Whatever Happens Next (Individuation)
Story behind the song:
A day before the election - as I confronted the reality of a possible Trump presidency, I found myself overwhelmed by the anxiety of my apocalyptic dialouge. I needed to respond to that dialouge in some way. Whatever Happens Next (Individuation) was my response.
Now that the results are in, I think this is a huge wake up call to progressives in the United States that they are the minority and most of their fellow Americans still live in a world that no longer exists. A world of nostalgia, perhaps, even if that world is something that does not look good to anyone outside their bubble.
I remember talking to Protestant kids in Belfast who thought the Catholics had hooves and horns. It's that kind of bubble. And maybe expanding that bubble so that is in enforced is what it means to Make America Great Again.
My first thought when I heard the news "what good can come from this?"
I asked genuinely, and in doing so, replaced the apocalyptic fear dialouge with something new and less debilitating. This is the most brilliant gift I could have received from writing Whatever Happens Next (Individuation).
A Taoist proverb well illustrates the importance of maintaining composure during these situations and the importance of choosing to respond instead of react when transition is happening.
There was an old farmer who had labored many years. One day his horse ran away, and - upon hearing the news, he was visited by his neighbors. "How terrible that this has befallen you," they exclaimed.
"I do not know if this is a good or bad thing," the farmer replied.
The next day the horse returned with three wild horses. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors visited again. "How wonderful this has happened," to which the farmer replied, "I do not know if this is a good or bad thing."
A few days later, his son tried to ride one of the wild horses and fell from the horse. He broke his leg and was unable to help his father in the fields. Upon hearing the news his neighbors, again, visited the old farmer and repeated their original refrain, ""How terrible that this has befallen you," to which the farmer, again replied, "I do not know if this is a good or bad thing." The next day, military officials visited the village to draft young men. Upon seeing the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they passed him by
Telling myself a lot of worse case scenario stories will only lead to living on assumptions and making decisions based on those assumptions. Trump was not my ideal choice, though - to be fair, neither was Hillary.
All I can do is keep on being the best possible me I can be. This is all I control. As for what good may come from this, potentially the end of a two party system where people cast their vote - not for the candidate they believe in, but against the candidate they dislike most; in which actual issues are ignored for verbal sparing and television ratings trump social responsibility.
The system needs a reset., Maybe this is it.
"It was in this moment, lying in bed at night, that I first realized that the voice in my head-the running commentary that had dominated my field of consciousness since I could remember, was kind of an asshole." ~ Dan Harris
“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story.” Homer,