A word about optimism

From a Medium article entitled, How to stay sane if Trump is driving you insane: Advice from a therapist.

“There are times when optimism is not appropriate or possible, and this is one of those times. Our President is delusional, lying, or ignorant; disastrous climate change and war with North Korea loom; marginalized people in our society are suffering. Faced with these calamities, catastrophic thinking is a rational response.”

She recommends:

  1. Radical acceptance. Clear eyed acceptance. Seeing things as they are now.
  2. Feeling the inevitable grief.
  3. Practicing mindfulness, in particular countering bad news with good (because pessimism is not useful either).

“You may object, “But I can’t just forget all the terrible things going on!” You are right. Mindfulness is not about forgetting. It is about shifting focus to what is most immediate and most helpful. We help no one by staying in our anguish for long. Bernie Sanders said it best: ‘Despair is not an option.‘”

These are digital collages that I made at four this morning. They incorporate quilts and photos of collages, so the layers are numerous, sometimes past counting.

The images speak for themselves but to name a few: the virgin atop a cathedral near Assisi as well as an Italian stone archway, an antique bird cage for sale in Essex, Mass. Quilts on the line in the backyard, a woven cloth painting, and another close up of patchwork. A SoulCollage (r) card made from magazine pictures.

As usual, I used Diana photo app for double exposures and Prisma app to create mosaics.

16 thoughts on “A word about optimism

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you – I needed this. I need it daily, so I will bookmark this one and set an alarm to check it. Going to rally FOR impeachment tonight.

    1. deemallon

      It’s nothing you ha eat already thought but I find the reminders necessary. I am back and forth about whether to venture out to Framingham for a protest. It snowed. It rained. It froze. It would be dark and rush hour. Honestly, I’m not feeling it. Maybe I need to accept that I am a fair weather activist?

    1. deemallon

      I am just getting to know Acey. She is a marvel. Lots to catch up on. You’re the one who turned me on to Williams though. I got bogged down immediately with “Finding Beauty in a Broken World” and set it aside. This will inspire me to pick it up again.

  2. grace

    thank you for the words, this woman’s clear thinking, and thank you for your
    images that are so meaningful to the woman’s words and then to so much
    that is INSIDE my head this morning. this post is so validating.

  3. grace

    i look SO FORWARD to more of your collage work and commentary as i look forward
    to Acey’s Tutorial beginning in January….just this post has set a lot in motion about
    more love

  4. Chris

    Hi Dee. Some days when I’m at work I pop on over here to refresh and refocus. I’m fortunate that today was such a day because I, too, need this reminder. I lovingly place my “Thank You” onto the pile. Your images are beautiful and haunting, as they so often are.

    1. deemallon

      Hi back Chris. I am thinking of our circle as the solstice approaches and missing the ritual and deep connection.

  5. Marti

    You made collages at 4 am and I copied images of the Grinch at the same time because: the little cut tree that we bought for Christmas, the first one ever here in this small house since I couldn’t find free tree branches at Home Depot, after only 2 days, was dropping needles like crazy and not absorbing the water in the stand…I had decorated it with orange slices, chili peppers, popcorn chains, old paper snowflakes and the star at the top was a photo of my twin grand children, aged 5, dressed in red…luckily I took a photo of it for a record. Decided to totally dismantle the tree and return it for a full refund which I got…house is simply too small for large trees and I never felt comfortable with a cut tree. Before moving here, we had always had live trees. After returning the tree, I went to the library, Lowe’s not far from there so I decided to pop in. So glad I did because I found the perfect replacement – a live tree shaped Rosemary plant potted in a decorative container. It holds such simple magic, this herb of remembrance and the scent is wonderful. This will now be our little tree and then will get planted in our backyard. Oh and the Grinch – I made a little card with the photo of the tree that would have served, wrote a story about the situation and pasted the Grinch next to the photo and framed and it sits next to the Rosemary tree so all can see a tale of bah humbug turned around!

    Why have I written all of this, well because it signifies how when I am faced w ith obstacles, worries, dismay, I try to find solutions…Radical acceptance doesn’t mean we go down in defeat, it means we overcome the challenges and in this reality of ours here in America, overcoming means that the only plausible action that I can take is to VOTE. It has always been the way but despair, well it has visited me several times since 2016 and I find that it is useful. It seems to take me over but only briefly then the resolve to go about my quiet days, seeking what sustains me, trying to open myself to listen as cracks begin to appear in my Mexican American neighbor’s support of the evil in the White House. It is important to me to mention that he is Mexican American because I was stunned when he came out in support of Trump. Overcoming obstacles or at least trying to in the form of listening but not saying “I told you so ” but simply the listening…is another way of my form of quiet activism.

    And one more thing: your collages are powerful but the one that most holds me is the Italian stone archway- the symbol is so strongly related to entering and coming out on the other side…

    1. deemallon

      Lovely tree — in both renditions! How sweet and simple and ethical. I’d expect nothing less from you. Your aversion to cut trees reminded me of a dystopian fantasy I had while buying ours at the Unitarian Church lot last week — how in future the trade would be outlawed and to have a cut line in one’s home, a punishable offense. The far right would have a field day about wack job environmentalists ruining Christmas while nostalgia for liberals might take a troubling path.

    2. deemallon

      Perhaps you and your neighbor stand just on either side of that arch, the possibility of one joining the other by taking a single step hovering there like a third being.

  6. imperfect dabbler

    The birdcage is irresistible and a fine nest for all. BTW Thinking a fine release for Nancy P or myself would be to print and burn that nasty letter to release the insanity. On another note…Happy, wait, Merry Impeachment Day! I may need to stitch this celebration! 🥰


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