I did clean before I left so I would return to freshness, but it still is odd to come back to a house that isn't moving and shaking with next steps, food needing to be made, items needing to be organized, schedules aligned, and rooms to be cleaned. The space is simply vast and hollow.
That's when it hits me. The cicadas have arrived. School is heading its freight train back into this direction and the summer is over. The crazy Crandall chaos of summer has come to an end. Now it is time to leave the love and joy of the work I do and to return to the academic side to make a case for it scholastically. I'd rather make phenomena than study it, but while in Rome, I need to be Roman.
I couldn't help but stop, however, and get one more Wegman's sub to bring to the kid at his job in Solvay or to snap a photo of him at his booth with his name. I love that he has a name plate, is in a tie, and that his supervisors came over to meet me to say how much they enjoy working with him. I gave him a handshake and headed out, knowing (1) that he's a worker, (2) that he's lucky to have a solid summer job to learn more about the finance field, and (3) he is safe and happy. The third is most important, though, especially as he finishes a rigorous summer course and ties a bow on his own summer. I just wish I had more one on one time to talk and catch up. We communicate silently - we just know that a strong work ethic is what it takes and that a belief in the American fortunes need to be celebrated and appreciated, not scolded or scoffed.
I downloaded a few podcasts from a wide variety of sources for the ride home and listened to a few stories on immigration: the mythologies, the fear, and the absolute hate that made my skin crawl (I guess this is research, too...to hear and listen to the stories that are opposite of what I experience each and every day in Connecticut). I try to stay away from politics, unless it is directly tied to education - and right now, it is the worst it has ever been - but the interviews with people across the U.S. in relation to immigration and the wackiness of a fake news society made me very anxious in the car. I wanted to punch a hole through my windshield.
It's one thing to be ignorant. That's normal and okay. But if the ignorance continues over and over again, then you move into stupidity territory. The only thing I could think about on my drive home is that everyone should be encouraged to use their local libraries and take advantage of the free library cards they give out. Rather than fill their hearts with hatred, bias, and irrationality, I want to encourage them to read more, to have more conversations with people who don't look and think like them, to initiate more dialogue with the world, and to question their news sources more so that people don't react out of fear , but with the rationality . Of course, story after story after story, I realized the internet has created a society of fabricated information and absolute hysteria. It's astonishing. It's horrifying. It's real.
And that's where we are as a society.
In the meantime, I will look at this photo above and know what is possible through love and support. I see what can be accomplished when the American dream is trusted and democracy is upheld. I will go to my grave in support of love over hate and spite. Hate and spite cripples people.
I can't change that, but I can do my best to live by example. It's a constant battle to have hope in human beings and to have absolute disgust. Hearing the wrath on my way home while listening to stories made my stomach turn. I thought, too, it might have caused Glamis's uneasiness because she did not settle the entire ride (as if she was listening to the reports I downloaded).
Okay, Tuesday. Be kind to me. It's hunkering time and back to the grind.