December 15th, 2018 by Jan

We have two bells in our house. There is a sick bell and a bell of enlightenment.

The first is obvious. If you get sick, a bell is put near your bed or chair. When said, sick person needs anything, they ring the bell. Then the healthy person in the house, comes running to be of whatever service is needed. Usually, the sickie just needs attention or a poor baby,

The other bell in the house, is one we use to ring in any form of enlightenment.

I feel the moments of clarity we enjoy in life deserve celebration. My friend Kathy, would in lieu of a bell, give you a, “Toot-toot!” There are times we need to toot our own horn, or ring our own bell.

Last night was one of those time for me. Ding ding, toot-toot! Bells were ringing and horns were tooting! I had a moment of clarity and my privilege is showing.

This last month, I’ve been tying to listen to Becoming by Michelle Obama. I’m struggling with it.

Okay – Michelle Obama is a brilliant woman, good writer, and easy to listen to. I admire her. Her life experiences are interesting for sure, and still, I have put her book on pause three times now. I’ve needed to changed gears and listen to other books. I come back to her for a chapter or two and then again I turn her off.

Why? Everyone I speak to LOVES the book is.

Ring the bell – I realize I am uncomfortable reading about politics, racism, sexism in the same way I don’t want to read about war and violence.

Besides, with the exception of Sasha’s swimming lessons and Michelle’s private gatherings with girlfriends, we know a lot about the Obamas. We followed their successes, and failures and sadly, we know what happen when they left.

Yes, she goes high when others go low. And maybe because, so many people, go so very low, so very often… it’s frustrating. I’m tired of shaking my head when I read. No wonder I want to stop.

I don’t want to hear about the fucker Trump, the GOP, and all the haters. It makes me sick when I hear about and see the damage these people seem to cause on purpose and at times, with glee.

I’ll say it again, I do not like stories about war, violence, or injustice. Ring the bell, I now also know I don’t want to read about politics, racism and sexism.

Ding – ding.

When I quit a book I want to know why.
Moby Dick was boring. Becoming, is not boring, but I was uncomfortable and had that sick feeling in my gut when I listened. The same goes for Hillary Clinton’s book. Nope.

I admire Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama very much. I salute their work and persistence. I cannot fathom the obstacles they encounter basically for the fact of their sex and race. They stand tall while being called names, are disregarded and diminished. They are two shakers and movers in the world I want to live in. They are role models and heroes. They are not perfect, but they are about 10 million times better than the men who constantly attacked them.

I am not turning my back to the realities of sexism, racism, and stupidism. How can I? Yet, right now, I have the extreme privilege to hold a library card, that enables me to read, watch and listen to what I want.

I don’t need books to stress me out. So ring the bell of enlightenment and bring me the lastest Alexander McColl Smith book.

2 thoughts on “Bellsareringing

  1. Kathy

    Toot Toot! I have given myself the right to not finish a book, too. It’s wonderfully liberating! There are too many good books out there just waiting to be read, no need to struggle through something you don’t like. Reading should be a pleasure not a pain.


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