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Sonoma County Gazette
Senior Momentum by Zoe Tummillo

A View From A Safe Place...

Jul 26, 2019
by Zoë Tummillo, Communications Concepts


At times, it feels like sight impaired.   It’s not that I actually can’t see.   It’s that sometimes I just can’t believe my eyes, and it becomes more about searching for a truth inside of what’s presented to my eyes.  Double talk?  (Well, I trust you’ll catch my meaning.) 

Seeing clearly has become so much more vital  — and that clarity is linked to the filter game I now must more carefully implement while watching the news and listening to the political static.  (You know the one I mean: True or False?)  In my safe and peaceful place in a forest full of innocent wildlife, it seems like some foreign tableau moving across my TV or iPhone screen!    It’s not.  It’s my country, my government, my news...

I couldn’t hear the roar of the military vehicles, thumping across our civilian DC byways on the 4th,  and I couldn’t smell the exhaust or hear the roar of planes.  (The view from a safe place tends to soften reality...)  But, I did see a phony soldier who tries to play war games with real tyrants, by default, by emulation, out of a pampered schoolboy’s fantasy.   Good grief, it’s bad enough that flagrant racism, sexism, and ten other isms pour out of the mouths of radicals newly empowered by the Top Dog.   But, now, “fact check “ is practically a mandatory, legitimate, new segment of daily broadcasts.   The results are astounding.

I so agree with Bob Woodward, when he cautioned about the huge danger “...when lying is partnered with secrecy, and we must pursue the best obtainable version of the truth!”  And, we must remember critical history.   Have we somehow forgotten that among first indicators of a tyrant who desires takeover are the silencing of a free press and manipulation of the military?

It is so tempting to endlessly list grievances — so much of it is deja vu all over again.  I don’t want that stuff in my safe place.  I don’t like that cold feeling that creeps up my spine as I listen and watch travesty after travesty.   I am a realist — I probably won’t be around, in the ten or fifteen years it will likely take to right the wrongs.  (Parts of me will; we leave our consequences to our children!)   In the meantime, I have to wrestle with the phenomenon, have the “conversations,” and look for actionable answers that are practical for my limitations.

There are other views from my safe place, views that help to counterbalance the ugliness in this political climate.  There is my garden for healing, mountain views for perspective and the forest that can make you feel small and help you get over yourself when you think you have all the answers... 

My fellow political junkies and I are noticing a huge sea change.  We are more sober about these political challenges; and our cynical sarcasm has a tremble at its edges. The joviality is gone!  Intensity borders on a nagging fear.  You want to hang on to faith and hope that everything will be fine, eventually.  The next election will fix everything!  Or, we can impeach.  Or, Congressional oversight will reel in out-of-control behavior. Supporters of the outrageous will come to their senses and see all this for what it really is!   (Good luck with that last one...)

From my safe place, I try to remember the virtues of patience and compromise and I try to be less judgmental.   But, the softened view one can have from their safe place, can easily become complacency, forgetting that not acting where action is needed becomes complicity.





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