Four Years On, What Trouble We Have Wrought

I set up my constellation flag today with a heavy heart. Four years ago I pedaled throughout this country and found strength in the goodness of the people I met. Tonight, city after city I visited tremble with protests, mostly peaceful, each pounding a valid stake against institutions supported by our government that systematically oppress our fellow citizens for the color of their skin.

I have strived to retain reason and balance through the election of a tyrannical President, the elevation of an abuser to our highest court, the approval of one incompetent sycophant after another by our deplorable Senate. I have struggled to plough fertile rows of truth from the impossibly high pile of lies and corruption. I have remained engaged in my hospital and food banks to counter a pandemic that has endangered as many lives from calculated chaos as from respiratory contagion. All under the naïve assumption that if good people continue to do good work, good will prevail.

But tonight I am worn down. By the assholes I encounter every day who refuse to wear masks, the creeps who violate our social distance, the science-deniers who proclaim their individual freedoms, mistaking inconvenience as oppression.

Tonight I am defeated. Exhausted for the people who are truly oppressed, forced to take to the streets at this most dangerous time to shout: ENOUGH! It is time for this to stop. It is time to treat all people, regardless of their skin color or national origin, as equals. It is time for us white folk to stand aside, share the wealth, share the power.

I am the most patriotic person I know. I love this country so much, I served my nation not in war, but in peace, as a VISTA volunteer. I took the time to explore and document it at a depth few ever will. But tonight I am in tears that the nation I love is so morally bankrupt. I reach out to my community, real and virtual, to help me find the strength and support to carry on. To rebuild our democracy, to recapture the noble ideals of a nation that has strayed so far from its purpose.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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11 Responses to Four Years On, What Trouble We Have Wrought

  1. yogibattle says:

    It’s always darkest before the dawn Paul. The cracks in the dam are starting in this horrible regime. Corn Hitler got ousted in IA and the first Black Mayor of Ferguson, MO elected yesterday. Today Mattis finally unleashed his thoughts. Get a good night’s sleep if you can. Glad to see you blogging again.

    Like

  2. Claire says:

    Paul, we are rebuilding. Now is the time for creatives and dreamers to envision a post-consumer world. Some people are being radicalized by the current tensions. We need to stay at middle C, so they’ll know how to find us when they are ready for progress.

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  3. paulefallon says:

    Thank you for your support.

    Like

  4. Stew Feldstein says:

    Hi Paul, I am a 92 year old veteran who did serve in wartime. I agree with some of your vitriol but respectfully disagree with some of it. Your words about Trump are not fair. Has he done stupid things. Yes Did Obama due stupid things .Yes (n Sending cash to Iran),( Bowing to the Saudi King) and much more. Never forget the anti-semetic rantings of his spirit advisor. Did Clinton do stupid thinds? Yes ( Monica Lewinsky) The looting of the Clinton Foundation. At least Trump has stopped our giving into the Russians and Chinese. I think Hillary would have been a terrible President. Do you really think that what Kavanaugh was accused of , and not convicted of as very young man then what Clinton did to disgrace the oval office . Sometimes it does well to think out what you want to say before committing it to paper or email. Thanks Hope you are well.

    On Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 6:10 PM How Will We Live Tomorrow? wrote:

    > paulefallon posted: ” I set up my constellation flag today with a heavy > heart. Four years ago I pedaled throughout this country and found strength > in the goodness of the people I met. Tonight, city after city I visited > tremble with protests, mostly peaceful, each pounding ” >

    Like

    • paulefallon says:

      Stew – Thanks for reading and replying but I will stick by my words. I have striven to maintain a balanced view of President Trump but simply can no longer do it. The man is a horrible human being whose self-serving actions and rhetoric is destroying our nation, far worse than any President.

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  5. Docey Lewis says:

    Dear Paul,

    It is good to hear from you, but how different things are four years on, as you point out. You have articulated what so many of us feel, even Republicans. General Mattis and George Will have spoken out along with so many others. There simply must be a turning of the tide at the ballot box. I listen to podcasts while I walk the Wabash River trails in New Harmony, and hear a great stirring among many leaders, intellectuals, and artists. I am optimistic. It’s just getting from here to there won’t be easy.

    I miss the voices of the New Harmony Project this spring. All group activities in New Harmony have been postponed. The Inn and Red G Restaurant (and pool) are still closed. Much of Main Street is quiet, but people are visiting the gardens and parks in droves. While they pay little attention to social distancing, and to our frustration, go maskless, they drink in the beauty and peace of our small corner of the world. Primates are a restless species with short memories.

    To remind you of New Harmony, you might enjoy visiting the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation’s new web site. It was my volunteer contribution earlier this year. https://robertleeblafferfoundation.org/ If you happen to see the bit about Exxon Mobil in our foundation’s history, know that we are on a path of divestiture, but we have to do it in stages. We were once 100% Exxon Mobil dependent for our income. Now it is at 40% and shrinking.

    Meanwhile, our workshops in Nepal have shrunk from 200 employees to 10. Weavers worldwide are hanging by a thread. My dreams are populated by unemployed artisans.

    Stay well and keep writing and sharing.

    Best,

    Docey

    Docey Lewis Designs 303 Main Street POB 6 New Harmony, IN 47631 T: 812-682-3868 C: 812-270-0606 E: doceyDLD@gmail.com http://www.designbank505.com/

    >

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    • paulefallon says:

      Docey – So wonderful to hear from you. I went to the Blaffer Foundation website and sure enough, I felt calm come over me as I revisited scenes of New Harmony. It is such a remarkable place. This was the first blog post I created in almost a year. It has been a catharsis and also brought me back in touch with so many incredible people. Never quite felt the need for others so strongly as I have recently. I am motivated to keep writing and exploring, though most of that will be through my ongoing blog, http://www.theawkwardpose.com. I look forward to returning to New Harmony some day – one of my favorite places in our land.

      Like

  6. Betsey says:

    Paul❣️
    Heartfelt message from one of the most caring, magical, kind people I have ever met. Do not give up hope except for an instant here and there. Your voice is important to every one it reaches. We live in isolation here in Westport Point. So many have so much to deal with in these horrific times…your hope and any one else’s do make a difference. Deep breath to fill your lungs with courage to move forward. No one can do more than humanly possible. Please take care of your soul. We need you.🎈
    Betsey

    Like

    • paulefallon says:

      Thank you Betsey. I have so many blessings I don’t often feel the need to reach out. But here I did and I am grateful to you and everyone who responded with such kindness and inspiration. I look forwad to a time when Westport is less isolated, and I can return for a visit.

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  7. David Gibson says:

    The nation is in trouble. A person at the helm who does not understand the term “serve” and who aims to divide. Unfortunately he is remarkably good at polarizing individuals. But his inability to even understand empathy may take him down.

    The nation has faced hard times before. I pray that we can again recover. Even if that is so it will take time and there will be deep scars.

    David

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  8. paulefallon says:

    Thanks David. Always good to hear from you. Hope that you and your family are all well during this period of upheaval.

    Like

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