"Yesterday was plain awful (you can say that again) / Yesterday was plain awful / But that's not now that's then"
Yes, I quoted a song from Annie to start this post. Hillary should have been president like I should have been Annie when I was a kid. Robbed! The good news is, Hillary can still be president in four years. I could maybe play Miss Hannigan (and totally would), but Annie is out for me.
Point being, I'm feeling a little lighter than yesterday. A little. There is still a lot of work to do (and we have a lot of time to do it, so we should start now to get as much done as possible, like educating ourselves so that we can vote at the state level).
That said, what about every single person who isn't straight or isn't white? What about that color and type of us? What are we going to do for that sect of us?
And I am endlessly inspired by the artists and my fellow writers offering guidance on how to move forward. My favorite so far are the above Toni Morrison moment and a piece Martha Beck posted. Beck writes, "My job today is to feel all the parts of me that are like the darkest parts of my profoundly divided country, my profoundly divided species. It is to listen to them, to understand them until my own fear, anger, and sorrow dissolve into the light of compassion."
Read the whole thing here.
Here's an excerpt:
"In the wee small hours last night, I began. I set about the same task that saved me back when the very community I’d loved all my life seemed determined to blot out all the goodness within me. First, I chose to believe that this election, like other horrors in my life, is forcing every broken part of me to the surface, where I can’t avoid seeing it. Second, I began tracking down every last fragment of brutal patriarchal power within myself, knowing that once I find it, I can heal it.
"Is there nothing in me that resembles Donald Trump, his cronies, his voters? I wish. All night I felt the blind, amoral terror that festers in the heart of every tyrant. All night I raged like something trapped and beaten. All night I was saturated with the kind of despair that crushes all benevolent creativity. All night I wanted someone big and powerful and ferocious to come along and make everything all better. All night, in fear of them, I was one of them.
"Turning against these qualities in myself — shaming them, repressing them, trying to crush them — is just another version of the same stupid brutality. This is how I responded to my memories of abuse. I wanted to fight, to destroy something, to do anything but accept what had happened. It didn’t work. It never does. The only thing that works, I found after endless anguish, is to find some way I can love the most broken parts of myself."
When I woke up today the sun was shining strongly through the glass door to our patio. Even though I had cleaned it just last week the amount it was streaked was undeniable, with the sun so heavily coming through it. I went outside and I cleaned it again. Twice more, actually. And then I cleaned the inside again, too. When I got to therapy, the mirror in that bathroom was spotted and mottled as well. It struck me that it relates to this election. I thought we were shinier and brighter than we are. But it's my responsibility to glean the most clarity I can from my life, from who I am, and to "love the most broken parts of myself," as Beck writes. But first I have to see them. And oh, aren't we seeing them.
The sun isn't afraid to show me how streaked my windows are. Will I meet it in its lucidity? I will meet it. Will I meet the light that has come to the extent of our racism, xenophobia, sexism, and hatred of basically anything that isn't straight and white (though by hating everything other than itself, the white hater hates itself, too)? I will. It's the only way. The time for singing "Tomorrow" on the playground is over (thank the Universe).
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.