It All Ends Up In A Box
I've been offline for a few days (in case anyone noticed!) emptying Mrs. P's mother's home. We had to go through all of her things - clothes, files, closets, etc. - deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw out. It definitely puts one into another place, one in which the ultimate reality overwhelms everything else - when it's all over, everything ends up in a box. The only variation is the final destination of that box.
It can be harder to let go of certain possessions than it is to let go of the previous owner of those possessions, especially if the previous owner was clearly in decline, but eventually, one had to cut the emotions out of the deliberations and ask the tough deciding questions - is there still a use for this?
The United States of America is in decline as well, but the decline isn't linear. Just like Mrs. P's mother - who ended her life with three different cancers eating her body from within - America has good days and bad days, but the general trend is downward. The rallies are celebrated, but paid for the next day with exhaustion. The comebacks occur, but fall shorter each time.
Between my relatives and Mrs. P's, our extended family runs the entire gamut of political philosophy in attitude, but one salient thought is shared by all - it's only a matter of time for the US. No one - not even the most conservative Republican of the family - sees any chance of evading the Grim National Reaper. It's all over but for the Fat Lady's solo.
No one sees any chance of recovery, which is a sorry admission by those who opposed the efforts of the more liberal among us to turn things around while there might have still been time.
The only differences of opinion among us have to do with how well one might prepare to survive the coming calamity. Some are in better financial shape than others, but no one rates like a Gates. Everyone is fearful of what is coming, and few see much hope that anything can be saved.
It's like the US is also being eaten by cancers from within. Apathy, and loss of faith in the American system, and economic corruption, and political opportunism have all taken their toll, leaving little hope to offer.
Just like in our extended family, differences among family members are set aside while the declining member finishes living. Then the grim tasks of settling the final accounts begins - only in the case of the US, there is no will. The squabling will be ferocious once it begins, and the quick and the strong will benefit at the expense of the rest.
The ties that once held the American Family together have rotted from neglect as thoroughly as did BP's Alaska pipeline, and the life blood of the nation flows just as strongly through the corruption, adding to the pollution that some other member of the Family of Earth will get to clean up - sorted into the general categories of keep, donate, and discard.
If the pattern holds, little will be kept. Little will be considered suitable for donation, and much will be trashed. Into each box will go something, and once the sorting in completed, the boxes themselves will be sent on to their final destinations. Then silence will descend where once there was the noises of life. the ripples of cause-and-effect from the actions and decisions of life will gradually fade, and it will be as if the person - or nation - wasn't ever there at all.