The Wisdom of Ghandi and Pursuit of Identity

American Flag

This post is out-of-the-ordinary for me, but these last few days have been anything but ordinary.

The results of this election have rocked me to my core. I know I am not alone. I am trying to wrap my head around all of this but am just numb. I am stunned, though sadly not surprised, by the news and tenor of hate-filled incidents perpetrated by our citizens (some as young as middle schoolers) against fellow citizens seen as “other,” feeling emboldened to now openly voice apparently long-suppressed racist, mysogynistic, bigoted beliefs. I feel a hollowness, the same hollowness I felt in those dark days following 9-11.

Like my friend Alys, I am struggling with the “what now” question. I am questioning what my role is within this country of ours. I am questioning so much about this clearly “bubbled” life I am living.  I am questioning the importance of what I do or worry about on a daily basis, feeling the majority of it is self-serving. 

Today, amidst this seemingly new reality that is the United States, I want — no, I need — to find a path different from the one I am now on, to figure out how to contribute in a way that serves a greater purpose. My entire life, I have shied away from confrontation, but I now feel a force drawing me into political activism. What that form will take, I don’t know. Might I find a way to use my photography? That would be wonderful, but I don’t know that either. Clarity will take some time and a lot of soul searching. I truly don’t have any idea where to begin. But this I do know: It’s time for me to put on my big girl panties, truly educate myself about how I can best help to make a difference, and step outside my comfort zone moving forward. And, perhaps, that is a blessing in disguise.

As for where our country goes from here, we can only pray that Trump will be successful. And, if not, our country will endure. Perhaps it is fitting that I am ending up posting this on Veterans Day, a day when we unite to honor all our military veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good – for all of our citizens without regard to “otherness.”

So, my friends, in these troubled and uncertain times, I am going to take a few steps back from blogging to give myself time to find the answers I am looking for. Part of me understands that stepping away may not be the correct path – in times of emotional need, friends are indeed our rocks, and each of you has been a rock for me more times than I can count along my WordPress journey. I am truly blessed. Please feel free to reach out to me, if you are so inclined. This is not “good-bye”; rather it’s “see you again soon.” #GodBlessAmerica

“Be the change you want to see in this world.” — Ghandi

63 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Ghandi and Pursuit of Identity

  1. I am sorry to say I am just reading this post.
    I understand the loss you are feeling and the desire to stand up for those who can’t.
    Good luck in your search and know many of us are walking the same path…seeking answers.

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    • Thanks so much, Janice. Just taking it one crazy day at a time. Instagram is providing a lower-key lifeline to fellow creatives, and I especially love that I can still remain connected to so many of my WordPress friends there. Hope you are well, and thanks so much for your kind comment. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a whole world – or part of it, at least – has been shocked be the election result in the States. I think your approach is the right one, taking a step back and consider what to do next. We shouldn’t answer rashness with rashness or hate with hate, but still find a way to answer what needs to be answered in the future. I wish you good luck with your search, and most of all I just wish you good luck. 🙂

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  3. Just dropping by to say hello – and checking in on the wonderful photos you feature in your changing header!
    So now that I have my Stacy fix
    – I’m all good!
    Have a nice weekend amiga

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    • Yvette, you just made my day. Truly. I’m still finding my way – spending some time posting on Instagram (there’s a feed on my blog). It’s keeping my hand in creativity but it’s lower key for me right now. Which I need. Thank you my friend. Hope all is well with you 😘

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      • Well thanks Stac- I am not on jnstagram – but thanks and whew – glad you have that creative plug plugged in a bit – keeps as alive, eh?
        Things are good here – not a huge Christmas person but not too annoyed this year compared to some Decembers – ha!
        Have a great week and talk to you soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have absolutely no doubt that you will find a way to use your photography. You have such a gift there and I know you can send a powerful message with just one snap of your camera. I can’t wait to see how your use this, absolutely take your time, but I’m a gal who 100% believes in you. I’ve put on my big girl- nope actually now I’m calling them my NASTY WOMAN panties too!

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    • Thanks, Mary Lane. While I haven’t been able to make my way back to my blog until today, I did see your comment before and am so appreciative of your words and your support! The circus continues and I’ve already taken to the streets as a protestor (even came across an AP photo with yours truly in it!). Very satisfying and empowering. I aim to continue – love that I can do this in DC. Three cheers for #nastywoman!

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  5. The optimist in me thinks it won’t be as bad as we imagine it to be. That the hate/misandry/bigotry/xenophobia will soon be quelled.

    But I understand your need to withdraw. I just hope it’s only for a short while.

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    • Hi, Khürt. Sadly, it seems optimism is still taking a back seat. I’m at the “anger” phase, which I think will serve me well as a driving force to staying informed and involved. I’m not sure how long I’ll be away, but I do so appreciate your kindness.

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  6. I’m not sure when you’ll see this, Stacy, but when you do please know that I’m right there with you!
    My devastation has kept me on a media blackout and under a “virtual blanket”. I am sick to my core.
    I’ve been able to crawl out the past day by attending a “wake” with likeminded friends, by sharing and wearing a #safetypin, and by helping to spread the word about the Women’s March on Washington.
    Big hugs to you, my friend. I never thought we’d see this day

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    • Hi, Laurie. This continues to suck – the news each day never ceases to amaze. I keep praying for a miracle. But barring that, I’m becoming a voracious reader of independent media and keeping an eye out for any way I can make my voice be heard! If I can help in any way with your trip to DC in January, please let me know!! Hugs right back to you, my friend ❤

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    • Hi, Chris. Your words are true. And while I’m beginning to find my way, the enormity of what has and continues to transpire leaves me (and so many others) feeling like we’re living in the Twilight Zone. I do have to admit I’ve moved past sadness and am now in the anger phase, where I believe I am destined to remain for the next four years. But that anger has begun to bring some clarity, and for that, I’m grateful. Thank you so much for your comment. It means a great deal to me. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally understand. Each of us must find a way to move forward in such intense and profoundly disturbing uncertainty. As you, I must pull shreds of hope to cling. My immediate reaction is to advocate on behalf of nature and our planet’s health.

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    • Sally, thank you so much for your comment. My apologies for taking so long to reply, but it’s taken me this long to be able to revisit this post and all the heartfelt comments left. Please know how much your message meant to me, then and now. I think your plan to advocate for our global home is indeed a good and important one. All the best to you as we navigate these new waters.

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  8. Take all the time you need to find your new direction… and I hope you are back soon.. with renewed vigour xx going to miss you terribly xx Bye for now Stacy… and as Bert from Mary Poppins said Goodbye, Stacy, don’t stay away too long.

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  9. I understand your reasoning on stepping back and respect it Stacy 🙂 I was also deeply upset by the results of Tuesdays election but I feel if I don’t continue to document what my eyes see with my camera I will truly go crazy thinking about what will happen when he takes office. I tend to agree with Emilio that you have a unique talent with a camera so I wouldn’t step back too far. I think your camera and whatever activisim you decide on will go hand in hand. Images and words together can be very powerful. So take your time and hurry up at the same time 🙂 I will have your back whatever you decide.

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  10. You capture so very well the way I am feeling – the ‘bubbled’ existence, the self-orientation (although that is not how I think of you!). I agree, there is something welling up in me that cannot stand idly by on the sidelines any more. I’m not sure how, either, but I’m sure if I ask, if I seek a way to contribute, a way will be revealed. Keep me posted on what you discover. And I will you. I love you, my dear friend. Thank you so much for your articulate and heart-felt words – words so many of us share. Blessings, S.

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    • Susan, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your wonderful words of kindness and hope. I just have not had the emotional ability to come back to my blog until now. But please know how uplifting your comment was for me when I first read it, and how much it continues to mean on a second reading. I know we will each find our ways, and some of those may even intersect. One of the things I am glad about is living in DC, as that provides me the opportunity to make my voice heard around the capital! I plan to take part in as many rallies and protests as I can, and to document it all with my camera! Love you to, my friend ❤️

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  11. Stacy, I had a very thought provoking, eloquent comment for you but somehow lost it before posting. You’ll just have to take my word for it because it was too soul searing to duplicate. Maybe in time, or maybe I’ll write a private email to you next week when some of the dust has settled- if it ever does. I think it would be counter-productive, though, to turn your back on what you enjoy, what brings you peace, in these times that are to follow. But I trust you will come to the decision that is right for you. I just remember living through my college days protesting against the Vietnam war when I was certain that I would be called up any day and then die over there. Maybe melodramatic, but I truly thought so. I am much more mature now and so less melodramatic. So why do I feel almost the same now as I did then? Well, I think it’s obvious. We have given a man who strikes out defensively at the least provocation the access to our nuclear arsenal. What were you thinking, America? You wanted change? So you decided to drink the Kool aid? OK, I know I’m not helping at all, Stacy. I need time to figure out what I’m doing, too. And what Emilio will be doing. Just keep in touch, friend!

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    • The Vietnam war lottery was the only lottery I ever won Emilio 😀 It was drawing towards the later and ending years of the war and my lottery number was 326. They probably would have had to take Nixon before me, LOL. I was also against the war but I had always respected the enlisted men and what they had sacrificed for our country. I think is was very unfair the way they were treated after their tours of duty were up. Have you ever been to the Vietnam Wall memorial in DC ? It really is worth a visit if you ever get a chance. I was shocked when I visited and was saddened to find a lot of people I knew on that wall. It really is a beautiful and poingent reminder that wars cannot solve every problem in the world.

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      • Yes, I was there shortly after it was completed, late 80’s I think. It was very emotional. I remember looking for names of friends who had died in service but couldn’t find them. Maybe the database wasn’t quite as exhaustive as it must be by now. I remember my lottery number was 151 and was sweating being called. Funny that, at the time I was contemplating moving to Canada rather than fight and now I had been contemplating it depending on the outcome of this election. But the worst (in my eyes) has happened and I’m still here.

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    • Emilio, I finally have the emotional wherewithal to revisit this post and all the wonderful comments that were left here in the days that followed it. Each and every one lifted my heart when I first read them, and I am experiencing the same feeling as I reread and respond to all. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom about not turning my back on what I enjoy. While I haven’t been able to photograph just for the fun of it, I did embrace and enjoy photographing (and marching in) a second political rally a few weekends ago. I think I’ve found my path and purpose for the next four years! I’m still not sure how long I’ll be “away” from WP, but I take heart that I can keep in touch via other avenues. Thanks for your continued friendship and support. It means a great deal, my friend.

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  12. Dear Stacy! ❤ As I draw myself further away from the feelings of doom and gloom that the world shared with you all in these last days, my understanding of what is needed grows clearer and clearer. I think differently to most people I know, and I see the world differently too, as I think you may know. There is a big picture here that we must all try and grasp at least an inkling of. We are living in times of immense change and even though most of humanity has chosen to ignore this fact it has been happening for a decade now at increasing rates. The changes that are happening will become more and more shocking to us because we have to be shocked out of our comfortable complacency and WAKE UP! There is a need for each one of us to stand firmly in our moral truth and to take action in the way our talent leads us. There is an urgent need to become fully informed, to step away from the crowd pleasing, mind dulling litany of phrases that indoctrinate each one of us from the day we are born. Listen to the truly independent media spokespeople, the ones who the status-quo say speak rubbish or are 'traitors' – they are the ones who can point to the truth of matters. But above all do not live in fear or despair – out of chaos great change comes, it is inevitable. We live in interesting times and will hopefully live to see some glimmer of the great change coming that reflects the best of humanity. We must all become our own version of Ghandi's words and we must all understand that our thoughts become our reality – if we are filled with fear, than we will simply invite more events to be fearful of into the world . Become a fearless camera wielding activist and let the world see your truth! Much love and strength to you xo

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    • Very well stated Pauline. We live in a time where the media are in profit mode and rely on shock value (much like reality shows). Independent unbiased media is the only way to get true and accurate news. Unfortunately the USA has moved away from that and too many people rely on fake Facebook news and right and left wing media to form their opinions.

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    • Oh, Pauline, what amazing words you have written. I do deeply apologize for just now replying. But it’s been too difficult for me to re-engage up to this point. I have taken your advice to follow independent media sources, and that’s been invaluable as I voraciously read and listen to what is being said. I still do fear for the direction America seems to be taking, but I am now at the point of being angry – and that is a much more useful feeling as it has propelled me to take those first few steps out of my comfort zone and let my voice be heard. And my camera is with me every step of the way! I will keep in my heart your phrase “fearless camera wielding activist” as I continue to speak up and stand up. It’s a wonderfully empowering phrase, and I thank you for that. Thank you for your support. It means the world. xo

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  13. I understand the need to take a breather and to find yourself and a purpose. Life ebbs and flows and sometimes we have a calling in our hearts that we can’t ignore. I know I don’t speak for myself when I say you will be missed and we all appreciate what you’ve done to create a fun community here. Thanks Stacy. All the best and see you soon! hugs

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    • I agree with protesting Sherry. I do believe that violence is totally out of the question. Peaceful protesting is the way to go and is one of our basic rights in America. Shame on people who cannot understand why people are upset with the recent election results. If they were on the losing end of this election they would complain if their right to protest was taken away. Our Democratic Republic rights have to work both ways.

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