Turbulent Waters

On Monday, I did my usual quick perusal of the morning newspaper, skimmed over stories about the latest in Trump’s apparent descent into madness, er, rather, the run-up to impeachment. But he looks like he’s going mad. Madder?

Anyway. I’ve had to work at hardening myself against bad news every single day or else I would be in tears all the time. Lots of us feel this way. I’m usually successful, even this week as Minneapolis gears up for a visit from Trump. And Pence. Oh boy.

And then I read a story about elephants.

Maybe you saw that story. It was a New York Times piece which began like this: 

Six wild elephants fell over a treacherous waterfall in Thailand and died after one of the herd, a 3-year-old, was swept away by the river and the others tried to save it…


The story talked about the distraught surviving elephants trumpeting their sorrow, how elephants have close family ties, how the fences that were in place where the elephants went over the falls were not enough to save them. And I couldn’t stop crying for those magnificent creatures who are so loyal to their families, who grieve for their losses, and who show more willingness to do the right thing than our own president who lets children languish in border camps.

I guess I was crying about more than the elephants. It builds up, this huge grief and disappointment in how human beings treat each other like burdens or barriers rather than fellow travelers on this planet. It builds up, this meanness that permeates public discourse. It builds up, this incessant badgering of those who try to stand by facts instead of making up stories. And all of us are going over metaphorical waterfalls as we are tossed into some great rushing American divide in which those who are all about themselves and their own money are up against those who are about something more.

The elephants know better. They choose to at least try to save their young and each other. They choose to remain united.

And later this week, when the Trump rally happens at the Target Center in Minneapolis, I will choose to unite with all those who plan to show up outside the Target Center, demanding that we get back to the business of caring for people, telling the truth, and doing better. We will create our own current, rushing through the streets. 


  1. Thank you for attending the anti-Trump rally (for what good it will do). Wave a middle finger for me. This is a strange time in our country’s history, when presidents ridicule children. Unlike those elephants, though, we’ve created our own problems. I honestly think America is now on headed toward a waterfall, with Trump and his sycophantic Trumpettes paddling in that direction. I’m looking toward dry land. New Zealand? Denmark? At minimum, maybe Hawaii. My wife and I vacationed there last December, and it’s almost like another country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome. There will be a lot of us there, not for Trump, but to show our disappointment to Republicans who have yet to break with him, to encourage the undecided to do what’s right, to show kids what democracy in action could look like and affirm that our current president does not honor our political system. He will be unfazed. We will be loud and build momentum. Dry land? Yes, Mick and I have had that discussion, too. We’re sort of fond of Ireland. And The Netherlands.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so glad you are representing your views to the village idiot that was elected into the WH!
    My last act of defiance before I got back on a plane to Yhe Netherlands was to window paint Honk for Impeachment and slowly drove I35 from Sandstone to Cloquet and then back to Barnum. I am pissed! I fought for everyone’s freedom to express and to participate in government and those we elected along with those who are stuck in their own small worlds are not helping and are letting the rest of us carry the load. I needed to do something! I wish I was there with you to stand shoulder to shoulder with other Minnesotans who will not let our country be pushed into the gutter by a self centered SOB! Please let people know that the citizens of the EU want him impeached as well!
    Best wishes from The Netherlands and The Cedar Journal!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would like to say I had tons of people honking. The traffic was heavy being that it was Friday and everyone was heading to their “North” cabins. But, only a very few. I was a bit saddened by that and had hoped and wished for a better response. But, I saw so many people just unengaged while I was home. Most have stopped listening to the news, stopped sharing their opinions. It is how every dictator has ever taken control and it is scary. Stand strong today! Voice loud for those who have been silent! Repeat until you loose your voices from trying. I am there in spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks – we were down there for about 2 1/2 hours, long enough to make our point and be there for the start of the rally. We made the decision to leave before the rally let out because we knew there would be serious confrontations with Trump supporters leaving that rally. Good call. What I don’t think the news showed was how some Trump supporters waved guns from inside their cars or how some threw Trump gear at protestors – which the protestors burned with sage.


      3. Unbelievable. Waving guns in the air? What do they think that will prove. I really don’t understand the mentality behind the far right supporters. I did see some of his rally speech and it made me and my Dutch husband sick to our stomachs. Sounded very much like Nazi speeches of the 1830s

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Even when i’m signed into this email – if I try to comment it says I’m not signed in Anyhow – yes he’s madder. Its terrifying.😐 but glad you still posting. A xx

    On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 10:03 AM ONE MINNESOTA WRITER wrote:

    > Kathleen Cassen Mickelson posted: ” On Monday, I did my usual quick > perusal of the morning newspaper, skimmed over stories about the latest in > Trump’s apparent descent into madness, er, rather, the run-up to > impeachment. But he looks like he’s going mad. Madder? Anyway. I’ve had to > work” >

    Liked by 1 person

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