I was going to post another excerpt today from my upcoming book. I was going to drink my alarming amount of coffee, open up the word document I so lovingly crafted on Monday, and start banging out the prose on the final short story of said collection. I was going to push forward.
But I can’t right now, because the words are buried beneath a sedimentary strata of disappointment, shock, outrage, and yes, shame.
The people have, as always, spoken. I just could not believe for an instant that they would have opened their mouths to laud such hate, nativism, nationalism, xenophobia, and faux exceptionalism. I was wrong.
And maybe, just maybe, you’re feeling that too. Maybe you watched the results with as much trepidation as I, in between glancing at your computer screen to research the easiest paths out of the country. Maybe you crumpled, thinking that progress was just annihilated. Maybe you texted friends, family, or far-flung loved ones to ask that all consuming and fearful existential question:
What happens to me now?
Maybe the answers scared you. I’ve heard a few. It scares me, too.
So here we are. Worried. Despondent. And perhaps a wee bit shell-shocked. That’s okay. Think you need to abandon this ship in favor of another? Hey, no complaints from me. Do what you need to do to process, and to live. I’m right behind ya, supporting. But, I’m not necessarily following.
I’m not going anywhere.
This is OUR country. Not a select electorate, not a single party, not a single religion or sex or creed. And over the next four years, I’m going to add my voice to that crowd that will make damned sure it’s known. Because here’s the thing, and I can only hope it gives you some ray of light to pierce the morning-after gloom.
Societal and Civil Rights Progress can not be annihilated. It can be slowed. It can be stymied. It can even appear from our limited perspective that it has halted completely. It can be turned aside, and like now if can even feel like it fell prey to a devastating counter-stroke. But, like matter itself, it can not be destroyed.
I’m not going anywhere. I’ll drink more coffee. I’ll stare at that word document until I feel hale enough again emotionally to start filling it with entertaining narrative. Because that’s what I do; I try to entertain. I’ll entertain, and fight tooth and nail against the people who sincerely wish to transform MY country into some past concept that soothes their myopia. A concept, I add, that never fucking existed in the first place. I’m going to introduce them to what IS.
And what IS, as surely fixed and immutable as physical law, is that progress can not be halted for long. Even the glacier reaches its destination, and woe to the landscape that tries to deter it for long.
Who’s with me?