24 hours , cont

What a day this has been, keeping vigil, one which began in the wee hours of the morning ( why is it that death seems to come in the night?) in shock, dazed as were you. If you were like me, you fell reluctantly into sleep, after staring at the screen in disbelief, willing it through glazed-over eyes to change color. Or perhaps you went into sleep willingly, wanting just to escape the truth. That the world that you believed in was shattered. 

Either way, you and I awoke disoriented and in despair. That despair needed space to rise and to fill our hearts, our eyes, our throats, to release or to settle, finding its home in the place where our passion will grow. We needed to feel it …we could not simply become numb again nor blindly plow forward ….and we needed to experience it together somehow, to remind us of our shared humanity. We are NOT alone in our hopes and our values. There are others here with us in this place of seeming exile. 

 Perhaps you are still there in the shock or the despair. Perhaps it will take you days or weeks. until you adjust to the new reality, begin to pick up the pieces of your shattered reality. We each have our own timeline. I was lucky that I could just be with it … and with you in it … today.

So many words of comfort, of validation and permission to feel, a piece picked up here, a piece picked up there as we sorted the wreckage, as we talked of our sorrow and of our disbelief. I heard it said tonight that this was our moment. Our JFK moment. Not all of you feel it this way. You did not see the same dream, feel the same sense of betrayal and exile where one suddenly feels like a stranger in a strange land. For you, it was just another day after the big game. That is ok too. We are all doing what we need to do.

The despair has already begun to shift in me, moving away from disbelief and confusion, through the sadness and dismay, thanks in part to the writing… my own and that of persons here who offered up their own grief, giving us all permission to feel, not to whitewash, nor to move numbly along acting as if nothing had changed, as if we had not been awakened.

Hillary’s speech was inspiring today. It offered us closure and hope at once. We carry the torch. We never give up on our vision. Standing in the shower (where all remnants of disgust must eventually be dealt with) I realized I needed to take back the label, ‘flaming liberal’ (and every other derogatoried word… feminist, b***h, bleeding heart, etc) from the other who had used it to desecrate our selves, our ideals, our voices, our vision, our goodness, our hopes. I decided that I rather liked fire, after all. I needed the heat of that flame to fuel this passion for good. 

So, no, for tonight (of course we all know the ways of grief are not linear) I am no longer in despair. Nor am I feeling defeated, or needing to hide in fear, nor numbed into apathy. I am tired, but I have not gone back to sleep. And in the morning, I shall rise.

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