A farewell

Mar 7, 2018 at 10:18 am
Erica Rucker
Erica Rucker

When I started writing for LEO Weekly, I had just been fired from a job that compromised my health, both mentally and physically. It was a gift, and one day I’ll send them a fruit basket to thank them. Within hours it seems, my phone rang. It was LEO’s music editor calling to ask if I’d write something about music. I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy simply writing music reviews, or doing band interviews, so I made a wild suggestion: “Let me write about how we live with music.” The moment he agreed changed my life as a writer and daughter of this city.

Now, as I am writing this, a sort of farewell, I am suddenly hit by a tsunami of memories and emotions.

LEO has been a home for some of my craziest thoughts and ideas, so how do I let that go? It is rare for a writer to be given the freedom and support that I’ve been afforded by the team of folks at LEO (both new and old). I can’t imagine that I will ever have that same experience again, but as I close my time as a weekly columnist with the paper, I realize that all experiences are not meant to be repeated, but it is necessary to take what I’ve learned here and move forward.

Where am I going? Honestly, I wish I could tell you that I was leaving because of an amazing job offer, or that my life shifted dramatically for the better. I wish I had a simple reason. I’m moving on because it is time, and I need a break. I have no idea what that means, or where I’m going. I’ll still be around, sort of, but I’ll be more of a gas than a solid, nebulous.

I also promised myself that when it ceased to be joyful, I needed to let it go, and here we are. To some degree, being a loudmouth and pointing a finger at local politics is hella fun, but politics is a dirty business, and the realization that you can’t single-handedly affect immediate change is frustrating. I don’t discount the importance of media calling out politicians. I never plan to stop doing that but I was beginning to feel a bit lost in the political darkness, and I needed a little sunlight.

How very Cancerian.

I’m certain that there are other voices that will bubble to the surface. May they be bold as hell, work the editor’s nerves as bad as I did, and may their trolls be as fun as mine. Shout-out, Mr. Rhoades.

It’s strange that I’m writing this, and what was a gray and rainy day has burst into sunshine. From my table, the trees are swaying in the wind, and the first green buds of spring are sprouting. It’s fitting that something that feels like such a major ending is punctuated by the sun. We could all use a bit more of it.

With that said, there are still huge fights ahead for all of us. Primaries are just around the corner, and we need to be sure that the candidates we choose aren’t feeding us the same old lines that we’ve heard before. It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on — you have to be aware of the talking points that politicians who are running the status quo game are using.

“We’re going to work for better jobs.”

“We will improve healthcare.”

“We want good schools.”

Blah, Blah, Blah. If they aren’t selling anything specific, then walk away from them and vote for the candidate who is brave enough to say what they think. Greg Fischer, I’m looking at you. Be a braver man. Don’t give Angela Leet any leeway. Louisville does not need a Republican at its helm, and with you being challenged from the left, you could surely make this a possibility unless you provide a stronger voice.

Louisville deserves better than even the remote risk that a Republican could walk us back to the dark ages of Louisville, a city of satellites. Certainly, it is still far from perfect, but it is a city worth good, progressive leadership, which could be Ryan Fenwick, or it could be what we’ve got, if it is possible to get Fischer the kundalini he needs this late in the game.

But I digress. I’ve got to get back on this ledge and have faith that I will hit the ground gently, finding my way to what comes next.