Covid19 is ravaging the country. Our main business is suffering, especially the travel-related part. Our country has just gone through an attempted insurrection, and more Trump pardons are on the horizon. I should be devastated.
I feel a strange peace. A weird feeling that I’m not entirely comfortable with, as it goes against the rough grain of all that I have experienced these past four years.
It’s been nine days since I last heard the phrase “President Trump tweeted.” I don’t think I’d realized until now what an ongoing psychic abuse I felt every time someone uttered that phrase. It was as if our malignant President had a direct line into my brain, where he could poke and prod at the sore spots whenever he wanted to, lighting up my fight or flight response like a Roman candle.
I don’t mean to minimize the experiences of survivors of actual physical and emotional abuse. But this was an abuse of sorts, an unwanted intrusion into my headspace that went on every single day for four-plus years.
Now, all of a sudden, that voice has gone silent.
I can still feel the wounds in my head, the rawness underlying my day-to-day life.
I am damaged. We are damaged. Our country is damaged, some fear beyond the possibility of repair.
But now that the voice has gone away, I have space in my life to let in a little light again, to look forward to the time when Mark and I are not defined by these four walls that have been our prison for the last ten months. Space to realize that we as a people are no longer limited in the scope of what’s possible by the impossibly small mind of a malignant narcissist.
Space to see that a beautiful, vibrant, society-encompassing change might be coming.
I didn’t choose Joe Biden. I wanted a new voice, someone different – a woman, a gay man, a person of color, someone younger than his 78 years.
I wanted radical change and the chance to throw it in the face of my enemies, to make them pay for the searing pain they have inflicted on me and mine these past four years.
And I’m pretty sure Biden’s mission of unity is a fool’s errand. I can’t forget how they spat on President Obama when he held out a hand of reconciliation, and how those first two years of his presidency changed everything that has come since.
Biden makes me want to dream of an America as it should be. As it should have been. He makes me want to aspire to be more than this smoking, smoldering collection of hatred and resentments, bitter retaliations and angry recriminations.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s still a path forward for all of us. We’ve been through the crucible and have come out the other side. Maybe we’ve proven ourselves worthy of grace.
As we stand here between what has been and what is still to come, I’m wrapping that hope around me like a talisman.
In two days, the paradigm shifts. In the sudden silence, I can hear the world again, in all its messy diversity and glory.
What comes next is up to all of us.
I have hope.