Sometimes when I’ve had enough, and simply can’t brook all the chaos, the constant sound and fury that is happening now in the country and the world, I go outside.
When a threatening flood of awfulness rises up to my chin, I take a long cleansing breath, dive down, push off the bottom with my feet and I am, body and soul, shot up and out of the morass, straight into the comforting arms of Mother Nature and the garden.
“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses,” to take in the essence of peace and love; a place that responds to my efforts; where I am grateful; where I can make a difference, nurture a little beauty, create some order and sweat buckets working like a rented mule. Sometimes it can be a place of devastation when winds blow and fires rage. But mostly, it’s a quiet, symbiotic place of reassurance, hope, beauty and resilience. It exhausts my body and renews my spirit.
We heard testimony this week from a young, high-level Republican aide with impeccable bona fides. Taking shape is the ugly truth at the bottom of what was an orchestrated effort at the highest level of our government to up-end the democratic process, culminating in the scene we all saw on Jan. 6, 2021. People with an unrestrained lust for dominion conspired to choose deceit over a peaceful transfer of power, courting angry foot soldiers to do their violent legwork with the will to step on and kill anyone who got in their way. Hanging the Vice President was even on the table. Jan. 6 was a field day for a confederacy of dunces scrambling around with intent to do harm.
In what’s being categorized by some as her John Dean moment, one woman’s testimony brings a powerful president to task. She testified to the Jan. 6 Special Committee Hearing, “We were watching the capitol get defaced over a lie.”
And thereby hangs a tale.
Her boss, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, wouldn’t lift a finger to stop the chaos on Jan. 6, and neither would his boss, the truculent Big Liar himself.
She testified to physical assaults in the presidential limo as told to her by one of the agents involved. The secret service and the president knew there were masses of people with weapons there. “They’re not after me” they said the president told them. Their job was to protect the president, and so they did, much to his outrage.
Now, suddenly, the two agents have said they’d like to testify under oath that no such thing happened.
Why would she lie about that? Folks didn’t believe Monica Lewinsky at first, either, until she produced that infamous blue dress. We have none of that this time. No possible gain now for this brave woman comes to mind, other than her desire to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even at her own peril.
Why would the two secret service men lie? Maybe they are still protecting the president?
The committee spoke of another witness who received a call straight out of an episode of the Sopranos. “(An unnamed person) wants me to let you know that they are thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition."
Standard mob tactic: “You. You godda nice place here. Shame if somethin’ was t’ happen to it.”
The whole thing is a confusing, dirty gambit, an unfunny Abbot and Costello routine. Who’s on first? What’s on second? I Don’t Know is on third. Why, Because, Tomorrow, Today and I Don’t Care are all playing, too.
I feel the water rising.
Excuse me while I take a breath, push off the bottom, and go smell some roses in the garden. My emotional bandwidth is not capable of handling angry, unresolved drama for very long anymore. Bless Miss Hutchinson and all the bulldogs whose job it is to delve into the morass, grab the honest truth and not let go.
I will count on them to do their job, and I’ll do mine.
As a writer, it’s my job to bring something thoughtful, well-written and relevant to this page every week. God willing. I also have the all-important job as a voting citizen to speak out and to put in my two cents, conscientiously and faithfully, at the ballot box. My job as a human is to be responsible, giving, loving, helpful, honest and kind. Tall order, but I try.
There’s an old saying, “A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives you roses.” I like having a bouquet of possibilities rather than a club with which to beat people into submission, or a gun with which to wield power and kill. Probably not very popular in today’s climate. And in practice, you can’t wield a rose at a gunman and expect to survive. Unless they surrender. There is that. Nixon finally surrendered. But that was then. The Rubicon is in our rear-view mirror, and we are a wholly different country now.
Still, I recommend the powerful, positive scent of a bouquet on the hands of those who give as well as receive. Call me crazy, but that is the small light I choose to bring to the dark world. I will tend my garden and bring the scent of roses, hope, truth and renewal along with me as I write, vote and live my conscience.
There’s so much wrong with the world. It’s up to each of us to decide in our own way whether to be a dark force, or a light in a dark world. Every day. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Longtime Newnan resident Susie Berta has many creative pursuits, including music, art, writing, cooking, gardening, entertaining and decorating. She is now pursuing her passion for writing and recently published her memoir, “The Veterinarian’s Wife.” She can be reached at email@example.com .