Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Citizenship and Action

Last week, I wrote about pre-ordering books as an act of literary citizenship. I'm not nuts about that term, citizenship, because it situates some people "in," with experiences and voices that are somehow more "worthy" or "legitimate," and others "out," and thus "unimportant" or "irrelevant."  


So I think more about literary community. And most of the time, I'm not in the big middle of the community. I'm the one hanging back by the snack table, trying to figure out how people on the dance floor get over themselves to have fun in public. Pre-pandemic, of course.


The other thing about citizenship is that it brings a set of activities--approved and expected, or less so. Which is neither a pro or con of the concept of citizenship, just a fact.  


So. I've just finished a couple of projects, and while working on them, I told myself about other problems, "I'll think about that after the deadlines." 


Now those deadlines have passed, and nothing much has happened on these other things. Some of what's happened has actually been counter-productive. And I have felt stuck. But taking action is on my mind today. 


I don't have my absentee ballot. But I'm now ready to fax a backup vote, I know the last date I can fax it, and now I don't have to worry about that.





In spite of multiple requests, I haven't heard what I'm supposed to do to fulfill a legal obligation. But I recognized today that I can still act in ways that both fulfill that obligation and benefit me. So I'm doing that. When those things are done, I can re-visit that obligation and my expectations.


There's other stuff--stupid political gamesmanship in North America; deadly stupidity in various judicial systems in North America; people not listening to others' lived experiences. It's infuriating. I'm looking for ways to act there, too. 


So that's what I'm doing. Not exciting. Not especially inspiring. But at least I'm still acting to support citizenship, and even community. That, at least, is empowering.