Friday, November 11, 2016

When the Words Fail

"There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
You hold your child as tight as you can
And push away the unimaginable
The moments when you’re in so deep
It feels easier to just swim down"
- Angelica Schuyler Church, Hamilton

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Words have failed me. Rather, the words are not sprouting like tiny milkweed shoots at the beginning of summer. Instead of being young and green, they lie in a crumpled heap with the dead leaves. They shrivel as the light fades from the day into colder, breezy nights that herald the start of November. 

We suffered a devastating defeat this week. Our country decided not to elect a woman who has been in politics for twenty years, in favor of a convicted jerk. Hate crimes have already started, from racist graffiti to grabbing Muslim women's veils. The next four years will become a bigger fight to prevent disaster. More environmental damage will happen, which means flooding in Florida, poisoned drinking water, and increased pollution.

A few years ago, a guy from Denver tried to cut off my mom at the gas station. She stood her ground. He proceeded to curse her out and call her the "n" word. When I rushed to defend her, she told me not to; he could have a gun and fire on both of us without ramification. She told a cop, who listened with sympathy. The Denver guy drove away, to harass other people of color and to go about his life thinking he was a righteous angry martyr. I think of that guy today, how there are dozens like him.

It's been an exhausting four days. Writing has become harder, to process what has happened and to express my feelings. Hatred and the Denver bully won a decisive battle. People preferred to vote for a rapist rather than for a competent politician, and they are silent about the ensuing violence and hate. They may not believe it, but they said with their vote that they don't care for others' quality of life except their own. Disabled rights activists will have to fight twice as hard for basic care, and we have to read about women getting arrested for defending themselves against Trump supporters.

Things aren't going to be okay. They may be manageable, but this is not okay. We can never accept this as okay, if we want to keep everyone safe. I feel like I've been stabbed through the heart. So many others feel the same. We need time to rest, and recover.

Everyone have a peaceful weekend. I'll be at Book Riot Live on Saturday, to hang out with fellow columnists, write and wind down. We all need a break.

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