Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Aging with and without grace

I just re-read some of my old posts. God, I used to be a much better writer. I guess you could say I usually write better out of a place of angst, and these days, I don't know if it's angst or inertia or malaise.

When I was younger, I burned hotter, with the fiery zeal of an evangelical. These days, I think I see more grey in everything. In my hair, in the cracks between the sidewalks, in between the fissures of my heart. Forgive me, but I have lost the martyr's passion and gained the bittersweet wisdom of age. The wisdom that says, "Yes, volunteering to be cannon fodder is sexy, but so is staying in bed and sleeping for once." The same jaded voice that says, "Innocence once gone, never regained."

I can't look at what is so cynically, and yet calculatingly called "the professional left" without throwing up a little. Because that label is at once searingly true and blindingly false. There are enough people jostling around who are paid organizers who should have hung up their shoes a long time ago cos they checked out and they;re never going to come back in from the cold.

There are also all these people who I don't understand. The hacks who make and break campaigns. The ones who eat the cash they're paid without caring much for the issues. The "do as you're told" ones. I don't understand how they think. I've never taken a job where someone told me how to think and actually parroted those phrases back. I've also been questioning, even in my faith. I've been privileged to be a believer, and damned to be a believer, and well, I guess there remains a deep reservoir of idealism in this old, greying mare.

It makes me angry when people who should be better are not. It makes me angry when my friends sell out their beliefs, even if those don't dovetail with mine. Jesus Christ, all that I want is for the people I love to live brilliantly. And yet everyday I see more friends just making the motions. With the exception of one friend who gave up on it all and took a hermit's life, I just don't know. We're aging, the lines growing deeper. The lives growing greyer?

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