There is an apocryphal tale about the songwriting partnership that existed between Paul McCartney and John Lennon in which the line Sir Paul came up with was "got to admit it's getting better" was followed immediately by John's "can't get no worse." It was that kind of interplay that made them one collective genius. Two voices. Two minds. Working together to create some of the most beautiful music and unforgettable songs, Lennon and McCartney understood the creative process as a balancing act. Better and worse exist on a continuum that forms a line on which we walk everyday. Most of us, anyway.
There are those who are uncomfortable with words or ideas outside of their own vision. These are the folks who live in what has been lovingly described as an echo chamber. It is where, I confess, I lived for a decade or more. The questions I raised were answered by my own voice. It didn't always come from my mouth, or even my own head. That reaffirming sound was brought to me via my tribe, those around who could project back the world in all the color and detail to which I might have imagined myself. Hope and change was just around the corner, and all we needed to do was be patient and keep listening to the endless loop, the one that kept repeating Hope and Change.
Why wouldn't we believe it? Gay Marriage. The Affordable Care Act. Who cares if Guantanamo Bay stayed open? We got Osama bin Laden. We can go to Cuba. Got to admit that things were getting better.
Until they got much worse. How did that happen?
Maybe I wasn't listening. Maybe I wasn't watching. How could I have missed this?
I wasn't listening. I couldn't hear the harmony. There were other voices out there that were plenty loud, but I had ignored them. They didn't sound like mine. Maybe that's why I ignored them.
And now there is another song being sung. I don't recognize the tune, and I wouldn't sing along even if I knew the words. There is no harmony, currently. It's a big loud band that no one can dance with. Not me, anyway.
Can't get now worse.