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I am determined to find some happiness within the craziness that our world is throwing at us. I should say that a certain group of people in a white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC are spitting out on a daily if not hourly basis. I know that it is not healthy and certainly not productive to take all of this garbage into my heart. It immobilizes me and makes me good for nothing. And if I’m good for nothing, how am I helping in my little way to resist and counter this ugliness? No, I had to find a way out. My sister, Peg, said she just watched old movies to escape from the mad house. She also has sweet grand babies that she can go hug and that would certainly take your mind off this stuff — except when you started worrying about what kind of world they were going to be left with.

I tried just not listening to the news or reading the newspaper or even talking about it, but how does that help anything? My friend, Pixel, said at brunch last week, that by not reading or hearing about it, I was doing exactly what those creeps wanted me to. I protested that that was not true. I was just preserving my sanity so I could do something. He didn’t buy my argument at all. But then, he’s Canadian and, while still disturbed by the lies and the un-democratic bent of this administration, he does have more of a distance from it than I — athough that 49th Parallel is awfully close to Toronto.

But, after our talk, I did decide to let the news in. At first, I only listened to Rachel Maddow Show and Samantha Bee because they wade through the lies in a way that I can understand and appreciate. Later this week, I let the hourly news stay on when I was listening to CBC, although, I admit, that every time Dt was speaking I started to hum. I used to do that when Ronald Reagan was president. I was living in DC at the time, and for all his term as President, I never heard him speak, not once, even though he was living just down the hill from me. This modification of information input — that sounds very technical, eh — has helped. I’m still getting information but not letting myself get overwhelmed by the negativity of it all. The sadness that that negativity brings is another matter altogether.

I needed to step back every once in a while and put my head and my heart in a different environment than hanging out here with the cats. (They didn’t hear that.) So, I started saying, “Yes,” when folks asked me to do things. This was not easy. I know that sounds absurd but I was like my sister who just hunkered down and watched those movies. I didn’t want to subject anyone else to my sad, depressed person. So I’d say, “Sorry — like a good Canadian — I can’t go tonight.” But, my friends persisted. J has been calling me weekly and saying, “Ann, why not meet me for dinner tonight.” It was always at a great place in the neighbourhood that wouldn’t involve transportation or even dressing up. But I’d always say, “No, I don’t want to go out.” But she just kept calling until finally, last week, I said, “Sure, I’ll meet you at the Cider Bar at 6?” I heard a gasp of surprise from her end and felt the same way at my end. Last night, I said yes to going to see a documentary, Kedi, about the cats of Istanbul. It was total joy. And, right now, I have to get ready to go hear The Magic Flute at the Opera House with Margaret.

I read something this week about Michael Moore saying that in the resistance, as in music class, you have to remember to take a breath and then start playing your instrument again so that someone else can take a breath. This “yes,” is my breath taking.