I haven’t been writing. Instead I’ve been traveling, most recently to Sarasota, Florida where I gave some talks in honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act which will turn 30 this summer. My guide dog “Caitlyn” made lots of friends. I made lots of friends. But writing didn’t happen. Instead I worried and woke early in my hotel and let the tidal dread of the twenty first century wash over me. As the late, great poet James Tate once put it: “And the Cokes were far far away.”
There was nothing to do but lie there and fear the Coronavirus, grieve for caged children, weep for our dying planet, fear gun nuts, sorrow for Elizabeth Warren, feel the bug eyed astonishment of life in an un-American time when “no can do” has replaced our nation’s ethos of getting things done. This is the age of lead. See Flint, Michigan.
Eventually one gets up. If you’ve a guide dog you have to. You feed her, take her outside. Drift through the hotel lobby with its canned music—a string version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” a song that survives but which, given its anarchist lyrics, the majority of Americans can’t possibly agree with. But they’ll hum along. Americans will hum along with anything.
This week I’m scheduled to fly to New York City. I’m going to keep traveling until I’m told not to by Andrew Cuomo or the ghost of Banquo.
So where’s the confession? Like you I suspect yes yes I’m fighting to believe in “can do” which means, well everything noble.