"We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for instability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an after-thought, as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk." - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. That's how the story begins: in what used to be a gymnasium.
I just re-ordered the book because I gave my copy away to someone and haven't been able to track it down. Earlier today, my best friend and I were talking about the book and the Hulu TV show for maybe close to an hour. It's so easy to get swept up into our conversations, especially when we're talking about something that is so deeply rooted in us. I leant her my copy of The Handmaid's Tale years ago. She called me when she finished it, so upset by how it ended. Don't worry, I won't spoil it here for you if you haven't read it. But I'm looking forward to reading it again, myself. It'll be refreshing to go back to a story that resonated so much with me in college, as if I'm returning to one of my favorite professors. It feels safe almost, to return to a dystopian world that is familiar to me. I know how it ends. I know how it goes. Unlike the world in which we live in today.
It seems that everyday there is a new story alerting us of some catastrophe in D.C. Some new thing that the president and his team of minions hid from us, lied to us about, or manipulated to get the outcome they wanted. And yes, it's hard to keep track of it all. A newsletter I just came across and recommend is What The Fuck Just Happened Today? - a good recap of what's going on, because it's so hard to keep track of everything, isn't it?
The talent for instability is something I'm still learning. I'm a very structured person and crave stability in my life. With a new job within the past couple months, my life has felt anything but stable as I learn how to juggle various work loads, fundraising initiatives, writing deadlines, etc. all while trying to stay aware and alert of what's happening in the world. I feel bad because I have gotten used to the headlines and sigh when I see them, no longer muttering to myself "this is not normal." It's become a pattern and I'm writing this out to remind myself to get used to the instability of it all, to embrace the changes and the uncertainties, to go with the flow no matter how big of a current it might be. No matter what, I must be prepared to dive in head first and adjust to the water as it moves around me.