"in-between" flickr photo by @Tuncay https://flickr.com/photos/tuncaycoskun/29287713956 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license


“Sadly, the underdog socialist has forgotten that the story of the left ought to be a narrative of hope and progress.”

Isn’t that what I’ve always said?

Hello again, it’s Tom. It’s Sunday morning in America and I’m downing coffee in my office in the rain while I prepare for what in the day comes next. Maybe I’ll get to that in a minute, but no promises. You’ve seen my stuff before; you know that I don’t know any better than you do where this will go once I start. That’s why it’s called a “blog” instead of a “dissertation,” “story,” or “coherent plan.”

My niece got married last night, to a really good guy. She’s been through some rough stuff in recent years so it’s awesome that she (a) found genuine love, and (b) found it with a decent beau. At the same time I got to see family that I haven’t seen in a couple of years and we picked up right where we left off with subtle (and not-so-subtle) jokes and a true appreciation of each other. Like a family should. I missed them terribly, and seeing them only reminded me how much. The biennial reunion is going on right now over in Sonora and I’m missing it. That’s either bad planning on my part (partially) or just bad luck (mostly). The timing, for us, just wasn’t right.

Yes, I had to look up “biennial.”

The main reason (there are many) that we couldn’t pull up stakes for Sonora (I keep wanting to say “Sonoma”; am I supposed to?) is that Mrs C started her new job last week. She had her old job for about six years but the new GM (or DM, I forget the titles) treated her like a witch. I mean that literally. He was a little too sanctimonious in his religious beliefs and thought that anyone who wasn’t, but still got along well with others, must be an honest-to-goodness witch. In that vein, I promise you, Mrs C would not have survived long in 17th-century Salem. She survived several months, however, under difficult circumstances and now she’s in banking. And banking is really cool, since that’s where all the money is.

But it’s hard for her to take time off the second week on the job, hard for me to take two Saturdays off in a row for a lot of reasons, and hard to abandon the new puppy. Life is hard sometimes. But I miss ‘em. And I miss it, the reunion time, terribly. Love to you all, my brethren, sistren, and extendren.

I may have made up one or more of those words.

Nonetheless, it was a great wedding, and really good to see them all. Life is a series of memorable events partitioned around our daily lives in-between. The missus and I were remarking on the way back from the wedding at how many memorable events have been squeezed into our lives, forcibly or otherwise, in the last ten months. The fire that chased us from our home. The landlord deciding to sell the house I love. Buying the house I love from our landlord. The boss seriously talking to me about buying the biz. The Rams going to the Super Bowl. The new puppy. Her new job. It seems like the segments in-between have been small of late and that we’re always making up time.

The one thing I have been able to do is read, and I just finished Bregman’s book where the quote above came from. It was also the theme of my last post, which I intended to expand upon today. Alas, I got romantic instead. Suffice to say, anyway, that the greater advancement of mankind is accomplished through the desire for a better world, and the belief that one can come. The “underdog socialist” that Bregman describes is a lot of us, who think our ideals of a better world are grand but untenable. Just like we all thought that “the end of slavery, the emancipation of women, and the rise of the welfare state” once were. It’s silly to want. Ridiculous to hope.

These are dark times, to be sure. The narrative of the future has been co-opted by the voices of the right due to the conciliatory nature of the left. But the answers have always been on the left. Societal reforms come from liberal dreams. In particular they come from the liberal dreams of utopia, of a world unimaginable today. The unimaginable world today, however, becomes the reality of tomorrow. We are partitioned to the in-between right now. Great things happened to change the world yesterday and great things are coming to change the world again.

“Everyone who reckons themselves progressive should be a beacon of not just energy but ideas, not only indignation but hope, and equal parts ethics and hard sell.”

Damn straight.

Keep dreaming, my friends. Keep hoping. Be a beacon of energy and ideas. Sell it. Tomorrow is ours, just like yesterday and today.

24 thoughts on “In-Between

  1. Congratulations to your beautiful wife and her new job. So very sorry she was treated so poorly. Best of luck to you in the future, no matter where you end up or what your venture is, may all your dreams come true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post feels a little melancholy. I can relate to the job…not exactly like that but similar.
    Congrats on buying the house that you love…that’s good. A series of changes mixes things up a bit…maybe you needed it.?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And that’s a fact! The constitutional crisis is real in my home town, and every follower to a tee supports the Trumpster fire when he defies our founding document and derides his enemies for, as they see it, trampling on the Constitution. People, my friend, are strange.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Language allows us to communicate but also shapes how we see the world, and with that in mind I’m adding “extendren” to my vocabulary. It’s a perfectly cromulent word, and it’s fundamentally optimistic to extend our knowledge of the world, since, among other things, doing so presumes that the world is worth knowing.
    As an aside that reminds me of the same-sex marriage debate of a few years ago, a debate that seems poised to flare up again, and the number of times I had the same argument with people who said it was “changing the definition of marriage”. I pointed out, repeatedly, that the definition of “marriage” has changed significantly throughout history, and that no word’s definition is fixed. I also didn’t see why “changing the definition” was a legitimate argument for denying rights.
    Anyway that’s all semantics.
    Thank you for continuing to be a beacon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is far more than semantics, Chris, that is a fundamentally astute observation! I’ve had that argument with others. Conservatives seem to think that a word binds a concept and that no force on earth can alter the origin or premise. You hear it all the time in the “Lincoln was a Republican!” argument as if the very nature of dubbing something “Republican” means that all those thus dubbed have been the same since time immemorial. Lincoln, and those who drove the emancipation, were fundamentally liberal humans,seeking to better the world through change and a quest towards enlightenment, concepts that are anathema to the foundations of the grand old party today.

      In fact, the book I just started, a rather decided departure from my usual tomes (“At Home” by Bill Bryson), talks in length about how words describing the spaces of our domiciles have evolved. But then, to some, the very word “evolve” is the four-letter kind.

      Thank you for a great response, Christopher, and especially for your last sentence. It is my fervent hope to try. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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