Day 6: Discomfort

Cloudy with a chance of insurrection.

Brad Phillips
2 min readJan 7, 2021
Photo by Ilyuza Mingazova on Unsplash

There are some days where gratitude feels in direct opposition with what we’re faced with in the course of a 24-hour period. Like many in America, I’m struggling to find positive perspective today — a day where I bore witness to the boiling over of simmering tensions and division in the heart of our nation’s legislative machinery.

It has been a lonely experience. What is most terrifying to me, as I try and peel myself away from the coverage for a moment to collect my thoughts, is this awareness I’m confronted with — this overt divide in how Americans view themselves, their differences with others, their role in a democracy and in their individual and collective responsibility of civility towards one another. I can only feebly attempt to describe it as dissonance.

This cultural dissonance is a sensation I’ve lived alongside from an early age, a feeling of being surrounded by shallow perspective, bias and misinformation. It played a large role in my relocation for higher education and then again into adulthood; the instinct, I suppose, to flee from the threat of total consumption I was feeling suffocated by.

The ringing in my ears follows me wherever I go, and so I believe I’ve adapted to cut out the sharpness of its pitch over time. It could also be that there’s such noise in our modern experience that competition is simply too fierce. Blaring alarms like the scenery at the nation’s capital today are seemingly necessary to center my awareness back on that fundamental wickedness.

Still, I’m grateful for the persistence of this discomfort. I hope to grow more tolerant and welcoming of the feelings it brings to the surface. There is work to do — work, I think, that begins with the a change in focus towards what is common in all of us.

I believe a blue sky of peace is merely awaiting the parting of the clouds of this dissonance.

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Brad Phillips

Multimedia artist and Professional Software Engineer.