The Morning After: Resistance, Beauty and Love
Last night, I dreamt about Nazi Germany. I woke up, frightened, with images of ghettos and arm bands and lines of Jews on trains and orderly rows of soldiers marching, their bodies erect and rigid, each foot hitting the ground at the same moment.
I woke up, thinking “My country made a liar out of me” (a reference to a conversation I had with a little girl, which I wrote about in this blog post). I woke up thinking about that little girl in Watsonville, who is probably now terrified, and all the scores of Latino children and Muslim families who are now terrified. I woke up thinking about little girls across the country who just got the message their bodies are not there own, and little boys who are being fed a toxic masculinity that encourages bullying as the way to get ahead. I woke up thinking about black folks in cities now fearing a police state, and disable people who see how unconcerned much of the country is about them.
I woke up, terrified, thinking “This is what it feels like to wake up after your country elected a fascist.” I never thought I would say that.
There is a fire that is strong in me. Last night, my boyfriend and I talked about all of the things that we love that will still be here in the morning: Each other, and our families and our friends and all the children we both know and care about and the ocean and the Coastal Redwoods and the Valley Oaks and the clear blue sky. Those things are still here and I love them even more fiercely this morning.
Last night, when I dreamed about fascism, I also dreamed about poetry and beauty. A fellow poet and I had giant sheets of pearly paper, and we were covering them with beautiful words about the world. Beauty feels more vital then ever right now. I am holding tight to all of the things I think are beautiful and promising to protect them.
I feel the seeds of resistance in me. I feel a stirring of the soul, an uprising, a rebellion of the heart. Today, just as the images of hatred and oppression resonate in my mind, so do the images of resistance: The safe houses of free blacks and Quakers on the Underground Railroad, the allies who bought properties of interned Japanese and returned them after the war, those who smuggled Jews and immigrants during WWII, protestors in Tiananmen square. The history of humanity is replete with stories of hatred and repression, but, in those stories, there are always stories of brave acts of love and justice.
Before the election was called, my partner said to me, “Well, if Trump wins, we know what we will be doing for the next 4 years. We will be out on the streets, marching.” I have a new hobby, and it is resistance.
And in fact, it is bigger than resistance. It is not just standing in the way of bigotry, it is continuing to actively weave a new dream for life on this planet. In the words of Caroline Casey, I elect the Earth. I elect justice. I elect beauty and reverence and love. All of those reasons to work for change are still here today, and, in fact, have grown so much bigger. In the face of white supremacy and patriarchy, I am going to continue dreaming my dreams, with new vigor and boldness.
As we all take in the news, I hope we will take some time to nurture our broken hearts, to be with the pain and darkness, be with the fact that many of the American population is willing to cooperate with hatred. I took the morning off to go and lie in a field by a lake. I cried, and listened to the wind shaking the leaves of a cottonwood and watched birds traverse the big wide sky. It was healing and much needed. Whatever is gripping you right now, be with it and let it go.
And then, when you are ready, take action. We all have our mission for the next 4 to 8 years, and each of us has an assignment within that time. If you have ever thought your are insignificant, that you do not have the power or skills or resources to make a difference, that you are not smart enough or politically versed enough to make change, now is your time to prove yourself flagrantly wrong. What is it you care about most? How can you continue to protect it? What do you know the world needs? How can you start to build it? What piece of the collective dream are you holding? Today is a good day to be with your deepest longings and dreams for the world, because we need them more than ever.
In a few months, Donald Trump will have a lot of power, and we do not know what he will do with that power. Regardless of that, there is one thing I will never let him have, and that is my belief that Love Trumps Hate. I am stubbornly committed to continue to live that, to make that a reality in the world. I have my assignment for the next few years. I hope you will join me.
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