The topic of this blog has to do with the matter of whether one lives in a red or blue state, especially since it seems a matter of crucial interest (to put it mildly) to heads of the Federal Government, namely Donald Trump, as here I include Mitch McConnell as head of the Senate, as we know there are others.
Now, just moments after I listened to my hero of the moment, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, give what I experienced as a patriotic address emphasizing that no state or person is red or blue alone but rather, red, white and blue, as in the American flag and as in “American”. Afterwards I heard very briefly Trump’s iteration of the evil of Democrats and Democratic states, and therefor of the House of Representatives as being “blue” as opposed to the Senate as red.
As a secular but very Jewish New York Jew, I have a strong connection to Passover. In our home for over 30 years we did an alternative Seder with up to 50 people at our table. We always included a transposed story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, the Four Questions, some Jewish jokes because humor is what also tied my friend Roseanne and me to our Jewish identity.
The Exodus story was the beginning. The theme shifted from and to, topics of freedom and enslavement, such as the Holocaust, enslavement of other peoples, and inner enslavement and freedom as well. A key purpose of the holiday is the obligation to feel what it was like to be slaves so we can appreciate our freedom. In our alternative Seder, our purpose was a little different. We didn’t see ourselves or the world at large as free but rather, at our best, in the process of becoming free. Freedom meant more than outer declarations, and it was not at all smug; you might say we felt the humility of the journeys we were embarking on or needed to…
In my lifetime we have never before seen such a need for belief systems that are pliable and flexible in the face of new knowledge. In the time of Coronavirus, here in Colorado, in the Western world and in other countries we used to think we had little in common with, we are suffering a global pandemic and its ensuing panic, in part from a systemic lack of preparation and an inability to shift our beliefs in the face of disaster.
Nobody believed it could happen here. Too many people believed it could not. Some people believed it was a lie and a conspiracy. In spite of brilliant minds–such as Bill Gates in 2015, speaking to the world about the dangers of a pandemic to come–people believed it could not happen, that it was just an interesting expose of a possible future problem, a passing conversation among intellectuals that didn’t affect policy makers or the rest of us. Evidence and wisdom didn’t matter, these people would not enter the closed doors of believing it was all impossible.
About 22 years ago, when my son was in high school, he wrote a history paper about Abraham Lincoln…
Dated the evening of March 12, with the knowledge that things are changing rapidly, objectively and subjectively as well)
“There are no cases of coronavirus in Fort Collins, Colorado. Or at least that is what I thought before I spoke to my son who promptly guided me to consider things differently. He told me that there were definitely cases of coronavirus in Fort Collins, but that we just didn’t know about them yet. He said if there are cases in Denver there are cases in Fort Collins, a mere hour from Denver.
My drama began when I left the gym where I do a water class and a friend called saying the worst place to go is gyms because of the machines. I felt I was in the clear but then I realized that even if chlorine kills so many germs the person to person contact level is still great…
(Dated the evening of March 12, with the knowledge that things are changing rapidly, objectively and subjectively as well)
There are no cases of coronavirus in Fort Collins, Colorado. Or at least that is what I thought before I spoke to my son who promptly helped me to consider things differently. He told me that there were definitely cases of coronavirus in Fort Collins, but that we just didn’t know about them yet. He said if there are cases in Denver there are cases in Fort Collins, a mere hour from Denver.
Yesterday interrupted by states of sadness and even opposition to the term “elderly”; it got me centered with awareness that I simply and not, hadn’t received, taken in, or understood. I hadn’t “gotten” some of the key concepts surrounding the coronavirus and I suspect I’m not alone here.