Photo: Steven Mosborg

Photo: Steven Mosborg

Outside my window this morning, dense fog obscured my view of the lake and furred the edges of the buildings and trees. The word that popped into my mind was Nebel, the German word for fog. The world outside reflected the way I’ve been feeling lately. Foggy mind. I know that when I’m like this, it’s not a good idea to work on fiction, or any project that demands concentration. Better to dream.

Photo: Steven Mosborg

Photo: Steven Mosborg

Then I stumbled on this blog post from Drew McManus at Adaptistration in my e-mail: “Monday Inspiration.”  I hadn’t realized that this fogginess was a result of feeling threatened by the recent political events in America. Drew called attention to a letter written 9 months ago by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock about carrying on as artists in the face of horror.  The entire letter is here.  It’s not a step by step process to overcome my foggy mind, but it’s given my mind some things to begin to wrestle and wrangle.

  • First, Awaken To Your Humanity
  • Embrace And Conquer The Road Less Traveled
  • Welcome The Unknown
  • Understand The True Nature Of Obstacles
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Interact With Those Who Are Different From You
  • Strive To Create Agenda-Free Dialogue
  • Be Wary Of Ego
  • Work Towards A Business Without Borders
  • Appreciate The Generation That Walked Before You
  • Lastly, We Hope That You Live In A State Of Constant Wonder

Fear often makes my mind foggy. Art’s sun burns it away. Action burns it away, too. In light of the election results, I’m beginning to think that it’s important for all artists, but especially writers, to make certain that the GOP majority government does not take steps (that they’ve threatened to take) to deprive this country of the arts. They don’t get that they don’t get it.  The big question is: are they open to learning?

It’s important for everyone, not only artists, to be vocal about what they don’t agree with in the coming months. Contact all your Congresspeople, not just the ones you agree with. Contact the Congressional leadership to make your wishes known. They need to hear and recognize and respect the voices of dissent in this country. The president-elect has already demonstrated that he has no self-control and will take to Twitter over the most ridiculous of issues. We need to start a petition or something for Twitter to deactivate his account for the duration of his presidency or something.  The Dallas News published a commentary by Timothy Snyder about what you can do to stop tyranny.

My fears about this election being the beginning of the oppression and loss of freedom at the hands of the wealthy elite that occurs in Perceval’s Secret is playing out as I feared. The future is now here. How will you respond?


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