We Are All Connected…

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We Are All Connected …

I’ve been awash with truisms, sayings, slogans these past weeks.  From Teilhard de Chardin’s divine unification, to string theory, to Martin Luther King’s hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that, to Charles Eisenstein’s Hope, Grief and A New Story. I’ve included a link to his essay at the end of this post.

All these ideas, thoughts, point me in the same direction, because, these days, I find myself full of hate, an uncomfortable state of affairs, even as I tell myself that this energy is going toward, not only a good cause, but a cause that must be taken up – for the good of our country, for the good of the world. Yes, I am fighting Trump. I dare not ask myself exactly how I am doing that. By calling my two unresponsive Senators and my Representative, the latter who is sure that his evangelical god is on his side. All three Republicans. So not only do I find myself hating the president, I also find myself hating Republicans. Now I do know that making these arrogant and rash generalizations is not sound reasoning. And I realize that in doing this I am not different from those who continue to support the president. I recently read some Facebook responses to the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened. I, for one, look forward to reading it, to learning of her insights, flawed or otherwise. For, on a personal level, I support Hillary as a hero for all of us, a person who can endure spite, maliciousness from those who think they know her, who can see a personal humiliation played out in the public arena and stand with her head held high. Would that we all possess such strength. So, even if I disagreed with her politics, she would still have my admiration.

I read the comments under the article, expecting to find kindred observations. Instead, I found much viciousness and malice. Strange, I thought, since, after all, Hillary lost.

And then a thought came to me – we really are all one. We all experience, or can experience, the same feelings. In this case, the feelings were the same – the focus of the feelings was not. For I realized that those responders feel about Hillary the same way that I feel about Trump. I appreciate that my animus goes far beyond the man himself. I recognize that his person and persona touch experiences in me, perhaps in many/most women, of years of misogyny. And that is just a start….

Eisenstein, in his essay, writes of a “deficit of understanding,” that each of us fails to understand the situation of the other. “What’s it like to be you?”

So, for a brief interlude, I theoretically asked that of the snarky responders to the announcement of Clinton’s book. I worked hard to get past my own subjective interpretation, to reach the theoretical soul of that individual.

As a writer, I come to the page without any preconceptions, I meet my characters where they are. I understand and preach that. But I found this exercise to be different, difficult. I wanted to give up, to move on to something else, something easier. I wanted to return to my familiar position of “I have right on my side.” But even as I said this to myself, I knew it not to be the answer. No, I am not ready to go out and meet the “enemy.” Not yet.

So, in this space between stories, I sit with my discomfort, and my platitudes. For now, that’s the best I can do.



On PantsuitNation, Facebook, and Surviving This Election

Closed safety pins on a blue jeans denim fabric

On Pantsuit Nation, Facebook, and Surviving This Election

Like many, I am shell shocked and grieving for this decision our country has made. Those five stages of grief, I haven’t worked through to acceptance yet, not in my heart, though my brain tells me what has happened.

My world has been held together by my friends, my lovely daughter, and by a Facebook group of women and men called together for a cause – thank you Pantsuit Nation. You’ve been a lifesaver. As the voting period began, I was struck by the number of women, of all ages, who reported tears as they voted for Hillary, so symbolic was it for them. And then, the outpouring of disbelief and heartache on Wednesday.

I surprised myself that I cried for two days, thinking that I was old enough, and jaded enough, to understand that life works in mysterious ways, that good does not always triumph. But, really, I never thought that this could happen.

But happen it did, and even with the bitterness of Hillary garnering the popular vote, the Electoral College is what we have. And so it goes. We cannot say that the president-elect did not tell us who he is. And those who hide their racism behind whatever excuse they use, as Frankie said to Grace, “I call your bullshit.”

And now to channel this throbbing energy into something positive, toward a direction that can neutralize the racism and misogyny that believes it has full throttle by the election results, I am doing something, however small. I’ve set aside contribution dollars for those groups that will need support now more than ever, and I’m wearing a safety pin. Not much, I know, but it is something. And something is all each of us can do.

We will get over this. But we will never be the same.

Another Sunday  www.cynthiastrauff.com