It really isn’t because I’m reading Claire Dederer’s latest memoir, Love and Trouble, but I must admit, she’s gotten me thinking. About how I wished I wrote with her daring pen. About all those crazy-ass years when I was running straight into the black, and these slightly more stable years, when some of that crazy is boomeranging back. But it isn’t totally that either, it’s my job and the demands that are clear insanity but you can’t actually admit to it because it’s your job after all and you need to keep it a few more years; it’s the guy in the White House who I can’t bring myself to call president or give his title a capital letter but still, you know he’s there and the whole world is acting like he didn’t in fact steal the election but somehow might be qualified even though he’s the very definition of shit show; it’s about summer’s abrupt end and my love of drinking a tad too much rosé, okay my addiction that hasn’t stopped even though I know better and one should stop drinking Summer’s Water; but ultimately it’s about racing and racing every day ahead of just about every deadline so that I can feel like I have it together but know I don’t. Yeah, today, it’s all of that.
Thank you. Those two small words can’t convey my gratitude but I offer them anyway. Your service to the people of this country is public record, and is nothing but lengthy and mighty. From the earliest you sought to better the lives of those less-fortunate than you. In general, I am in awe of those who seek careers under such scrutiny, but to do so when your honorable years as Secretary of State were boiled down to misinformation, your impressive years as US Senator dismissed like hot air, even your noteworthy years as First Lady glossed over to nothingness was painful to witness never mind what it must have done to your psyche. The least we could do was dismantle the hate talk and misinformation spouted by your opponent and remember the truth. Many of us did. Many of us still do.
We will not forget Hillary. Your sacrifice. Your professionalism. How you went high when your opponent asked you to go so very low. You may not have broken that glass ceiling, but you made women, and men, believe it was within reach, for ourselves, our daughters, for our sisters and granddaughters. Let anyone dismiss us as a pussy to grab, and we will indeed show ourselves to be more formidable than passive. Let anyone tell us that global climate change is a hoax and we will haul our science to the Senate floor and demand facts be checked. Let any of our elected officials think that it will be business as usual in Washington, and we will flood them with calls and letters and tweets and emails and our own bodies until they get our meaning. We will break the back of the NRA. We will continue to demand equality on every front. We will not return to the butchery of back-alley abortions or begging for health care for our elderly. You may think you have lost, but you will find an eager army ready to champion your every ideal. For we will continue the work you started Hillary, and we will not tire, until our collective, beautiful, inclusive, responsive and innovative vision becomes reality.
As we returned this week to our libraries, schools, town offices, shops, our daycare facilities, our places of industry, we only did as we imagined you would do: we held our heads high. For truly, what was defeated on November 8th?
I have loved the same woman for a quarter of a century, and together, like millions of Americans, we attempt to face each dawn with strength and vigor. There is no defeat possible that will keep us down. Long before our government allowed us the right, we wed. There is no defeat possible that will untangle that love. Together we raised caring sons and a resilient daughter. There is no defeat that will diminish their moral compass. Together we have built a community that rises when occasion calls, be it celebratory or tragic; and likewise, no defeat will diminish those bonds.
The millenniums voted, overwhelmingly, blue. As their day is cresting the horizon, the older, whiter, and frightened red will fade, as anger often does, to confusion and regret. But in the meantime Hillary, go to the beach with your grandchildren. Order something fruity, in a coconut, with an umbrella. Let the sunshine warm your tired soul. Know we love you, for all your decades of service, for the dreams you dared to voice which we wholeheartedly believe, and the vision of an united world that some tomorrow will bring. Thank you Hillary. You’re still our hero.
Nine Cent Girl
With this post I am about to break a promise I made with myself. A promise to not discuss politics during this primary season, but after this week’s latest battles, I feel undeniably compelled to do so. I have friends and relatives and readers who are conservative voters, and those who are moderate independents, and perhaps some as left wing as they come, but I hope none willing to drape themselves in a white sheet and return to “the dark and desolate valley of segregation.” Regardless of your political affiliation, I hope you will stand with me and declare, “as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” Martin Luther King, Jr. spearheaded a revolution decades ago, but I’m hoping his words will light up the present rise of darkness. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force” (I Have A Dream). Soul force? Imagine someone at the podium of our present political arena proposing soul force?