In Which Our Heroine Asks You To Breathe

3 November 2004

Why do I love Jon Stewart? Because it's not a game to him. Because he understands that funny and serious can be -- sometimes have to be -- the same thing. Because he can keep his composure when he is obviously so angry and, better than angry, disappointed. Because he actually hopes for better from the American people than he gets.

I was not really reading online journals and weblogs for the last presidential election. So may I say to other online journalers and bloggers: vent your frustration, your joy, your fury, your ambivalence, whatever. Talk politics if you like; it's your soapbox. But please, please, talk about other things, too.

Here, let me get you started: what does it smell like where you are? Take a deep breath. Let it out. What did you smell? Go on ahead and tell me. E-mail me if you like, or put it in your journal/weblog if you have one. Smell the air. Do not use metaphors. Do not use your brain at all. Brains are for thinking, and noses are for smelling, and what we're doing right now is smelling. (Oh, and if you know Lydy, make her tell you the story about Judy and vampires and metaphors, because it's funny. And like your sense of smell, it has nothing to do with politics.)

I don't mean that you shouldn't think about politics. You should. Whether you're mourning that your presidential candidate lost or rejoicing that your city council members won -- or vice versa -- keep thinking about politics, and doing stuff about it/them if you can. But if we only think about politics, if we can't do our jobs well because of politics, if we neglect our personal relationships because of politics, we will be much the poorer for it, and so will our politics.

Okay? Okay. I had a good day yesterday and a good evening last evening. I am going to do my best to have a good day today, with productive errands and book edits and tasty pastry and who knows what-all. I'm going to continue enjoying my Cities. I'm going to have some tasty leftovers. And I'm going to think about politics, but also about things that are not at all politics, and that will be good.

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