Next week is gonna be a shit show. Even more than the last four years have been. The exploding culmination of all the corrupt entitlement, bigotry, lies, whining, blaming, killing, flailing, drama, chaos, wild accusations, scandal, deceit, sickness, and ignorance.
Our emotions will be played, manipulated, strung out, trampled, extorted, abused, and weaponized against us.
For weeks I have been counting down the days until Election Day in the USA. But the truth is ‘Election Day’ is now. It’s already happening. I think something like close to seventy million people have already voted in this country. An astoundingly large number of votes have already been cast and we still have five days to go before November 3rd.
It is heartening. And yet. The amount of anxiety that crawls beneath my skin is massive and constant. Fortunately for me (and I sincerely hope for you) I am surrounded by precious friends and family who help me to get through with laughter, love, and the strength that comes with the fabric of community.
I am lucky. I am privileged. I am blessed deeply. For this I am eternally grateful, and even still I never thought it would come to this. Not here. Not in America. Not in the land of the free and home of the brave, which is a sickeningly cliche thing to say, I know.
Why write any of this?
I’ve no clue if it is helping – me or you or anybody.
Because I can’t not write this. I can’t not capture in words the reality – the stark shrieking reality – of this time. This exact moment in history.
I write it as it happens knowing that very soon this time will be over, gone, swept away like grains of sand upon the winds of change.
We may have never thought it would come down to this one election which will decide the fate of our lives forever. Will we recover by trusting science and taking care of the least of us or will we be thrown into the darkest period we have ever known and possibly ever will, under the sadistic rule of a blood thirsty dictator.
We may never have thought this would be a choice to be made in our lifetimes. If you are like me, you are incredulous that this “choice” is so hard for some people to make.
But here we are.
It is what it is.
We have to play this as it lies.
We have anxiety and fear and disorientation.
But we also still have a voice. We still have power, resolve, community, hope, determination. We still get a vote and vote we will, and have, in massive numbers. Do not stop now. Do not stop ever.
Because this isn’t over on November 3rd. For myself, I am already practicing extreme self care in preparation for next week when every minute will be another shock, another surprise, another rant, another abuse of power.
What I keep believing in, though, is that what we are witness to is the final gasp of patriarchal power trying desperately, grossly, furiously, to keep its wrathful grip on a society which deep down it knows has already left it for dead.
We are not going back and we are not going away and we will not stop and we will not be silenced.
I don’t know what America will look like over the next three months, no one does. It is unthinkable yet highly likely that this president will tear us to shreds just for spite whether he loses or wins, concedes (ha) or doesn’t. He is already working quietly behind the chaotic scenes to dismantle the civil service, to gut and discredit the vital structures of science, environmentalism, social justice, journalism and many others, from the inside out.
Destruction. Demolition. Burn it all down, they don’t give a fuck about life of any kind. They are a cult of death, built on death, death as currency to gain more power and wealth.
But I do know that right now, recording this exact moment in time, while we all watch and wait and pray and guess and wonder AND VOTE, we can all feel that we have already been fundamentally changed forever.
We have been driven to the brink and forced to look ourselves square in the eye and answer for who we are, who we believe ourselves to be, what we expect not only of our leaders but of ourselves as leaders in this fight.
The next few months are gonna get ugly. But maybe if we acknowledge that now, we can take back a bit of our sanity ahead of time. Try to remind ourselves, over and over, that we will win.
No matter how long it takes.
Photo by Annie Spratt