Friday, January 20, 2017

Are You Feeling It Too?

Today I am wandering around my house and my soul like an orb in a pinball machine - bouncing off the immovable bumpers in my path and landing in unpredictable places. Mostly, I am counting on the flappers of instinct to avoid the drain. I feel if someone I love has unexpectedly died and I don't know what in the world to do next.

I have watched videos on YouTube and cried.
I have stirred up a batch of granola to make the house smell cozy.
I have listened to some of my favorite music.
I have tried reading some brilliant words - Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama - but I find no inspiration to motivate me toward focus and determination.

Still...I am trying to redeem the day. So I came to the desk, to think on paper.

I know something is happening in Washington, DC as I write this that is beyond my comprehension. I can't even conjure up a good sentence about it (I keep trying). I won't let myself remember this day in my house 8 years ago. I can't envision the future.

I am stuck. And stunned. And stupefied. And I'm not very proud to admit it.

I generally consider myself a woman of decided action and unrepentant outspokenness. My name might be found in the dictionary if you look up the word stubborn...I'm not sure. I'm not afraid of a good philosophical or political fight. I am woman. Hear me roar.

But today, I feel weak and dis-empowered and about as far from hopeful as the constellation Cassiopeia is from Earth. The emotional distance seems absolutely unbridgeable.

To those of you also feeling this fog of sadness and, perhaps, abject terror...let's make a deal:

Wallow in the ditch today. Find that bar or restaurant in your town giving 100% of the day's proceeds to a cause you believe in. Eat cookies. And ice cream out of the carton. Play sad music. Read long poems. Then get up tomorrow morning, put on your walking shoes and find a march. Or a brilliant hiking trail. Or a soup kitchen. Or a safe house for immigrants. Chant your mantras, say your prayers, light your candles and be about the business of complete awareness and passionate involvement.

But give yourself today. We need you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Sun Rose 3 AM this morning, I doubted the sun would ever come up again.

And I was certain I didn't want to see it if it did.

The first words out of my mouth as I rolled over and realized that - yes - a new day had dawned: Is Donald Trump still the president-elect?

Sigh. I heard Barack Obama say it just 90 minutes ago...The sun is up.

So, I guess we choose to move forward?

I have been on the losing side of elections many, many times. I am, after all, a tiny, blue spec on the big, red sea of Texas. When we have lost at the polls before, we've sighed, poured some vodka over ice, and dusted ourselves off for the next round. (My friend Judy Jennings, for instance, just ran her THIRD unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the Texas State Board of Education. When I say we blue specs are tenacious and resilient, I mean it!).

We have never wondered if the world as we  know it is on the brink of disaster. We have never imagined one election could change the fabric of the school district, county, state, or country. We have never been quite so dazed and confused.

Can it really be that fear...that very calculated, highly effective campaign tool that stirs the frenzy stew...actually gets out the vote?

Donald Trump made fear his brand. He rode it. He engendered it. He sprinkled it along the path like breadcrumbs to that house in the woods made of gingerbread and candy, with a murderous fire ready to lick at the heels of those who grew too curious.  His public behaviors for the last 18 months have been bullying, degrading, narcissistic, uncooperative, and especially embarrassing coming from someone on our country's biggest worldview stage.

Now he is the President-Elect.

Am I sorry America didn't elect a woman president last night? You bet I am. I had plane tickets in the queue and inaugural ball dreams dancing in my head at this very hour yesterday. But it's not the "psychogender dynamics" (I heard that phrase on TV this morning) that has me grieving today. I believe a woman will make it to the White House before I die. It's on my bucket list.

But as I search my psyche today, the fact that America chose against electing a woman is not what has me in a fog...

It's the picture of a country at least half-full of people motivated by fear of others (at worst), and self-centered, me-first governance (at best).

It's the knowing I live in a place that accepts a kind of nationalism expressed with slogans like: "Build a wall. Kill them all." "Trump that Bitch!" and "Kill Her!" that has me in a near catatonic state today.

It's having lived through the months-long, never-ending barrage of angry-white-man crazy talk (i.e., I'm beautiful because I'm rich and She's disgusting. Have you seen her?) spewing from the GOP candidate's mouth like residual ash from an always-active volcano that has me wanting to run with my granddaughter to Canada.

For the first time in my long voting life, I really can't see myself holding hands with folks on the other side. I find no bridge to GOP voters. I find absolutely nothing positive to think or say or imagine about the President-Elect. I am a stranger here.

So, yes...the sun did come up today. I'm just not sure I recognize the place. I have remained mostly silent. In my pajamas. With coffee in my hand and soup on the stove. Cookies on a plate in the kitchen.

Like a blind woman, I have tried to navigate the new day's reality by feeling my way along aching emotional walls. But I keep tripping on the words below - spoken in the light of this new day by a very classy Hillary Rodham Clinton:
  • Make sure your voices are heard going forward.
  • Never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.
  • Little girls. You are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance to pursue your dreams.
  • Our best days are still ahead of us. We are stronger together and we will go forward together.
She also said we owe Donald Trump an open mind and a chance to lead. 

Just 1460 sunrises 'til Election Day 2020. 

May our best days, in fact, be ahead of us. 
Grace for me, please, if today is not one of them.