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 💙
Now this is the way to spend Election Day! Thanks for a beautiful post, and especially for capturing the peace our choices and connections can provide in times of uncertainty.
Loved seeing these exquisite photos and the happiness of 3 writers in a marvelous nature place.
Thank you, Ann. I don’t often get to have such soulful time away. It was gorgeous and a true spirit lift!
Nice time for a quick gateway. Lots of doom and gloom in the news, but things turned out better than expected. Glad you got to see some of Oregon’s backroads on your trip!
The drive through those small towns is such a joy for me. The Manzanita area is definitely a favorite and helped me look forward with some renewed hope.
This is beautiful Bonnie. And look at the three of you; it warmed me so much. The Autumn views of land and sky were heartwarming as well. It was a jolt to read “for now,” as I am battling some raging cynicism and have concluded that my country will not be my own for a decade or two, until this craziness has run its course. But then I was kind of hoping I was overreacting. If I am, I’m apparently not the only one. I look forward to your post. I wasn’t considering writing one for myself, but thinking about how you are so good at facing things that are hard makes me think it would do me good to get my thoughts and opinions out in a post. We will see where the world takes us, whichever way we end up going. Hugs. <3
Oh, thank YOU Crystal. We drove home right through St Helens and Rainier and I thought of you. I think you absolutely should write about your thoughts about it all. We all bring a needed perspective to the conversation and I think we are always better when we connect with real people about real issues. Maybe someone needs to hear exactly what you have to say!
Gloriosity! Those pink clouds. Wowza. “Time marches on and the white-haired crones keep carrying the torch of love and wisdom.” We rock!
Pink clouds, blazing fire, the rush of waves and two of my favorite people. We really DO rock!
Although … vixen is a much better term …
what is that quote from?
I love the texture pics too. But where is the swimming woman??
Hahaha … I wondered if I should add her! Okay, I updated the post. I would love to know THAT story!
I love these photos-looks so comfy and relaxing!!! I was avoiding news too!
It was such a good choice, serenity over anxiety. I love Manzanita. It might be one of my favorites.
love love love. You captured it all exquisitely. Thank you for the beautiful photos and words and your presence and companionship!
It was such a wonderful break. Thank YOU.