a coffee bar and watch people bundle and walk briskly on their daily activities.   Here in Nashville I have little to nothing in common with anyone here.  I don't do Church and I don't do stupid.  The obsession here is with money and God and the rest is filler that apparently distracts one from money and God.  I joined a Downtown Library Meetup group that never met despite a Library that has endless activities from movies, to yoga/mediation, to book clubs and concerts that when a woman offered to organize she asked for help.  I said there is no need just post the calendar ask members is there anything here you want to do together, post the time, sign up info and in turn meet in the lobby or the adjacent Provence coffee shop prior and go from there.   There was much discussing about parking as they clearly had never even been to said library which offers 1.5 hours free validated parking for visitors.  The stamp is right there on the checkout desk and you do it yourself even if you are in the library for two minutes it is still free.   Needless to say I will never meet up any of these people as if this is there knowledge about the library we have little in common.

So what did you on the Day of Giving? Give them hell?  At some point you have to ask yourself what is positive in your life.  I go out of my way to find said positivity in a place I find myself on a daily basis scratching my head about the reality here.  Yesterday a student I am sure I have encountered from the high school down the street was killed on Monday with a bullet to the head.  There is rage here that undercuts the surface, the endless violence and aggression that dominates the news here.  A woman was killed during a carjacking on Monday as well by what they believe was a juvenile.  Every day brings another death or shooting.  It is endless here.  That is the true ugliness in this city the racial and economic divide that all the towers and cranes cannot hide.  The South overall is finally reaching economic parity that has eluded it for decades and thanks to crushing unions, creating right to work laws, offering immense tax breaks and in turn turning a blind eye about affirmative action, under funding education or creating fake mirrors to hide the reality of segregation (via charters, magnet schools) the true power elite can secure financial success for their own goals and aspirations for their own kind.  The 1% here are truly riding the wave that when it finally  crashes to shore ignores the bodies in the wake.   Swimming in the deep red sea is rough waters and they are deep and if you are not a strong swimmer you will drown. 

So what did you do on the day of giving again?  I have convinced myself that I consider my work in the Public Schools volunteer work with a per Diem and given my shut in status of late even that is something I look forward to.   Again I have to reconcile my own personal dismay but it gets easier when you utterly disconnect and don't speak to the children.  Try not talking for a day and just see how that works out.  Silence is golden maybe that is a gift worth giving.

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