I’m having trouble focusing and concentrating this week as I wait for election results and wonder what the next few months will hold for us, regardless of the final tallies.
I suspect that some of you are experiencing a similar state of being these days. And I know that each of us is living our own unique life—in this particular moment, and beyond. Maybe you don’t feel affected by election week at all, wondering what all the fuss is about. Or perhaps you’re more devastated than I am that there wasn’t a grand repudiation of some elected officials’ moral leadership (or lack thereof). Or maybe you have a deep sense of trust that no matter what happens this week, we are steadily bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
However you are, and whatever you’re doing, I’ve been holding space for you, UUCC, in these strange times.
I’m occupying myself with discrete concrete tasks that don’t require too much imagination. I’m reminding myself that there’s very little that I absolutely must do today—that productivity is not necessarily evidence of worth or well-being, and that lack of productivity is sometimes wholly healthy. I’m trying to pay attention to what my body needs and be gentle and kind to myself.
I hope you are, too.
I’ve been collecting snippets of encouragement and hope from things I’m reading online—words of people I know, or from poetry, or from other artists—and I offer a few of bits to you here, hoping that these words will land where, and with whom, they’re needed.
“What is happening as the legally cast votes are being counted is exactly what we knew would happen. Breathe regular.” — Rev. Kimberley Debus
. . . & every head nod is my president
& every child singing summer with a red sweet tongue is my president
& the birds
& the cooks
& the single moms especially
& the weed dealers
& the teachers
& the meter maid who lets you slide
& the cab drivers who stop
& the nurse’s swollen feet
& the braider’s exhausted hands . . . — from “my president” by Danez Smith
Child: But, what if they lose?
Parent: Then we keep fighting for the rights of all people.
Child: And, if they win?
Parent: Oh, dear girl, it’s the same answer. — from the painting “Perspective”, by Angie King
“We need to remember that we already have all that we need. We are the people who show up, time and time again. We are resilient, and we are ready.” — Nicole Pressley, UU the Vote
“So they picked a violent man to do violent things to us so we could go away and shut up — because that’s, historically speaking, what they’ve always done.
[But] we are not our parents or great grandparents. They taught us lessons so we would not have to face the things they faced.
We are humans, we evolve.
They thought 1 Barack Obama, a Squad, and some Bernie Bros were bad?
They are just the tip of the spear.
There’s a million more on the way.
We are already here.” — Raziq Brown
“I didn’t get my beautiful repudiation, but I did get my marching orders.” — Rebecca Wald
“Democracy is not a supermarket, where you pop in whenever you need something; it’s a farm, where you reap what you sow. Let’s plant.” — Anand Giridharadas, in “What we know already: Notes on election morning”
Look back only for as long as you must,
Then go forward into the history you will make.
Be good, then better. Write books. Cure disease.
Make us proud. Make yourself proud.
And those who came before you? When you hear thunder,
Hear it as their applause. — from “A House Called Tomorrow”, by Alberto Ríos
“There are those of us who live love. It’s real, raw, naked, and unafraid.” — Ama Chandra
So, dear UUCC, let’s continue to evolve, plant, fight, love, march, and breathe…