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Pull Up a Chair…


Yesterday, I put up a thread tweaking Tony Blair and asking for recommendations on escapist, feel good movies because everyone really seemed to need it — I know I did — after slogging through the difficult news of the morning.  I began the thread with a movie that I find lighthearted and funny, but with a performance from Emma Thompson that breaks my heart every single time I watch it (luv her!)…and someone on the thread declared that he would no longer read on the blog for the sole reason that I enjoy watching Love Actually.

At first, after reading the comment, it pissed me off a bit, because it wasn’t as though I had declared Love Actually the best movie of all time or anything — just something I use as an amusing escape valve (try telling me that Hugh Grant dancing sequence wasn’t funny…or the continuing storyline about the porn movie stand-in couple…or the aged rock star who says all the crap we wish media celebrities would say).  I mean how superficial are you if you can’t read a blog because someone likes a movie that you don’t? 

But then I realized:  it’s been a really rough few weeks, and we are all feeling a bit edgy and drained and cranky and short-tempered.  And so I say bygones.  (But I still like Love Actually, so there.  I also like Henry V, anything by David Lean, and a whole host of snobbish films, art films, quirky independent films, depressing soul-searching films…but sometimes, only a funny, sappy love story will do.)

Seriously though, it has been a difficult few weeks for a lot of folks — people who have friends and family in Lebanon, in Israel, all over the Middle East, and for folks who have friends and relatives in our nation’s uniform, wherever they may be serving at the moment.  The uncertainty, the increase in violence, and the rising anger has seeped into just about everything in the news these days.

It has certainly seeped into our comments section — and my e-mails.

But the thing that all of us have to cling to is that each step offers a promise of a change of perspective, moving closer to some resolution, of a way forward and out of the maze.  It sounds sappy, but we truly do have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  (Stop singing that song from the Kris Kringle movie…I mean it.)  And that can, truly, be the most difficult part of moving forward, because the uncertainty of the next step and the next, and where they will lead, can sometimes be paralyzing. 

But not moving forward keeps you frozen in the present moment — and, frankly, how many of us want that?

Jane and I talk often about the amazing community that has built up on this blog:  the active participation in citizen calls to action, the caring greetings and sharing of hopes and fears, and all sorts of other things that can only be described as family on some level or another.  And that is such a source of hope.

If we, such disparate people, can come together around a common goal of a better America, a better world, a better future for ourselves and our children and everyone around us…then imagine how many more of us are out there, thinking the same things, who haven’t yet found a blog or group of friends to call home. 

This dissatisfaction breeds a sort of "hunker down" mentality in a lot of people — but our collective reaction has been to pull together into a powerful whole, not a "me, me, me," but a resounding "WE." 

Speaking of "we," while I was writing this post, RevDeb (who is vacationing in Quebec City this week), sent along a photo from the creperie near the Chateau Frontenac — one of my favorite places to eat in that city, and a recommendation I gave to her in the comments yesterday…which allowed her to eat there that evening. 


The world is small, but our hearts and our capacity to share so much with each other is vast.  And that can make all of the difference, one life at a time.  (Wish you were here, too, RevDeb, but you are no doubt having some serious fun in Quebec City.  Beautiful, beautiful scenery, and the view of the river from the walkway by the Chateau is breathtaking.  Have some maple butter on your toast for me.)

Today, I thought we could talk a bit about what we do for comfort.  What do you do to feed your soul?  To make you laugh?  To get you up off your fanny and back on your feet again, in fighting form?  What do you do for yourself on one of those days when you simply need to hunker down and hide?  To gather your strength?  To center yourself — to feel more balanced and whole? 

We’ve all been feeling a bit off-kilter, haven’t we?  I can feel it through everyone’s comments, and I can hear it in the e-mails I’ve gotten privately as well.  Anger is a powerful emotion, but hope is an even more powerful force.  So, what do you do to lift up your spirits as you make your way through the labyrinth we are all trying to navigate these days?

Share something comforting with everyone.  A recipe.  A story. A story about a recipe.  A favorite piece of music.  A movie.  Whatever…just something that makes you happy, or at least lifts your mood a bit when you are down, or helps you reach that zen point when you are frazzled.  Comfort is so underrated, and so very necessary — especially now.  You’re among friends…pull up a chair.

(I found this fantastic shot of a labyrinth at the Superhero Journal.  Oh, and PS:  Carnacki rocks.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com