Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I wake up disoriented. It takes me a few seconds to place myself, to remember what day it is. It takes me another minute or so to feel a familiar knot, an awful, choking mix of anxiety, frustration, and helplessness. Yes, yes, Donald Trump did win the election. I roll over, grab my tablet from the nightstand, and start checking the news. Anything could have happened overnight. I am prepared for anything. And yet I am also quite obviously prepared for nothing, because each fresh bit of news - today it's that President-Elect Trump called some of our most well-known reporters into a meeting to excoriate and browbeat them, as only a good fascist does - shocks and galls. I cannot be surprised anymore, I think. And then, once again, I am surprised.


Blogging, post-Trump, feels indulgent. I could be spending my time in a way that's more useful to others. I could be writing a letter to a senator, signing a petition, calling my representative's office. I have done these things. They feel small and insignificant. I don't know whether they will do any good.

I don't know what to tell my children. I don't know how afraid they should be. I don't know whether they will have to fight in a war we (we? they? he?) should never have started. There are so many unknowns.

As a child I read a book, an homage to Escher as I remember it now, about a world gone topsy-turvy. It's only in the last few weeks that the book, long forgotten, has come to mind. Its images and text seem to have leapt off its pages into the world I inhabit. It's as confusing as it is frightening.

What do we do now? I keep searching for answers. If I look to history, I see what we should not do. We should not stand by, we should not let what is morally repugnant become what is normal; if it's normal, it's too easy to overlook.

It is harder to figure out what to do, and to know what action of mine might make a real difference.

I cannot even sit still long enough to write coherently. I apologize. 

This will have to suffice, until things make a little more sense.

Time for more phone calls and letters.

The people walk upon their heads,
The sea is made of sand,
The children go to school by night,
In topsy-turvy land.

 (excerpt from Topsy-Turvy Land by H.E. Wilkinson)


alejna said...

I feel much the same. I am spinning, and can't write coherently about this yet. (I think you have been quite coherent, by the way. I am happy to read your words, as they help give some of my swimming thoughts shape.)

Christine said...

Blogging/writing is not indulgent, it's important. xoxo