The weather today is overcast but cool, which after the past month or so is actually a relief. As I do most mornings when I'm home, I started the day with a stroll through the garden, where I checked in on the plants. Some of them were laughing about the angry queen/"look at all these countries I used to own" meme that materialized out of last night's opening ceremonies.
Some of them didn't even know that the Olympics had started. And some didn't even know what the Olympics are.
The garden always offers a very diverse array of perspectives, in other words. Meanwhile, the drops of water were busy trying to figure out what to do next.
They seemed to be everywhere, and there was no denying their beauty, but they also seemed a bit aimless and distracted, lacking the purpose of the storm that had brought them here in the first place. I was reminded of non-heterosexuals in the current era, when after the first and second-wave storms of Stonewall and AIDS there seems to be a fractured quality to our collective third-wave existence. Should we be protesting idiotic corporations? Should we be making art? (Should this art be "gay"?) Should we be resisting absorption into the restrictive mores of mainstream, heteronormative culture? Thirty or forty years ago, to be openly gay seemed to offer an identity in opposition to something massive and belligerent but relatively obvious, namely those who wanted to deny our right to exist (or who wanted to kill us), whereas now to be gay seems to just scratch the surface of something bigger but amorphous, something arguably even more frightening or dangerous than homophobia or inequality under the law. To be gay is less inherently political than it used to be, meaning that it doesn't automatically confer the status of an outsider, that in fact, you might be very openly gay and a big part of the problem, undefined as it is. I'm not just thinking of Log Cabin Republicans, either, but of the hordes of mostly young gays I see (both IRL and online) who seem to be very angry (and with good reason), but oddly oblivious to their anger, as if they are possessed by demons they have yet to identify, let alone understand. I don't envy them.
Every generation needs to define itself. Mine was raised on fear and political anger that has now left us exhausted, unwilling to do much more than to sit on the edge of these trembling leaves of existence and take in as much (or as little) of the world as possible.
As always, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
Or maybe I'm just imagining this unrest, this sense of being pushed over a steep cliff and tumbling into a very different and dangerous unknown.