This morning I watched Senate MAJORITY leader Chuck Schumer deny Senate MINORITY leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to affirm to spare the filibuster as part of a power-sharing deal, and trust me, it was hot. Like all all of the GOP, McConnell will continue to act like he’s running things until he’s not enabled anymore, and I’m so glad Schumer is such a tough New Yorker. The media–and all of us– need to metabolize the fact that these white supremacist cockocrats have been stripped of power instead of acting like PR people for them. AKA it’s time to stop explaining GOP outrageousness to ourselves or (worse) to them. I mean, if it helps you motivate, by all means. But my sense is deplatforming right-wing nonsense is healthier and more powerful. (The weak showing at the state capitol inauguration “protests” proved that.) We who are invested in a flourishing multiracial democracy and economy must keep our eyes on the prize and keep putting pressure on our elected officials to do the same. In the words of the hallowed sage Liz Lemon: “SHUT’EM DOWN.”
I’ve always carried out my plans, having learned super-early to transform shit into gold. But with respect to Elizabeth Warren, 2020 showed us we make plans, God laughs—and sometimes shit is just shit.
You’re thinking: No shit, Sherlock! But recent financial and physical hardships have taught me I was treating the Universe, Allah, HaShem, the Force, the Flow, the Morphic Field of Resonance, the Divine Feminine—whatever you call God—as Santa Claus. That my faith was contingent on the granting of my wishes—an un-evolved if common approach to spirituality.
The bigger truth is sometimes there’s no payoff to our shit except for the enormous payoff of accepting what is, rather than what we want. And the only agency we really possess is the choice of whether to embrace the divine mystery in its fullest, starkest form. Only then can we open the door to true magic, which is this beautiful thing called life.
So as I reach this milestone age, I admit I am knee-deep in disappointment and regret. But registering this shit allows me to also register the beauty I don’t need to dress up at all. My beautiful permakitten and city and solitude. The beautiful many who have reached out with gelt, gifts, and good advice, company, and wishes—not just today but over the last 50 years. In this morning’s meditation I flashed on my Grandma Alice—a green witch who died a day before my 18th birthday and has protected me ever since. Just then, a green painting flew off my wall.
The point? We each live in a network of care and practical magic even when we can’t sense it, and it supports us even when it can’t stop bad things from happening. So as I transition from puella to space crone—from starry-eyed young woman to middle-aged broad living in the stars–let me say the Stones were right. We don’t always get what we want. But we get what we need. I’m so lucky I get you.
Martin Luther King Jr was a sooth-sayer above all else, and what drove him was love. But a clear-hearted love–empowering, not pandering. He embodied that Dr. Cornel West phrase: “Social justice is what love looks like in public,” and it says everything that he is the only 20th century leader whose birthday became a national holiday. Too, it says everything that even the most craven and evil members of the GOP pay lip service to his legacy (though they do not deserve to utter his name). In his work and in his words, Dr. King shone a light that has never been turned off–no, not even when he was brutally murdered by agents of the same American malignancy that’s boosted Donald Trump. It is the light of a different America–one that values the needs of all who value others’ humanity; one that values equality over entitlement. May we honor that light today and every day–not just in our words but in our daily labor for the first truly multiracial democracy in this country’s sordid history.