The phone rings early this morning with news of the third snow day in November. Complex math and prediction skills aren’t needed to guesstimate that school for my 8th grader will drag far into June — sweet, rose-scented June. In late June, we’ll be camping on the shores of Lake Champlain in our annual, always filled with laughter camping trip.

I close the Chris Hedges book I’m reading — the book jammed with history and intimate detail — tug on my boots and go out to shovel. It’s so warm, I don’t need a hat or mittens, don’t even really need a coat. As I shovel, I think of Hedges. How right he is the political ramrods my own private family life, too, that the tangle of economics and autonomy and gender weren’t created within my four walls.

Snow falls very lightly, nearly imperceptibly in the light from my house. A whole day stretches ahead, but it’s beginning here, in this pristine beauty.

America was founded on an imagined moral superiority and purity. The fact that dominance of others came, and still comes, from unrestrained acts of violence is washed out of the national narrative. The steadfast failure to face the truth, Baldwin warned, perpetuates a kind of collective psychosis. Unable to face the truth, white Americans stunt and destroy their capacity for self-reflection and self-criticism. They construct a world of self-serving fantasy.

Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour


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