Three bead bracelets on my wrist

(I used my newly revised Photos to Tinderbox script to post this image I just took with my iPhone.)

Some ideas seem to take a very long time to come together.

Mitzi and I were in Scottsdale, Arizona in March 2022 and we were doing some window shopping when she spotted a photo of someone who looked familiar in the window of one of the shops. She asked me if I recognized the man with his arm around a woman who appeared to be the proprietor. I told Mitzi, "That's the Boss!" and walked right in.

We were met by the woman in the photo and I asked her, "What did Bruce buy?"

And thus we became acquainted with Beverly and Brian Moore, proprietors of Earthen Rare. We had a very nice conversation for some time. I learned Bruce bought Desert Prayer, which is the one closest to my hand. The middle one is called Born to Run, which was inspired by his visit, and the third one is just a bead bracelet because I thought I needed three.

I recall a blip that appeared briefly on my radar when she mentioned how much she loved Springsteen, but qualified it by adding, "I don't always agree with everything he's saying," or words to that effect. And we went on talking.

They asked if I'd write them a Google review, and I said of course.

So when we got back to our hotel, I googled them and discovered that they were Trump supporters. Pretty strong Trump supporters. So I was trying to reconcile the impressions I'd formed in their shop where they were a very charming and creative couple, and the photographic evidence of their strong support for Trump.

I promised them a favorable review, so I wrote one and consciously tried to ensure that what I'd just learned didn't dampen my praise for our experience in the shop.

That experience of cognitive dissonance was to remain with me to this day. While we were flying home, masked, during a time when masks were divisive because they were mandatory, I kept reflecting on this feeling that I liked these people, but I didn't like people who supported Trump.

The thought that came to mind during that reflection was from War Games: "The only way to win is not to play the game."

It seemed to me that there were powerful entities, politicians and corporations, who work hard to divide us, because they can exploit that conflict for their own benefit. Who does it serve? It certainly doesn't serve us.

But I still get angry when I hear Trump supporters, and I don't like that feeling. And I live in a place that is almost Trump central. So I avoid people I don't know and don't talk about politics unless I do and I know they're on "my side." It's not a great way to live.

I often think of Beverly and Brian and wonder how many wonderful people I don't get to know because I'm afraid they're Trump supporters.

A couple of weeks ago, Mitzi and I went to a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Don't ask.) baseball game, as part of a group outing for communications professionals, Mitzi being the professional. She ran into an old friend and colleague she hadn't seen in a long time and spent time catching up with her, while I talked with her husband.

He was wearing a bead bracelet, and it made me think of Beverly and Brian. And I didn't know him at all, so I tried to steer around politics. But he was in police work and in Jacksonville policing is political, so it kind of came up and it was interesting. I still can't say for sure where he is on the political spectrum, but he didn't react viscerally to some of the tentative points I offered, and we went on to talk a little bit about local politics. And I found it somewhat illuminating, so I was glad we had the conversation.

But seeing his bracelet reminded me of mine, which have sat in a box since we got back from Arizona, save for one evening when I wore them because I'd spent quite a lot of money on them. And I thought to myself that I ought to dig them out and wear them now and then. Because they look cool, if nothing else.

I left Twitter because I was tired of what I was becoming. Angry all the time. I have learned that Mastodon can replicate that experience, and I can continue to make myself angry there, without the benefit of the local social connections I'd made on Twitter.

Le sigh.

I saw something recently about the radical faith of Fred Rogers, or something to that effect. I'd made a mental note to look for it and read it, because there may be a clue there for me. The video I posted the other day, about dying, made me think about all this anger and whether or how it served me.

The "still small voice" is nagging at me, and my inner voice is arguing with it. And I haven't quite figured out how that's going to all work out yet.

Anyway, last night we went to an event over in Jacksonville Beach, and it occurred to me that I should have worn my beads! Because they're cool.

And then it occurred to me that they could serve me. That if I met someone who was a right-winger (50% chance on your best day in Florida, 75% chance here in St Johns County.), and they said something that aroused a feeling of anger, the beads could remind me of Beverly and Brian. And I could recall that feelings pass. And that there's nothing wrong with having feelings. It's acting on them that gets us in trouble.

When we got home from the event, we finished watching Ford vs. Ferrari, and I did some digging into the biography of Leo Beebe, because I noticed I was having very negative feelings about a real person who existed, who may not have been the person depicted in the film. It turns out, he probably wasn't. But the filmmakers chose to make his character personify the worst characteristics of corporate culture.

And that's what I was thinking about this morning on my walk, which made me think about having all these feelings, and remember Beverly and Brian and my beads and something to blog about.

Everybody's out on the run tonight

But there's no place left to hide

Together Wendy we can live with the sadness

I'll love you with all the madness in my soul

Oh someday girl, I don't know when

We're gonna get to that place

Where we really want to go, and we'll walk in the sun

But 'til then, tramps like us

Baby we were born to run

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 08:29 Saturday, 15 July 2023