What to write? I’ve been wrestling with self-doubt, frustration, lack of time, and plain old pissedoffedness. Instead of writing, I’ve fulminated over FB posts I can’t stand and fissures in renewed relationships that have gone cold over the election of an autocratic narcissist. I flew to Florida with my sister just to drive a car back to Illinois. This was actually kind of fun because we listened to Ellen Degeneres‘ audiobook Seriously. . . I’m Kidding, bought some new shoes at a roadside super shoe store (who knew?), and laughed a lot, but it wasn’t conducive to writing.
In the last couple of weeks, the US lost a classy, smart, funny, even-handed and compassionate President (This is my opinion, and it is one shared by many people–and it’s based on facts. Seriously, there’s no reason to comment if you do not agree; I know you are out there.) and installed into the highest office a Sharpie-wielding contractor who just this weekend executive-ordered the turning away of refugees who might be Muslim in an action that is in direct odds with the values of a majority of citizens who believe in the long-standing American ideal of giving refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution.
It’s enough to make you sick, and that’s just one crazy-assed example of the shit that’s been going down. It’s enough to make you angry, scared as hell, and too muddled to write.
In spite of all this, in spite of a spiritual fatigue fed by the constant-silencing folks who don’t like messy protests by determined patriots who will not lie down and get with the program of the new administration, in spite of my almost pathological desire to crawl through a portal to pre-November 8, 2016, I experienced something super cool this morning. It woke me up and blew me away in its simplicity and sweetness.
My kids, 18-year-old Peanut and 15-year-old Shel, walked out the door together for school.
This is the first year in a whopping 20 years of having school-age children, that I do not have to run a daily school drop-off or pick up. Instead, I stand at the front door in my jimmies and robe with a warm cup of coffee in my hand and watch them open the front door and walk together into the brisk morning air. I say “love and see you,” because that is what we say here at Jensenville, and they say, “love and see you,” before shutting the door behind them.
This happened this morning, and love showed up. Nearly knocked me the hell down, if I’m telling the truth. Love showed up and I got all wobbly-kneed and teary-eyed. It felt good, folks. It felt good to be so undone by love.
It’s hard to hold that kind of love in one hand while resisting with the other. And as I write that, I realize that it is the only way to resist. It is what keeps us soft and open to those we disagree with.
It’s hard. I know I already said that, but damn, it is hard. There are a lot of conservative-leaning folks who are tired of their liberal friends posting the latest troubling news on FB. They are both overwhelmed and disgusted by our distress. They want puppy dogs and kittens (hell, who doesn’t?). I contend that it’s possible they don’t want to be reminded of actions that make them a teensy-bit uncomfortable about the new administration and some of its policies.
I am mostly a people-pleaser, and it’s difficult for me to post newspaper articles and calls to action because I know I’m pissing people off. I don’t like pissing people off. I’m not confident enough to piss people off. I feel under informed–what I mean is that I’d like a political science/history degree before I start making statements, but I don’t have the time for that. None of us do.
So I have to rely on love to keep me strong. I saw this video on FB this morning after my kids left for school together, their breath mingling all puffy in the cool air, and maybe because I was still all loosey goosey with love, I cried while watching.
I’m still crying. All that we share.
Love is something I share with those folks detained at airports, with women whose bodies must be self- and not government-regulated, with the Dark-eyed Junco hopping around in the bare Burning Bushes outside my window, with the people who for the first time in their lives have healthcare and don’t want to lose it, with the pine tree whose shed needles make the winter ground soft to walk upon, with the bullied and the ass-head bullies, with the bigots and the open-hearted.
We can’t resist without it.