This morning I am looking at an empty screen. Oh, the terror of a blank page. The writer’s worst nightmare…and greatest hope.
Today, January 21st, 2017, America is also facing a blank page. Most of the people in my circle view this particular blank page with dread and anger. There are others who hold the new President as their great hope.
I hold a (perhaps) unique vision of this day in that I am angrier than I’ve ever been about a political transition in our country, angry that seemingly sensible people truly believe D.T. could be a salvation for anyone but himself, yet I harbor a small inkling of hope that somewhere in this morass of collective opposition and impending doom lies a seed of our new and inclusive future and love based society. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suspect that utopia is attainable in this realm, but Obama showed us that real, positive, compassionate government is possible. Was his presidency perfect? Of course not. But in his eight years in office, we had the affordable health care act bringing real salvation to millions who had been denied health care in the past, marriage equality, low interest rates, the lowest unemployment rate in decades, and a recovering economy.
Thousands, if not millions, of women and men are marching today all over the country in the name of women, disenfranchised peoples of all colors, creeds, and sexual orientations, on behalf of the planet. It is a sweeping and important gesture, a massive collective step towards unity, hope, and resistance to the hatred and bigotry that is sweeping our country and which has seemingly taken power in D.C. as of 12:02 yesterday when D.T. was sworn in as President. I have chosen to sit quietly in my home and write rather than making my way to a march near or far. I sit here conflicted by my own choice. I long to be among the hordes of activists; yet, I feel so solidly rooted in my chair, looking out at a vast, quiet wooded yard in rural Maine.
I spent last evening putting up curtains, cocooning myself against the darkness of the windows which bring so much light and nature into the house by day. I awoke today realizing that instead of going out into the world and participating in it, I have spent the last several weeks creating a refuge from the world around me, a place of solitude and distance. This has been mostly conscious..and answer to the quiet voices within that tell me a solid base will be crucial in the time ahead and that this space will hold not just me, my dog, the partner I hope to have someday soon, but also family and friends who need a safe retreat from the firestorm that draws nearer every day. But when I realized that I’d literally shut myself in with the curtains last night, it dawned on me that some part of this exercise, if not much of it, it also self-protective, a way to keep the firestorm from crushing me and those I love.. Today, I feel a bit of a coward.
I also feel a bit reborn. I have renewed understanding, incomplete as it is, that my path in life has a strong strain of independence that is not a curse, but a blessing. A strength, not a weakness. In popular mythology, I’d be the high priestess or medicine woman living in a cabin in the woods making medicine and casting spells. I have always resisted this model; loneliness seems inherent and I do love being a part of the world and amongst people that I love. I have a need of male of companionship and the sorceresses of old live solitary lives. This struggle has been real for me for years, the battle between the independent, magical self and the woman who loves and desires a man at her side. Today, I somehow know that both selves are real and must join together to be whole…yet, the first, most relevant step today is embracing the solitary self, owning her world unapologetically. I can no longer demure from her gaze as I look in the mirror.
These thoughts may seem irrelevant, and are surely a bit scattered, in the face of today’s intensely focused marching and yesterdays dark turn in American history. I don’t believe they are. Now is the time to stand up and admit to ourselves and the world what is most strong, brave, beautiful, and important about our best selves.
I understand my ramblings today come from a position of extreme privilege. I have the means to hole up in my little house, I walk relatively safely through the world. Some very wise and fierce women (and men) might condemn me for sitting here instead of venturing out amongst the crowds today to show my face and share my self publicly. I respect that viewpoint. I cannot deny that the snippets of anxiety and fear I sense within myself when I picture going to a march today is quaint and simpering compared to what so many folks of color, LGTB, Muslim, and other disenfranchised peoples face on a daily basis just going out into the world, especially now, as of yesterday. And it may very well be small of me to sit here by myself, safe and tucked away. I honestly don’t know.
I come back, tho, to the central question I, and so many I witness on social media and in my small circle here in Maine, are wrestling with just now: how do we honestly make a difference in the months and years ahead after the fanfare of today’s marches are over? I believe, just now, we must step away from the molds others try and put us into, even those molds that reflect our most positive beliefs about ourselves. We must begin to walk more fully in our very own shoes, while expanding our consciousness about how others walk in theirs. Today’s post, for me, is my attempt at that. It’s as awkward and wobbly as any baby step in the right right direction. Misguided even, maybe. Not wholly thought out, for sure, because I am attempting to operate on something deeper than thought - intuition, perhaps, spirit guided whispers, practical magic.
I am attempting to fan the small inner flame that has been (re?) awoken by the devastating election of D.T. and create a lasting, easily sustainable fire within myself to be a powerful advocate for light in the dark, for the planet and the universal consciousness that connects each of to it and to each other, for many years to come. I am taking the first steps in a long game.