So here it is the third Thursday of the month and it’s my first blog after the most explosive U.S. presidential election since Bush vs. Gore. And it’s a thousand times more explosive than that was. Back in 2000, we thought that race was nuts and that it couldn’t possibly get nuttier. Well, we were wrong.
But this blog is not about the presidential race, or even my personal political views or feelings about the outcome.
Rather, it’s about feeling normal. Nothing has felt normal since the results came in late at night on Election Day. There is so much civil unrest because of this election and so much uncertainty about our future. By “our” I mean the many different groups of people who now find ourselves disenfranchised. But, of course, many of us who write and read this blog are concerned particularly with women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.
Again, this blog is not an analysis about what’s been happening or what’s going to happen. The question in my mind is, are we going to be able to go on as we have, living our lives and fighting for more? Our rights are in question and our safety may be on the chopping block. How do we go on writing, reading, dancing, loving, learning, working, fighting as we have been?
I’m sure that’s a question that people ask themselves every time a crisis occurs. The reality is, the human race has been dealing with adversity since we skipped out of the primordial ooze and starting dragging our hairy knuckles around. And what we’re going through now doesn’t even come close to some of the horribleness that humanity has had to endure throughout history.
In the face of war, famine, pestilence, natural disasters, human rights atrocities, death, and destruction, how did people continue doing all of those things I mentioned above?
The answer: Because they had to. Life can’t be just about living in fear behind a dark curtain and doing only what you have to to survive. That’s just existing, it’s not living. There have been times in history when people’s hands were tied—literally or figuratively or both—and they had no choice but to just exist. During the Middle Ages, the Bubonic Plague wiped out a third of Europe, decimating the population. Food was hard to get, and art in any form was very low on the list of priorities. But when the epidemic was over, Europe entered a new age, known as the Renaissance. So many loved ones gone, homes left in ruins, society in tatters—but through art, pain was expressed, as well as hope. The fears and joys of life were immortalized in paintings, sculptures, poetry and prose, dance, architecture, and food.
If you’re still with me here, I’m sure you’re now thinking, “She’s rambling.” But I am trying to make a point, which is that the human race was built to endure and persevere. Until that time comes when they round us all up and put pink triangles on our shirts, we have a voice and we have mobility. And we have heart and courage. And we have a way to express our grief, our anger, our outrage, as well as our happiness, enjoyment, and desires. We just need to stick together and support one another. And writers need to keep writing, and readers need to keep reading, now more than ever.
Peace and love, my friends.