The head is buzzing with manifestos.
Buzzing with threads. With dangling threads, pieces, trails, threads that make a sweater or a blanket or a complete something-- a whole-- but are so damn hard to smooth down, to follow through, to weave together in that right way, that manageable way.
"Thompson, tell me what you think," said my Executive Director, arguing with the judge who was sitting just to my left, all of us around a table at a local Chamber annual dinner. And I didn't. At first I didn't because what I think about it isn't quite what most people think about it and it's hard to put that into the kinds of sentences that carry in a crowded room, over talk about vacations and kids in college, over the tap and flow of coffee cups being refilled, the clink of sounds at the bar.
But then I did.
"Tell me what you think... is there a chance? Is there a hope? What do we do to make it right?"
And so I said "nothing we do is going to make it alright" and I said "the reality is, people don't care and they're not going to care" and I said some other things, things that made sense, and I could see the surprise on his face, on other faces, because there are people who think I'm the optimist, the True Believer.
"But we try anyway," I added. And that was the most important part.
And then on the drive home, listening to Gracer, navigating those dark, wet back roads, in this trance, in a sort of quiet rhythm, I wished I'd said other things. I'd wished I'd the time to say the rest. Wished more than that that I'd had the words.
Came home, pulled dozens of books off the shelves, through them in a piles on my desk. Walden and The Seven Storey Mountain and Ishmael. Peter Singer and Rob Bell and Vonnegut. I tried to remember the words of old songs, and the gist of old articles-- Rolling Stone, Harper's, The New Yorker. I tried to remember old posts, things I'd written, the way I'd put it on those occasions when I'd put some very small part of it right.
And since then, my mind has been buzzing with manifestos, the way to say it, the links, the pieces, the threads, the seemingly separate but somehow connected truths of it all.