I have no plan to join the ‘Not My President ‘ street demonstrations. Donald Trump was elected (by the Electoral College if not the electorate); the election was not rigged; and the people have spoken. It is time to move forward.
If I seem way too sanguine, be that as it may. I just can’t do any more conflict or pain. Actually, I’m more peaceful today than I was during the presidential campaign or the immediate aftermath of the election. And I owe this serenity to a number of sources.
Foremost is the number of emails and phone calls that came my way after the election. Aside from immediate family and friends in town, my husband and I heard from distant friends who essentially told us to take a deep, cleansing breath. Mark heard from a cousin with whom he had no contact in 60 years. I heard from two, distant, non-related cousins. One I hadn’t seen in 50 years; the second cousin I hadn’t seen in maybe 12 years. And then I heard from far-flung friends who reached out to hug and be hugged. I was left thinking about the healing power of touch – a power that transcends political angst.
A second serenity gift came from Brent Bruser, a local community activist, who sent me a link to Vachel Lindsay‘s poem “How the Wings Were Made.” From the first stanza: From many morning-glories / that in an hour will fade, ‘ From many pansy buds / Gathered in the shade, ‘ From lily of the valley / And dandelion buds, ‘ From fiery poppy-buds / Are the Wings of Morning made. And then later along in the poem: West! west – o’ertake the night / that flees the morning sun. / There’s a path between the stars- / a black and silent one.”
The third serenity gift came from Doann Houghton, a fellow member of Shavano Poets and author of “Rediscovering the World During a Ten-Year Circumnavigation.” Doann forwarded a YouTube video on the power of poetry: to my mind, put the slop jar on the stove; turn up the heat; and watch the distillation of the contents.
The third serenity gift came from reading a blog posted by Lou Kravitz. I don’t always agree with Lou’s take on politics, but I read him because he is articulate and his blogs are always well written. See “Parties of Fools” posted at http://noverde.wordpress.com/2016/11/12. Reading Lou reminds me to keep an open mind and sift through the arguments advanced by our political opponents. We just might move towards the center. If we are to move forward, we’ve got to come out of the trenches and put our heads above the parapet.
Some months ago, my husband and I tried observing a Sabbath. We failed miserably. Our failure began with our thinking that observing a Sabbath on Saturday was not convenient, and we moved Sabbath to Wednesday or Thursday… whichever day would work best. And it was downhill from there. Building on that very obvious failure, this morning Mark and I decided to start again. We will start small. Mark suggested that we think of the Sabbath as if we were a taxi cab driver with the off-duty light on. He added, “What if the day is devoid of the normal?” That is good. Our first step to achieving inner-peace is to refrain from listening to all news on Saturdays.
I’ll let you know how it goes.