I have been feeling increasingly restless and agitated in the past few weeks. Like something big and bad is around the corner. Amorphous dread. I think I've finally figured it out.
It's the Provincial Election.
I have enjoyed a snoozy break from school funds advocacy since the early Fall. I met with my partners in Consortium 43 in October, and we agreed that our next big focus would be the election. After that we were notified about the Finance Committee's November round of consultations so we sent a submission, but apart from that we have been pretty quiet. It has been nice. Not just less work, but a separation from the ugliness of politics. I have not even written a single letter to the editor since early fall.
Instead I have focussed mostly on positive activities that have tangible good outcomes - supporting the kids in their new schools, filling in at home when Andy's work got really busy in the late fall, teaching Sunday School, helping at our daughter's show, working with Poetry House, doing some writing...All of these things involve finding more good and putting it on top of good that is already there. Politics seems to focus the other way. You are working towards something better, but the emphasis is on how bad it is now, and how awful your opponents views are. It's exhausting and counter-intuitive for "cup half full" me. Don't get me wrong. I can be very effective in finding fault and demonstrating need for change. In fact, I don't like how good I am at it.
I'm proud that Consortium 43 has adopted a "no mud" approach. We've had a fair bit slung at us but we have refused to participate. Still, our political stand begins with the assertion that things are not good, and they need to be fixed. Seeking evidence to validate that point of view, and allies who are also convinced that things are bad and need fixing is exhausting and discouraging work.
Next weekend Gwenda and I will attend the BCTF "Not for Sale" funding conference as representatives of C43. It will be the beginning of the election campaign for me, and of stepping back into politics. I can't not do it, but I'm not looking forward to some of its side effects and implications.
I will hope to meet some good people with optimistic outlooks. I will hope to share the feeling with others that something can be done. I will look at what's in the cup, celebrate it and work to build it up. Maybe Mozart will help. No words. That may be a blessing in the weeks to come.
Question: Is this it?
mompoet - clenched