Day whatever of quarantine. Right? What day of the week is it? What time of day? Untethered and cast out of any semblance of our comfortable (?) lives and routines. Forced into closer, much closer, proximity to others with whom we're related by blood and marriage. Forced to define or redefine what it means to love someone dear to you. Who are these people anyway?
It's the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Here in Sisters quail are roaming the back yard and a gentle rain falls.
I found and saved the above "Fuck Trump" image (not mine) a few weeks back because it spoke to me. I figured there might come a time when I could use it for something. Maybe I'd just pull it up on occasion as a form of catharsis. Regardless, it's also a great metaphor for these times.
It speaks loudly of "leadership" that regularly attempts to quell reasoned dissent. By firing, belittling, name calling, dissembling. And lying. So much lying. This administration gives new meaning to incompetence. They are showing us what it means for all of us when government has been dismantled to the point of ineffectiveness when we need it most.
But we are also learning there are fellow citizens, specifically dear leader's white evangelical base, those who have those sincerely held beliefs about what they think the Bible says, who think dear leader is God's answer to their prayers. They believe they are winning and they make up approximately 25% of all voters. Let that one sink in for a moment.
For them, the lesson seems to be Supreme Court justices, laws against abortion and the economy (see also the perverse notion of the prosperity gospel) are more important than competence, morality, character, and the common good once were.
How has COVID-19 and the fact government was woefully unprepared for the economic disaster that has ensued changed any this? Will the white evangelical cult remain loyal? The vote in November will tell us whether the remainder of us are now motivated to change the madness of the past 4 years. It may tell us whether we've also had enough of crony capitalism.
According to my calculations, we've been in residence with our hosts, the Reverends, Christy and Jack Erskine, since April 2nd. I liken living here with the Christy and Jack to the MTV show "The Real World," except the participants are all retired and lack the energy, or inclination, for drama. Cast together in unlikely circumstances, strangers seek solace and friendship during a pandemic.
Melanie and I live in the Erskine's downstairs space. We have everything we need, including a separate entrance so we don't necessarily disturb our hosts with our comings and goings. Not that we're moving about all that much. Melanie has set up an office space downstairs facing out towards the Cascade Mountains. And the Erskine's chicken coop. We have the use of one of the Erskine's vehicles.
We generally gather in the evenings for socializing and dinner upstairs. Meals are prepared with the participation of us all. I've mainly been the one (mostly) going out to market, occasionally making my way into Bend for items not available in Sisters, population about 2000. Costco in Bend finally had toilet paper yesterday. 😎
Dinner conversations are wide-ranging. Like us, the Erskine's are campers (their camper tag is REVED UP) and are widely traveled. We share a love of politics and the Erskines are politically active. Currently, they are working with Common Purpose Now which seeks to mobilize voters, now in the time of COVID-19.
We've been watching a series of lectures given by David Domke, professor in the Department of Communications on leave from the University of Washington in Seattle. The lectures are enlightening and we've had great conversation around them.
The Erskine's home is just outside Sisters and near the Deschuttes National Forest. We've all been able to get outside for exercise. Christy and Jack walk most mornings, Melanie and I have gotten out on our bicycles.
We continue to be grateful for our hosts generosity and the love they've shown us during this time of quarantine. Happy Earth Day, y'all.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35
Steven and Melanie