It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness, it is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity, it is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…*
My heart hurts.
I want nothing more on my first day off in over a month than to sit in this kitchen, at this kitchen table, watching the sun rise over the yard and street, while drinking a cup of tea and pecking away at this keyboard, writing, crafting, creating and sharing with the world my feelings, thoughts and visceral experiences and by some strange twist of fate, that is exactly what I am doing: sitting, writing, crafting, watching, drinking tea, with Sunny beside me, the clock tick-tocking away while the sun rises and I peck at this keyboard putting down for all my thoughts, feelings and visceral experiences, the ones that are now, that are here, that can’t stop coming.
There is irony in this being the best of times though; I revel in the writing process and the place and the time and this chance and I cringe, I cry, I feel sick, I scream, I let the tears stream down my face and I decry the impetus, the reasoning, the drive and the need; for it is not to document another privileged white boy ascent of some fucking mountain or some piss ass forty-five foot sport route that I tap this keyboard. There is irony in it because I can sit here and write, I can take a day off. I have privilege and luxury. I sit, watching shadows, wiping my eyes and typing about what moves me and it is not what I expected.
My heart hurts for those who are not like me. My heart hurts for those whose gender is not mine, whose shade of skin is not mine, whose religion is not mine, whose citizenship is not mine, whose sexuality is not mine, whose upbringing was not mine, whose privilege and ultimately whose freedom and lot in life are not mine. It hurts for victims of sexual assault. My heart hurts for those who look to America as a guiding light. My heart hurts for the world, for the planet. For what we once were and for what we have now become. My heart hurts for those whose can’t just say “well, life goes on” or “it’ll be alright.” It hurts for all who are now more afraid of having their rights taken away. My heart hurts because I know I have family, neighbors and acquaintances whose votes may not have aligned with mine. And I did little to sway them. I dismissed conversations because I felt not intelligent enough.
For some though it is a season of Light. I want to see it too. People cast their ballot. They supported something they believe in and while it may not be what I believe in, this is a democracy (more or less) and consequently I feel a need for respect. The process has spoken. For some, the candidate of choice lost. For others, the candidate of choice won. The final candidate of choice does not line up with my values of human decency or planetary respect but I know many were moved by outsider appeal and too much political correctness. I want to respect those values yet I find it hard to respect choices that marginalize and infringe on basic human liberty. As was ultimately said though “we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
My heart hurts because somewhere along the line, I became, what my father and maybe even my brother would call a “bleeding heart liberal.” But this isn’t really about me. I have so little skin in the game. Life will go on for me. I will be fine. And that sucks. My heart will hurt and I will feel it but I will never feel it as strongly and directly as those who don’t hold the same privilege that I do.
*obviously I need to credit Charles Dickens with the aptly written, though slightly modified, opening paragraph.
Featured image from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_United_States