John Clark with a split column today. Covid…Invective…Constant bombardment from everyone wanting your loyalty and your money. Welcome to 2022. I’ve been off social media for all but a very few instances for more than a year. I’ve survived the Covid imposed social isolation quite well, writing more than I have in ages. Even so, I have and doubt I’m alone, a sense of overarching fatigue to a point where I want a mental Calgon bath some days.
However, someone has to participate if we want to keep this clumsy beast known as democracy going. I don’t regret running for the legislature in 2018, but never again. There are many ways you and I can be part of what makes this country work. Whether you’re democrat, republican, libertarian, green, or independent, you can do something, and I don’t mean writing checks, although I encourage you to support your local candidates by going to the Maine Clean Election site and contributing to candidates who are running a publicly funded (no dark money, no big contributions) campaign. It made a huge difference when I ran in 2018. https://www.maine.gov/ethics/candidates/maine-clean-election-act/Qualifying-Contributions
This election cycle, I’m doing two things. I’m a delegate representing Waterville at the state democratic convention in May, and I’ve signed up to be a ballot clerk. I’m thrilled to say our younger daughter, Lisa will also be a delegate representing the town of Poland. Soooo, what are you doing to keep democracy running these days?
Lisa and Sam
Remember the ten story beginnings I used in my January post? I had every intention of turning several of them into short stories. I even had most of the one about disappearing blueberry rakers composed in my head. Well you know how things like that go. Instead, the one below jumped out and in short order told me it wasn’t no stinkin’ short story, it was a book, that since the first week of March has grown to 39,000 words and has quite an involved plot. That plot involves an alternate universe, a small surviving cluster of green humans who don’t wear clothing, a race of light avoiding aliens with no morals, and a lost weapon capable of wiping out the bad guy’s planet. I’m having great fun discovering what comes next as I write.
Who kicks their kid out during the worst blizzard in a decade, I wondered, but already knew the answer as I staggered along the edge of Route 27, leaning into a twenty-plus mile an hour wind spitting flesh-biting ice particles. My parents were religious zealots and I’d made the mistake of yawning during grace at the dinner table. It wasn’t my first sin, but in their eyes it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So here I was staggering along, hastily thrown together backpack bumping with every step while getting closer to frostbite with each step.
I never heard the snowplow coming up behind me and I doubted the driver even knew I was there, but the impact of flying snow, coupled with the steel plow, shot me up and over the guardrail.
When I came to, I hurt too much to notice anything else. As the pain subsided a bit I realized how hot it was, and muttered the first thing that came to mind. “Well, Dorothy, I guess neither of us is in Kansas any more.”
Then a melodic voice responded, “Who’s Dorothy?”