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The Storm's Mixed Metaphors

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I’m on vacation until Tuesday, ushering in the grim ascent of winter from the dismal preceding month—pace turkey lovers and veterans. My consolation is that the solstice will occur soon and the darkness recede in what I call the optimistic months of the year, though autumn has its moments.

I’ve been so saturated with landscape for so many years in Bucks County that I don’t even miss it in DC, though I’ve taken a few nostalgic turns through the county since I’ve been here, marveling at its quaintness, elegance, and historicity but not missing the frequent floods and the damage they’ve wrought on a building where my condo was located in the attic.

It was dreamy to live on the river and absorb the Monet-esque waterscape for so long. Some Yardleyans are so addicted to it that they’ve raised their homes up on a story of cement to avoid flood damage and totally slummed the riverside scenery—the place looks quasi-military now—north of where I lived.

But on to the dreary present. We’re also bordering on spring beyond that. Let winter be a bridge and a metaphor, a blanket over our dreams that we can lift.

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I’ve had more time to read this week than usual. The Mumbai bombings occurred the day after I arrived. It hurt to see those mutilated icons—“twin” hotels on the water so reminiscent of the 9/11 twin towers, only older and smaller, though no less beloved. The event did not occur in isolation—more deadly violence has maimed India in the last decade.

But this time, since Pakistanis were involved, war between India and Pakistan, traditional foes ever battling over Kashmir, may be imminent. Add to that Taliban advance into Afghanistan, the American WMD hurled in response, more European troops asked to join in, the al Qaeda training camps recruiting new youth like flies to just about anything organic—and you get a nightmare landscape that might just eclipse the suffering in the Middle East over other and far less territory.

As if one form of suffering could eclipse another. One is more far-reaching than another, involving far more souls, involving our souls from afar as we struggle to keep roofs over our heads and food in our mouths, not to mention adequate healthcare, our own perfect storm that looms over the entire world.

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It is December in the world, in both hemispheres, above and below the Equator. A huge tidal wave looms and we are like the figures on Keats’s Grecian urn only negative—paralyzed in the face of this wave.

Suddenly even Exxon Mobil stock is tumbling. I passed a closed Exxon station in the vicinity and was amazed. The Getty and Gulf stations at the same cloverleaf are still alive, advertising low prices that amaze us.

The festivals of light will be like the rays of sun that shine through to the fishing boat crew at the end of the film (The Perfect Storm) before the tidal wave breaks over them.

Shall it break over us?

 Or shall we rewrite the end of that film? I wondered about that as I watched it at the end of a recent week in DC that was my own perfect storm. I was exhausted as that film rehearsed the past days significantly. I knew where I was. Miraculously on the other side of that wave. I had tuned into that film at random, needing a mindless escape.

Some escape.

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The metaphor lurks around me now. The issues suffocate. Obama offers us a rewrite of the film.

Obama is some sort of storm helicopter, some life raft, some hope, though the press is already clamping down, the progressive press with a new quarry even as it attempts to impeach the gargantuan first estate.

Even as those five brave Republicans rescued Clinton from impeachment, promising to continue the rape after the new regime was selected, so I wonder how soon those werewolves will become history as they are poised to pardon themselves and regroup to construct a more remote renaissance, to labor ruthlessly.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
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