Tag Archives: president

On depression, the risk of hope, the covid vaccine, and the blessed sweetness of chickadees


So, the electoral college seems to have spoken, but Mr. Sore Loser is still sulking in the White House and spewing hatred, firing anyone who dares to not be visibly supportive. People call him ‘unprecedented’ but I think we have seen this sort of behaviour elsewhere in other autocratic dictatorships. Sulkiness in North Korea, for example, or Russia…At least he hasn’t (yet) taken to poisoning the opposition – but he could be accused of inspiring attacks.

So it STILL seems like we are trapped in suspended animation, until after the Georgia elections, until after the inauguration…until the orange terror is contained and his whole family are in jail. I still can’t sleep and I don’t even live in the US!

Meanwhile, here in Canada, we watch Covid still streaming live across all formats, people getting restless after months of seclusion and having to hang out with (or without) their families, and the vaccine is waved like a flag of triumph though distribution will likely take more months. You can feel the breeze of hope, though – a slight freshness in the stale at home air, a crispness in the nostrils that hasn’t been there for such a long time.

Unfortunately, the doubters will use this as an excuse to go wander freely everywhere, coughing and spitting and doing all the things disgusting humans do…(Is anyone else grateful for the months of spit-free sidewalks? And why do men DO that? Do they ooze secretions? But I digress.) So despite that fluttering flag, there’s a whole lot more dying to go through still. Hard to be optimistic, with the combo of distribution inequalities and challenges and disgruntled humans. Sometimes I wonder why we were given ‘free will’ (a nebulous concept if you ever have a good look at it). Perhaps the gods like a good laugh.

I just participated in a survey about depression and Covid and after answering the many questions about sleep and initiative and joy (all in short supply), the interviewer asked if there was anything I could add about the situation. I had to add Trump. I suspect the entire world is still chewing through their fingernails about him. Covid seems small in comparison with the degradation of democracy, despite the huge and growing human cost.

even the dogs are stressed…

In amongst all the sturm und drang (bless you, Wikipedia, and I did donate and remind everyone else to send them a wee penny), it’s hard to maintain that feeling of hope, that thing with feathers.

Until you can watch the real things with feathers. There’s something miraculous about tiny fluffy birds surviving the winters here. I had a chickadee sit on my hand the other day (while investigating the seeds I was holding) and it let me touch its wee skinny cold leg. I wanted to cup it in my hand and warm it, as the boy did in the story by Helen Humphreys (The Frozen Thames – a glorious book and so worth reading). Of course, I’d end up giving it a heart attack from fear, so instead I just willed my hand to radiate heat upward and poured more seeds into it.

If only I could offer a warm perch to all creatures, human or not. At least until the chill that was 2020 dissipates…

I still believe in Santa


pollyanna-5I read recently of a idea for parents where, when your child is starting to wonder about “things”, you take them out for a special time all by themselves and tell them Santa is about giving and now that they were grown up enough, they could be part of the giving, be a part of Santa. Then help them pick out a present for someone  (a neighbour or a sibling’s friend or whatever) and help them give it to that person.

I like the idea. I wish I’d thought of it. Somehow my kids have all figured out that the joy is in the giving, not necessarily the receiving (years of lame presents (socks, underwear) help this learning), but we didn’t have a tradition about it.

And I’m still wearing the blame for lying to them about Santa and the Easter Bunny and tooth fairies and so forth.

images-2I’m not hugely religious anymore – more spiritual, I’d say, with weird blobs of belief in various directions. But somehow (though it’s getting harder these days), I’ve always believed in the innate goodness of people, that somewhere in the depths of the most ignorant reprobate (#realDonaldTrump) there is a tiny flickering candle of goodness or kindness or hope.

I feel like a Pollyanna when I say it, but I can’t help but cling to that belief. Otherwise, where would we be?

Well, probably right where we are now…(sigh), but I have hope still that people will figure out a way to do good, to help each other, to choose the unselfish route. To favour giving over receiving.

Like Santa.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this giving more times than I can count, and I feel so fortunate to have friends around who care about me. It’s lovely. I try to pass on their goodness to others, to share it around. I’m not always good at it, but it’s one of those things I am always trying.

So I know we’re all overspent and overfed and all that, but maybe we could take time to give to someone else, someone we don’t know, that cold guy out on the street, the food banks, the shelters. I’d give for Syria, but I have honestly no idea who to trust to be the giver for me. I’ll be making my donation to Feed Nova Scotia. They share the goodness all over the province, and I know they’ll be low after providing Christmas meals to everyone.

obama-food-line1

As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one!”, or as I prefer, “We help each other, every one!”

Happy Christmas and Merry Hanukkah and Blessed New Year (with no mistakes in it, as Anne of Green Gables would say)! Let’s channel our internal Pollyannas and dig in for the oncoming trials.

Being hopeful doesn’t mean you have to give up fighting for others…