Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Thinking Hard, Still…an Update

with 6 comments

Folks, I am still pondering, processing, or otherwise have much of my thinking ability engaged elsewhere. I think it still is because of the dual tragedies of the shooting in Buffalo at the supermarket by a white supremacist, and the bizarre awfulness that went into the Uvalde, TX, school shooting and its aftermath. (I will never understand what the Uvalde police thought they were doing there. Never.)

That said, I have a bit of an update.

I have written twenty-three bars of music, and I added 800 words to “Keisha’s Vow.” (I am now up to approximately 50K words, which is half of a standard novel for me, or maybe 2/3 of a short novel.) So I am being at least slightly creative, which makes me feel a bit better.

The other thought I had this week was this: We can’t live in fear all our lives. (Hey, I didn’t say it was an original thought, as many have had this thought before.)

None of us know the future.

This is perhaps our saving grace, as well as a source of immense frustration. We don’t know how our actions will change the future; we don’t know if they’ll change anything at all. (Who said “most lives are full of quiet desperation?” Henry David Thoreau, though I’m paraphrasing it.)

Still, we live. We all have to find our own purpose or reason for living. (As Lois McMaster Bujold’s character Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan says, “Find your own meaning, because the universe surely isn’t going to supply it.” Best paraphrase from LMB’s book BARRAYAR.)

I also know that nearly everyone at any time has thought their time was the worst era to live in. The Regency Era had the French Revolution. The dawn of the USA had the US Revolution (needed and necessary to become independent). Then in the 1860s we had the Civil War (or the unCivil War, if you’d rather). In all cases, young men were dying (and a few young women, as there have always been some women fighters and nurses). In all cases, families were forever transformed.

So, this time to live — where we’ve seen wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Ukraine, where the 1970s had “stagflation” and drivers who could only fill up on alternate days depending on the last digit of their car’s license plate, and the 1980s had “greed is good,” and the 1990s had rampant unemployment, and the 2000s had the Great Recession and even more unemployment — maybe is nothing new, compared to previous eras.

Maybe every time to live is equally dangerous.

What I do know is, we have more education now than the Regency Era had. We have more information available now to the vast majority of people than at any time prior to the advent of the personal computer. We have instantaneous communication, which is good; we have lots and lots of folks who seem to enjoy being rude and obnoxious on the internet, which isn’t.

So, there’s no excuse for ignorance anymore. Maybe there never was.

Still. There’s a type of person who’d rather remain ignorant, who’d rather believe that his garbage doesn’t stink, who’d rather believe he (or she) is unique, precious, and everyone else is lower than dirt and deserves nothing at all.

I work against that type of person. And I hope you do, too.

Anyway, I’ll keep doing what I can to create. (You do the same, eh?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 16, 2022 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Taking time to think through the state of the world is necessary but rough to do. I hope you continue to move forward and share your thoughts.

    Kayelle Allen

    June 17, 2022 at 7:16 am

  2. I am glad to read you are creating music and writing Barb. Sometimes creating in a positive and uplifting way is the best thing any of us can do.
    Sadly, there never has been a truly good time, we have to measure eras by degrees. This one is particularly testing, but folk from The Third World would simply say to us ‘Welcome. We call this Any day,’


    June 17, 2022 at 11:25 am

    • At one point, the US wanted to be that “shining city on a hill” for the world.

      Now, it’s more like we’ve got “keep out!” signs instead. And considering our falling birthrate, that seems weird…at best.

      Barb Caffrey

      June 17, 2022 at 7:46 pm

      • It’s sad Barb, yet each nation seems to face this decline in its cycles.


        June 18, 2022 at 2:19 am

      • I still hope there is a way for us to arrest the decline.

        This is one reason I wanted Hillary for my POTUS in 2008. I saw her, then and now, as Diocletian. I worked for her in ’16, but the reason I wanted so desperately to have Hillary in ’08 is that Obama, with 8 more years of experience in DC, would’ve been a far better POTUS and Hillary was ready for the gig. It took Obama a couple of years to fully figure out what he could and could not do as a President, which gave Mitch McConnell and other Rs time to undermine Obama. Hillary would’ve been a much tougher customer to deal with than Obama had she been the D nominee — and it really was a dead heat between she and Obama — rather than Obama.

        That said, I worked even harder for Hillary in ’16 because I felt Donald Trump was a dangerous man and temperamentally unsuited to the job of POTUS. He did a lot of stuff while President that most Presidents would not; Trump also did a few things, here and there, that I agreed with (such as fast-tracking the vaccines, and working with Congress to get stimulus payments out during the worst of the first year of Covid).

        The main danger of Trump was that someone who wasn’t so off-putting in outward aspect would see this, temper himself (as it will be another man, most likely, who tries this again; women, I hope, are too sensible), and then get elected to fully dismantle the US all the while being genteel about his autocratic impulses.

        I did not sign up for anything like that, as an American citizen. I believe in the rule of law. I do not think one person should run everything, nor do I think that one person should have so much power that he, she, or they cannot be stopped.

        The Josh Hawleys and the Ron DeSantises of this world have fewer rough edges and perhaps a bit more charm than Trump. (I don’t like the whole “Own the Libs” thing. Personal preference, I guess.) They’ve now seen how an autocratic leader can rise to power in the US.

        This scares me witless.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 18, 2022 at 7:03 am

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