America Shaken: Land That I Love & The Compass of Nostalgia

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By: Reed MacMillan

America Shaken 

Shattered. Shaken. Shifting.
Revealed divides
Divided realities
Adjacent, divisible

Salaries. Smokes. Six-packs.
Ephemera of solace
Souls erased
Daily breath and demons

Left. Left-out. No one’s Right.
Middle ground
Now ground zero
To pursue
Happiness in waves

Standing. Stirring. Stepping.
Up together
Two if by land
One if I see
As under
The same flag

Like you, I am not sure where we are headed. Like you, I am struggling to find the bonds and the lifelines that we share as a nation. Our destiny is shared and our honor is at stake. It is no longer about Trump. Like all great entertainers he is continuing to provide weekly if not daily episodes that invoke our rage, our outrage, and our fear. We live in an era of “Edge of Our Seats TV” that has made reality TV a quaint concept. We always knew reality TV was not real. It may have had moments that touched on the real, or occasional real moments, but we always understood that if you put a camera in front of real people, they become a little fake.

So now, we cling to that hope, that our Commander-in-Chief is a little fake. Don’t laugh! We know he is made-up. He scowls to look mean, he lies to keep all eyes on him, he fabricates, prevaricates, and maybe negotiates. I am not sure any of us actually want to know who the real guy is anymore. It is quite possible that it could actually be more terrifying than the fake one.

To those who say “Give him a chance,”  I say, “Let’s talk infrastructure, by damn it!”

Why, oh why, didn’t he just start there? It would have made so much sense. Building is his business, financing these buildings with other folks’ money — his comfort zone. At the end of the day, we have lived through enough Republican administrations to know that they like debt just as much as the Democrats. Reagan, Bush and deficits. Remember? Clinton was the last guy who ran a surplus. Democrat.

Have you found yourself drifting towards thoughts of your past lately? Perhaps, you are in the middle of your daily life, trying to work, to concentrate, to get something done, and instead you pause. In that pause, find yourself a bit terrified, a bit distracted, a bit discombobulated. Bobbing about on a little life-raft of hope and nostalgia, you may wonder if the ideals that mattered yesterday still matter today?

More than ever they do! This mixture of fear and nostalgia is your compass. What is your North Star today? Science? Social justice? Healthcare reform? Living wages for all? Better roads? Disruptive innovation? Artistic expression? Stronger abs? So much work to do and so little time! While you do it, do not forget that we are still in this together. We have to heal our nation and we must stare down the bully!

Forever may she wave!