Change of plans
The suspense is over. Trump’s vision of intolerance, division, and suspicion without understanding has won this battle. That’s what I see on the official form stating that I, as a US citizen, have not been granted a visa to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It sucks. I was supposed to leave this Saturday. Think they’ll refund my flights?
The richness and beauty of Iran are plenty of reason to go, but that was just the beginning. To give a little business to my Turkish friends whose livelihood has been annihilated by world events was also a good reason. But most of all, can you imagine a more important time to travel than right now?
Right now, when our petulant toddler tyrant is stomping around the White House and the headlines doing daily damage to peace, hope, and the fabric of international society. Right now, when extremists on their fringes want us to mistrust and misunderstand each other. When the continued barrage of sinister manipulation relies on us not knowing better than to trust their insults and depredations. Can you imagine a more important time to go see the reality of our shared human nature?
Now is a very good time to go to Iran. Now is an essential time to go to Iran. But now is, apparently, an impossible time to go to Iran. And it’s breaking my heart.
Trump issued his anti-human, make America sinister again executive order, and Iran reciprocated. I can’t really blame them. A number of countries follow the quid pro quo principle, identical visa fees & restrictions etc. These countries are the most exorbitant and arduous to enter, that many of us tend to avoid. Makes sense, but sucks anyway. Barriers to mutual human comprehension and affection.
It’s rainy, I feel a little sick, and the forces of intolerance seem to be winning the future right now. Terribly tempting to get back in bed and hibernate until joy comes back or we sink into the sea.
Except I love the rain. Always have. Since childhood, running out to sit in the car to hear it better. And that subtle disturbance in the back of my throat isn’t a cold, it’s my body processing the last of the libations and inhalations of a Portland celebration. Manifest joy. And the pinch-mouthed forces that want to divide us? The Trumps and Islamophobes? Are they winning?
Yes. The battle. Because we let them make it a battle. But that’s inaccurate. Human society is not a battle. Human society is growth. It’s a plant, not a weed-whacker. Abundance, not violence. Progression, not transgression. The human character is built of love and kindness, it takes trauma to twist it away from that. And Trump is definitely trauma.
Unfortunately, damage is cyclical, hereditary, and easy. Easy as a stamp on a piece of paper. So I’m not going to Iran next week. But this is more important than my travel plans. This is the world we want to live in, aggressive or progressive, our choice. So I’m going to stay here, nurture my kindness in the face of presidential bitterness, and wait until I can go. I will go to Iran. When reason returns. I’m looking forward to it already.