Expand + Contract

"Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right."
- Albus Dumbledore

"Love trumps hate. Maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow. But please remember, we are only as safe as our most vulnerable citizens. Stand up for what is right. We have to keep each other safe, Muslim, LGBT, African-Americans. I am my brother's keeper. Let's show our kids that when they go low, we go high!" ~from a post on Pantsuit Nation.

Maybe you're celebrating this morning. Maybe you're straight up confused because you live outside the US and you're wondering what just happened... how we spun off our axis. Or maybe you're feeling similar to me, like I just just got sucker punched by the bully on the playground.

I remember the feeling of the air leaving my body decades ago after being sideswiped by a kid going 70 mph through a red light, driving directly into my driver's side car door. That's what this morning feels like. I was bruised, cracked open, stitched and confused. It took me a while to heal, and even longer to feel safe driving again. I went from feeling strong and solid to feeling completely out of my body. I learned what healing felt like, and it was turning point for me in life. I learned that pain sucks, but you can grow stronger through healing. Breathe in; breathe out. Expand + contract.

And then there's my brother, who is right... #lovewins. It may not feel like it in this moment but it does. The light cannot be upended by darkness. Rather than shaming those who voted for their candidate, love them. They're going to need it.

I am waking up to what feels like an alternate universe this morning. I have few words to describe how this election has challenged me. My focus is almost always solution based, and that's what I feel we have a duty to consider today. As powerful as your vote may or may not feel this morning, we each have the ability to use our voice daily. It's a right that only a few exercise. This morning's wake up call is a call to action. I love this country, even though I may not love what it appears we represent right now. To leave is a slap in the face of every man and woman who's fought and died to preserve everything the USA stands for. Every activist, every writer, every child who's watching. We're in conflict, and the next few years are going to be unimaginable, but we stay and we do the work to make the changes we need. We run for local office, we join the groups that protect the minority groups, we support immigrants working in our communities. DO something. Don't fucking run... that's the least American thing you can do. At the end of the day, rather than running away or bitching for the next four years, get up, dust yourself off, and put the fury, sadness and alarm you're feeling to work. Expand + contract.

You aren't alone. Did you really think the old guard was going to leave quietly? It makes sense that Trump would be their grand finale. It's almost Shakespearean how apt it is. This is the final curtain on the ultimate power of white men, who've run this nation for two and a half centuries, who are holding on by their fingertips. The GOP, who Mary Shelley'd this... have fun. We don't want to hear you cry, blame or back peddle. Go manage your monster boys. We'll be working to ensure that in 4 years we have the right people, the right leaders, and the framework to pivot.

Put the whiskey away; we have work to do. Details coming soon.

- jb -