It's sure been a week. I'm perched up here in Alberta, Canada, disappointed that the Keystone XL Pipeline is probably going to be built, another pipeline to disrupt First Nations and Native American land, and likely result in more oil spills. I’m also disappointed that an unfathomable quantity of funding is being redirected from international health organizations because of an executive order from thePresident of the United States, who refuses to let any of his government’s funding go to any organizations which endorse or facilitate the access to safe abortion worldwide. I’m afraid since new broke that Steve Bannon, aide to the president, former head of Breitbart, the most hateful website I’ve ever visited, has been appointed to the National Security Council of the USA. I’m enraged that since I started writing this paragraph, a racist and illegal ban on those who are allowed to enter the United States has been enacted, leaving many people trapped and afraid in airports, or deported back to their home countries. Even after courts ruled the order illegal, it continued to be enforced. As of this writing, it still continues.
Local politicians have been tweeting in support of refugees and of people displaced by these events, and despite not offering any solutions to provide material support for those affected, the comments have been hailed in the news as proof of their decency and kindness. A veneer of decency and kindness means very little without commensurate action. This week, and presumably many weeks after must be dedicated to the task of ensuring these empowered figures find ways to follow through with supporting those who are victims of the racist nationalism which is hoisting itself with a most ugly confidence, unopposed in any useful way, and gleefully smashing through any platitudes of criticism thrown at it. We have phones, we have computers, and we have pens. We must make it clear to those who command the resources of the state that they must operate ethically, or we will prevent them from operating at all.
As I was about to post this, news showed up that a mosque in Quebec City was attacked by at least three persons with guns. They showed up during evening prayer. Five among the worshippers are dead. Fellow residents of Canada, we live very close to the United States of America. We are neighbours, we are a part of the same community as them. What they do we are involved with and vice versa. We are not outside, we are beside. We must do more to ensure the safety of refugees, Muslims, Middle-easterners, people of colour, and victims of state violence of all kinds. Whatever pride sustains you depends upon it. If you find your imagination lacking, let me know and I can help.
Sundays are good days to cut down your to-do list. You think of how many tasks you can really manage to accomplish today. Maybe you manage only one task. The day won't be a waste. You screw up your eyes (an idiom you always thought was strange until you noticed yourself doing it, lacking sleep, trying to push through anxiety) and open them anew on your list. You realize what you need to do wasn’t even on there. What a useless list! With peace and passion you address yourself to the task at hand.
Below is a poem. Consider passing it on to someone who might enjoy it. As always, I’m here if you need to chat. Sunday Poems continues to be supported by a few generous backers over on Patreon. If you have an extra dollar or two a month and you appreciate reading these, please consider becoming a Patreon backer, so that I can dedicate more time to writing on this blog. Have a good week, everybody. You can do it.
you average out