I tried not to obsessively refresh my feed Tuesday night but I struggled. Even with an imperfect Democracy it was never even a consideration that I would participate in its undoing. As dramatic as it sounds, Democracy was not the only thing on the ballot. Facism was there too. It astounds me (and I looked long and hard for the right word here) that so many would choose a version of authoritarian rule in this country. I feel lazy about making decisions in my life sometimes too, but it’s more like letting the sandwich maker choose my bread. I will never abandon to others a decision about what I do with my own body or whether I practice a religion or marry the person I love.
With election day looming, I got out of town with a couple friends. Better to be in good company regardless of outcome. Win, lose or draw. Celebrating, commiserating or tuning it all out. Mostly we got to tune it all out. We never turned on a TV or a radio. I think we all peeked online after the polls closed, but otherwise enjoyed a beautiful house at the ocean talking about life and books and writing. It couldn’t have been much better.
My two friends are talented writers committed to their craft. I met them both through blogging and I love to think we are learning a thing or two from one another. Although we come from different backgrounds, with very different life experience, we all come to the page to more fully discover who we are. Our love of story connects us and I have to say that I enjoyed our conversations and silences in equal measure. So easy to just be together. On this, my day of reflection, I am looking back with deep gratitude.
There was the beach.
And the sky.
And the shared meals.
And “home” for a few days.
I drove down with my friend Gretchen and as we left to return to Washington we took the long way home (though not intentionally). It was a lovely finish to a great couple of days. Oregon backroads are stunning as they wind through river valleys and small towns. It makes me aware of how isolated our small communities can be and how necessary it will be to come together in the coming years in order to craft a world that is safe and loving for us all. When we know more, we do more. When we know better, we do better.
“This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can … we reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by ‘Hallelujah.’” -Leonard Cohen
I’m going to sit for awhile with this election and with all that it means (and doesn’t mean) about who we are. I’m thoughtfully considering writing that post. Walt Whitman was quoted as saying “To begin, begin”. And so I will.
While anger isn’t the answer, clearly silence isn’t either. Just for today I will embrace the whole mess and say only Hallelujah. Grateful (for now) that I still can speak my mind.
Hallelujah for freedom.
Hallelujah for a voice.
Hallelujah for the light coming in through the cracks …
Hallelujah for friends 💙