on the election and creativity

I’m at home, trying to breathe.

Tuesday night was a slow sucker punch. I won’t soon forget it – shaking as the results came in. Watching Stephen Colbert lose hope. Crying in the bathroom, looking myself in the eye, trying to understand what was happening. Failing. Getting a text from my mom – don’t worry! It’ll be okay!

It was a slow trauma, one I was unprepared to face. I was blindsided. This clown, this joke, this bad headline, this disgusting news story, was approaching 270. My glass of wine didn’t help. I sat shaking on the couch, wondering if I would ever be able to stop.

At Florida we lost hope. We started to bargain. By California, it didn’t matter. Our country was gone.

Or, to be more precise, the country I thought I lived in had been proven to be a fairytale. It wasn’t real. Maybe it never existed.

I fell into a fitful, shallow sleep that night. I woke several times. Each time, it was still real.

On Wednesday, it rained.

On Thursday, the sun returned. The country was protesting. There were words to write. Chants to shout. Art to be created.

This year has been tiring from the start. The sky has gained a lot of bright stars, but our world feels just a bit emptier for their absence. The passing of Leonard Cohen has been nearly eclipsed by the screaming aftermath of the election. A lot of incredible artists have left us in 2016, leaving a gap for us to fill.

Since Tuesday, the first question on my mind has been what now? What can I do, every day, to protest? What can I do to say no to this election, to Donald Trump, to hatred and fear? How can I make a difference as just one person with little money and barely any resources?

The answer lies, as it often does, in art. Words. Creativity. Expression. These are the things that I would take onto the Ark with me during a flood. They are what I would arm myself with to march into the Apocalypse. The pen is mightier than the sword, as they say, and  “no” can be my sword, I can whisper love into the world with a poem or a song.

This isn’t the end of the story. Maybe this is the beginning.

Once upon a time, there was an evil man…


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