A good friend asked me yesterday why she hadn't seen any blog posts in awhile. I told her it was because I couldn't post what I had written. It was unsuitable. Every word falling on paper in the last seven days comes not from a place of hopefulness for the future, but a dread of getting out of bed in the morning.
Once upon a time I moved quietly through my day-to-day world, focused on my health and grateful to be alive. I was utterly secure in the knowledge that my family and I were safe in a nation with a gracious, smart, respectable leader at the helm who bore no vengeance and would do no harm. He could be trusted.
The last seven days have been different.
I wake up every night now, unable to clear my mind of thoughts of the violence and hate and bigotry that have literally surrounded us. Though tucked away in my cozy home in a white suburban neighborhood, I am grossly aware of others' terror. My own terror is enough -- fear for the continued legitimacy of and respect for my marriage, fear of losing my healthcare coverage. But my heart aches for those living in fear of being ripped apart from their loved ones, or rounded up like animals and deported from the only country they have ever known. It aches for those waking to epithets painted on their homes and cars and at how they must survive the taunts and slurs hurled at them as they walk down a street somewhere in the U.S.A. today.
There is no comfort now. There is no safety.
In the dead of night my mind whirls and churns of ways in which we can all try to keep ourselves safe from the impertinent seven-year-old, pouting in his gold-bideted tower because he might have to actually live in the White House. The unthinkable has happened.
I have always wanted to keep my writing focused on living. On finding joy. On celebrating life. On recognizing and appreciating each of the moments that come to us as brightly wrapped gifts, and recognizing even those gifts not so finely wrapped. But this week has been different, and my gut-knowledge of life in its purest form has been rattled and beaten. Writing joy from that place is hard.
Harder still is the inability to share the thoughts I wrote for election day -- the post intended to celebrate one woman's journey from child to adult; from law student to leader of the greatest country in the world; of my own journey from what might have been. But that never happened. The hope and inspiration I envisioned for our nation's youngest hearts was dashed in an instant as we flew backwards at light speed, now fighting for our very autonomy once again. These young women are pictured above, but now the only words I can offer them are these: This nation has failed you. We are sorry. We are so very, very sorry.
But we are also resilient. Those of us with cancer know this. We do not back down. We do not give up. We cry and howl at the injustice -- of our illness, of the next presidency -- but we do not give in.
We go on. And on. And on.
And we fight.
We keep fighting.