Many in the Northeast agree that the foliage this autumn has been spectacular. The vivid colors, frequently set off by a background bright blue sky, have been dazzling. I’ve reveled in nature’s garishness, spending as much time as possible outdoors, but underneath my joy there’s been a consistent competing emotion – a sense of foreboding.
It almost feels as if this incredible fall display is the last moment of bright, natural beauty we’ll have in this world.
Why do I say this? Politics.
I never imagined living in a country where…
- rights are given to individuals, and then taken away.
- the obligation to allowing gun ownership is greater than that of ensuring students a safe educational environment.
- a lack of civility prevents conversation, much less collaboration, between opposing political parties.
- there isn’t a plan being offered by a party, just the erasure of any plans implemented by the other party.
- truth is a debatable concept.
As Election Day drew closer, sleep moved beyond my grasp. There are actual moments when I feel as if we’re literally witnessing the death spiral of Democracy. Escape, for me, comes in the form of West Wing episodes, exercise and wine.
It’s honestly awful.
The reality of this incredibly fractured country has prompted me to consider an escape – and yesterday in NYC I applied for a German passport that I hope to have in my possession in early 2023. An EU passport opens up a lot of doors for my next chapter and I’m really grateful to have options for the future. I am starting to get excited by the thought of living, and potentially working a side hustle, abroad.
Until then, there are books – and I just read a really good one.
All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown is the perfect book to read when it feels like the
world country is falling apart. Set in a not distant future after a pandemic has ravaged the world’s population, this sweet love story offers hope tempered by the harsh reality of a country that lost millions of people yet managed to retain its obsession with guns, the “rightness” of white supremacy and homophobia.
Wouldn’t that just be the American way?
The main characters, Jamison (Jamie) and Andrew, meet when Andrew, after an encounter with a bear trap, limps onto Jamie’s property seeking shelter to recover from his injuries. Initially fearful of each other, the young men grow to trust and rely upon one another. They take to the road to escape the threat presented by an organized group of survivors and are tested by circumstances, along with other remaining people, which cause them to respond to threats in ways neither had ever before imagined.
Between insomnia and excitement, I couldn’t put this book down. You may call it escapism, but I think I just prefer to live in a post-pandemic dystopian world based in literature rather than in reality.