Seriously, you have to figure out a way to tune this stuff out once in awhile. In my case, I took up woodworking.
I know; that’s a hobby you’d expect of any aging retiree, even without an alarming political climate. But it was a pretty big step for me. Prior to last November, I’d never built a damned thing. Now, three months after Trump’s election, I’ve put together a headboard, a bookshelf with cupboards, a coffee table and a big sideboard/buffet for the kitchen. Oh, and quite a few charming bookends.
It hasn’t been a path to instant serenity. I’m still about as good a woodworker as Trump is a president. But it is helping me cope with the day-to-day outrages perpetrated by this absurd man and his minions. When you’re trying to align drawers in a cabinet that is somehow not fully square, it tends to take your mind off national concerns. And the tedium of applying multiple coats of varnish to a project is about as close to zen as this cowboy will ever get. Apparently, you have to wait for each coat to dry. There’s really no way to speed up the process.
But I’m still a writer, more or less, and sometimes the metaphors arrive unbidden. For example, my garage floor is not remotely level. I soon learned that a lunar surface is not optimal for precise construction. So it is with Trump: his floor meanders this way and that, and anything built on it is going to look like a child’s drawing of that thing.
Same with the lumber. I try to select the straightest of boards, but I’ve had a couple develop little twists or bends after I’ve gotten them home. Trump again: When you start with warped wood, nothing straight can ever be made from it. If you try, you’ll end up taking it apart at great inconvenience.
OK, maybe I’m still too preoccupied with the shit-gibbon from Queens. But the woodworking has helped. One thing about it: every mistake you make, you learn from it. Maybe America will too.