As we move through this first week of a new year and await the results of the pivotal senate races in Georgia and Trump’s last-ditch coup attempt, I’m reminded that even when change feels too slow—or nonexistent!—it’s unfolding as it should.
In fact, change is the only true constant, and what we’re doing is impactful even when we feel isolated, ill, ineffective—thoroughly thoroughly irritated. All we ever have to do is our best, and sometimes all our best entails is breathing in, breathing out. As my teacher, the wonderful beat writer Hettie Jones, used to say: “Are you breathing, are you lucky enough?”
Sometimes breathing is miracle enough.
I don’t think I’d be feeling so sanguine if I hadn’t stumbled upon this exchange after I posted yesterday. Sanguine is actually a terrible pun, for it’s from Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch’s wondrous 2014 meditation on science, art, and time masquerading as a vampire film, of all things. In it, Tilda Swinton counsels depressive spouse Tom Hiddleston, who’s considering offing himself after centuries of ennui:
How can you have lived for so long and still not get it? This self-obsession is a waste of living. It could be spent surviving things, appreciating nature, nurturing kindness and friendship, and dancing.