Or maybe, having voted, many of us are caught outside, hoping for a lull or a wave we can ride back to shore, to safety, to… no, I really don’t want to twist the metaphor any farther; it’s six-thirty am on November 3rd, the news choices available on my computer offer the usual chaotic mix of rhetoric and propaganda and conspiracy and probabilities and opinions from Civil War to a sudden outbreak of peace and goodwill, a vision of bonfires with s’mores and laughter and acoustic guitar music contrasted with images of heavily armed civilians with three flags on every pickup truck; screaming, yelling, chanting. a pirated version of “Highway to Hell” playing in the background.
Dystopia, utopia; too early to tell. Good luck to all of US.
BUT, WAIT, to pivot back to the hyper-stressed metaphor; if you’re paddling out on a day you dared yourself to surf, and you do get turned back by seven wave sets, taking each one on the head, and the rip has already moved you many yards down the beach, you do have the option of taking one in, riding the soup, maybe hitting a little reform on the inside.
AND THEN THERE’S the scenario where there’s a channel, and you do get out. Every surfer has had the experience where you scratch like crazy, just barely get over one wave, and then there’s another, bigger, farther out. And then another; and, eventually, you’re out there past the break, quite possibly alone, afraid to go for a smaller wave because more waves are hitting the horizon.
EVENTUALLY you will have to make a choice. TAKE A MOMENT, think about how you have handled the situation.
WAIT, I just, probably because I did take a moment, thought of another scenario: You’ve just been thrashed on a ride and you’re doing the ‘back on the horse’ thing, a revenge wave; just one. This means you didn’t take the thrashing, head for the beach; another choice.
ANOTHER CHOICE: You get to the beach, to the edge of the water, and you see that it’s something you just don’t want to participate in. Too big, too out of control, too dangerous. Do you do the walk of shame; back to the parking area completely dry, or do you go for a couple of those reforms, get wet?
I HAVE, in my lifetime of going into the ocean, made choices; I’ve gone for the outside outside bomb, I’ve given up on making it out and ridden the soup in, I’ve caught a revenge wave, I’ve been turned away by lifeguards from waves I was not prepared for physically or mentally (and I was grateful for their intervention); if I say I have a fear of waves, it’s because I’ve been held down, been wiped out, been dragged across rocks, been hit by my own or other people’s boards, inhaled water rather than air, been caught in riptides, had to swim in in rough conditions; I know what waves are capable of.
SO, TODAY, let us hope that all Americans have respect for democracy, for the institution of voting without fear or intimidation, of one vote for each of us, for every vote getting counted, because every vote counts.
If you didn’t vote, please enjoy your walk of shame, and please do not participate in any post-session discussion without acknowledging your failure to even step into the (metaphor beaten to an unrecognizable state) water.