timing

This morning, on our way to school, we drove past a three-car accident, exactly where I make a left turn every weekday morning. Nobody was seriously injured, but the three cars looked to each have several thousand dollars’ worth of damage. Fire trucks and police had not arrived yet.

The accident had happened maybe two minutes prior, or about the amount of extra time the kids and I took getting ready to leave this morning, as our daughter changed out of jeans and into leggings at the last minute, much to my consternation.

On Friday, as a volunteer colleague of mine and I were walking out of our little office and heading home, after spending several hours working on a project, I said, “This is amazing. We’re done. That was too easy. Something’s going to blow up in our face.”

Not thirty seconds later, we ran into a staff member who was pointing out exactly that: a “something” that blew up in our collective face.

I feel compelled to tread lightly. I feel like I’m about a minute ahead of something really good or about a minute behind something really bad. I keep trying to find patterns, aware of the eeriness of timing and coincidences.  I’m waiting and watching, as if I can actually see “it” coming, whatever “it” is.

***

The kids and I watched “Return of the Jedi” yesterday. Our daughter was fidgety throughout the movie, while our son sat nearly motionless, transfixed. She asked questions relentlessly, about why characters were doing what they were doing, how the characters would fare in the future, what various events meant with respect to other events… He was just watching the action, absorbing fully all plot developments.

I asked if they liked the movie.

He said, “Yeah! I’m not scared one bit.”

She said, “I like it, but… I’m not scared, or worried… it’s, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain.”

“Suspense,” I offered. “I think you’re feeling suspense. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and you want to know. You feel like you might know, that you could guess, but you have to wait to find out. It’s fun, but not really.”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “That’s what it is. Not-fun fun.”

***

I think I can stand about 31 more days of treading lightly, of having not-fun fun. I know I can.

“I know a change gonna come.”

I took a quiz today — learned about it thanks to a political facebook post, of all things. According to the results, I side most with Dr. Jill Stein of The Green Party (92%) and second most (91%) with President Barack Obama (Democrat). And thanks to a woman unafraid of self-promotion, I read this. (I should note, I went to the same high school as the author, Colleen Becker.)

[Stein’s] most vexing challenge is convincing progressives who agree with her message and support her platform to vote for a Green Party candidate. Stein describes how voters compromise their values and interests by choosing ‘the lesser evil’ — in their fear to stand up for themselves, they manifest their worst nightmares…
Practicing what she calls “political medicine,” Stein encourages her natural allies to heal themselves from a “sadomasochistic relationship to corporate politics” by acknowledging their agency…
Binarism afflicts American politics, and voters too often perceive the race between Democrats and Republicans as the battle of Good versus Evil. Seeing beyond the two-party structure is as difficult as imagining an economic model outside the Capitalist-Socialist dichotomy, yet neither duality adequately contends with current economic and political crises.

If my political views align with leaders of two parties, and I vote for the incumbent, would Dr. Stein suggest that I’m at best, a sell-out, and at worst, afraid? Both could be true. Mostly though, I think I’m a pragmatist, not a revolutionist. It troubles me, to think that a candidate who represents much of what I believe, might give me, a potential supporter, so little credit.

Maybe I’m overly sensitive. Maybe Dr. Stein simply expects more of me, a well-informed voter.

I’m just focused on making sure the Affordable Care Act isn’t repealed and Medicare isn’t transformed into a “premium support” plan.

I see the forest for the trees, I really do. But a few of those trees are on fire, and they’re near my family’s home.