'what comes after idealism'

Because countries are not people, it’s tricky to translate whatever “loving one’s country” means—it’s quite abstract—into the language of heartbreak. It sounds melodramatic. What can heartbreak mean as a civic matter? And yet it is what I feel.

Lili Loofbourow, 'The America We Thought We Knew is Gone.' Slate, 6/28/2018.

I’m beginning to understand what it means to live with an idealism conjoined with despair, with cynicism. It means you work despite futility. You go to a protest, shout alongside strangers, and come home to read the terrible news. You plot out your new series of mystery novels while dying in a hospital bed. It’s easy, I see now, to write five lines of condemnation. We do it on Twitter every day. It’s harder to live absurdly, as my grandmother did, to drag the folding table down to Greenwich Village to collect signatures on petitions that will most certainly not remove US death squads from El Salvador, to water the ivy even though one day it, too, will die. We fail and fail. We stand abashed. We are doing something wrong. But look how beautiful we are, as we keep sweeping the darkness back each night, to allow one more day to arrive.

From a beautiful, beautiful piece by Heather Abel in The Paris Review.

(It's a minor crime to try and pull a quote out to represent the whole from either of these pieces, but I did it anyway, because they helped me this week, and maybe they will help you.)


Tomorrow, we march. If you need a sign: Everlane shared this and Phoebe Wahl created this. Both are free.

I am so grateful to the brands and artists and humans who have spoken up against family separation these past weeks; I've been saddened at the silence of others I have followed and admired for years. If ever there was a time for speaking up, this is it. But maybe seeing things as they are, seeing people as they are—not as we'd wish them to be—is what will make real change possible.