Jan. 20th, 2017


Jan. 20th, 2017 04:52 pm
shadowkat: (rainbow strength)
Today, I read a wonderful essay by Anne Dunn that was emailed to me by the Center for Fiction. I put my email on their mailing list after I bought a few Lapham Quarterly's from them a few months ago.

This is the passage that struck me and I re-read twice, with tears in my eyes.

What is it they say about a house that is burning?

Our attachment to privilege, to believing we are owed something, is not hope. It’s as if we are all in the grips of an addiction in which it’s too painful to remember what the sunrise feels like. It is what limits our vision, what led us to fail Hillary Clinton and each other in this election.

This failure leaves us on a planet that is dying around us and doing nothing about it. Where hosing down a human being with cold water in the freezing night is permissible. Where a young black man bleeds out on a San Francisco street alone. Because you, not them. Because safety, not empathy. Because I, not we. Because if I can just survive that's enough.

But it's not enough. It's calcifying in the face of love.

I need to know about this America, not turn a blind eye to it, this America that I have forever been hesitant to love, have always in some untended chamber of my queer female heart feared would destroy me.

This was not an election about issues. This was not an election about good or evil either. It was an election about suffering. People are good, their souls are precious, their dreams are real and vital. This election illustrated for me how much and in what crushing amplitude people are suffering out there, and the way in which it is so easy when we are suffering to attach ourselves to and be motivated by hate. How hate creates a shell that eclipses our morality, our humanity, our joy, our dignity.

This election made me feel the need to protect people, and that breaks my heart pump.

James Baldwin said, If you can’t love anybody you are dangerous. You have no way to learn humility, no way to learn that other people suffer and to use your suffering and theirs to get from this place to that.

And so I challenge myself and all of us to push beyond our disappointment and heartbreak, beyond our attachment to power as a means of survival, beyond loving anybody to loving everybody. Listen, I am angry. And, yes, in many ways I have become a canvas of rage. But anger is different than hate. I will use my anger to activate, to demonstrate, to make phone calls, to learn to love harder and stronger.

And HERE is the rest of the essay entitled Lines of Resistance - How to Handle a Failed Election.

It's raining. The sky looks like soiled socks and there's a dripping guttural sound as it hits and runs off gutters. My sciatic nerve on the right leg has also acted up again -- it does that in times of stress, so this may or may not get in the way of me marching tomorrow. I feel that I should though -- if only as a positive release of the rage that boils under the surface. I am avoiding the inaugration as much as possible -- because I don't want to feel the rage...Today, we moved offices and left work early as a result of our move from Midtown Manhattan back to Jamaica,Queens...far from the center of activity. Today, I was waited on at a grocery store by a very patient and kind woman from Pakistan or Bangladash, dressed in full Muslim garb - who aided me, while I irritably cursed a scanner machine that would most likely put her out of a job. I passed Orthodox Russian Jews who fled to this country ages ago for their religious freedom on the street and in the halls of my apartment building. I heard over twenty different languages, none of which I understood. Watched two boys dance inside the subway, flipping along the poles. Passed homeless men and women of all ages. And listened to lonely bagpipes of a man sitting on the floor of a subway passageway. This is NY and every day is a lesson in humility. I did not feel kind today. I was hungry and irritated on the way home, my leg aching, worried about my future, but around me...I saw I was not alone as I felt or often think I am, in this bustling city of contrasts, and hope.
shadowkat: (Default)
American Satire, made over forty years ago yet quite fitting today...from Norman Lear's "All in the Family"

shadowkat: (Default)
My way of dealing with today? Watching "Nashville", "This is Us", "Big Bang Theory", and a few episodes of "The Good Place" on demand. (I hadn't liked the Good Place when I first saw it, still don't find it that funny, but the third and fourth episode got a chuckle or two out of me. Mainly because now I know that my initial impression was correct -- ie. that it's not really The Good Place.)

I've been second guessing myself a lot lately. Not sure I'm doing anything right. Trying to just trust myself and go with it. If I've learned anything from the political scene and DJT/HRC - it's this, you can't get your validation from others. And you can't look at others to see if you are doing the right things, wrong things, or to figure out who you are. We are unfortunately a society that is obsessed with external validation -- hence the proliferation of awards shows. Donald Trump is the culmination of that obsession. We want approval. We all care far too much what others think.
But I look at Trump and I see how hollow that is. How hollow power is. How hollow all of it is.

The world at times hurts like a knife. Feels lonely. And cold.


Out of the blue, I had two people contact me by cell phone. My ex-boyfriend, first love from college.
And my brother. Short brief contacts. But contacts all the same. Reaching out to touch base -- today, to somehow reassure each other. Both men. Who both know me on a level no one else does, and have in their own odd ways informed my feminism and view of men and gender.

And at work, my cubical mates supported my view that this was crazy what was happening...and our hope that it would end soon. The guy who immigrated here from Russia showed us a funny bit posted to Russian immigrants from Russia to the US, "you ran from this, but then you voted for it!"

And on FB there are photos of women filling planes on the way to DC to march in solidarity. Around the world they are marching. Few people showed up today to the inaugration. The mall was practically deserted.

And...around the world, people who were once complacent, who did little but blog, are waking up and taking action. They are calling Senators, and Congressmen. They are marching -- people like myself who never marched before. They are posting political posts against DJT, when they didn't post about politics at all in the past. They are contributing to various humane rights organizations.

So, I have hope.


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