(A slightly edited version of a Facebook post I wrote on Election Day 2018 -mw)
I can recall Election Day 2016. I was in the best mood. I remember believing Trump would be obliterated in the election, forced to crawl back under his slimy proverbial rock, and that the ridiculous circus phenomenon of our American political zeitgeist would be shoved back under the rock it crawled out from, and we could all just get back to normal life.
What came next was a wave of surrealism – “this cannot be happening”. When Leonard Cohen passed away a couple of days later, I broke down, crying on my kitchen floor.
What has been revealed to me is my sense of “normal” life was rooted in a form of lazy privilege, surrounded and coddled by a safe progressive bubble (safe for me). “Normal” life being a kind of numbness and apathy when faced with the injustices and suffering in the world. In this “Normal” bubble it’s the universe – in the form of politicians, governments, churches, an inherent societal “morality”, or whatever – that does the work of compassion and justice for me. In this bubble, I was let off the hook.
I know now there is no “normal” life and there can never be. There is only this one extraordinary moment, an opportunity to love one another, to practice joy, and to be on the lookout for crosses to carry. And it is my responsibility to live this out, however small and however flawed. To those I love, and to my enemies.
Voting is an important but small part of this responsibility. I have come to realize though that no politician or initiative is going to bring the “fix” we crave, to bring us back to the safety of the “normal” bubble. Tomorrow, this unbelievably beautiful earth will still be decaying and the climate hurtling towards being unlivable. Racism, intolerance, and fear will still drive us towards hateful action. Women will still find a culture of inequality, sexism, and abuse. Those in power will still be controlled by greed and ego and seek to divide us while they rob us. Suffering came before me, and suffering goes on and on.
The process of healing the brokenness around us and in us is available to us right now, in this moment, laid bare before the universe. Each and every Republican could lose today, and it won’t change the fact that I am responsible to myself, my family and friends, and the Divinity of God within each of us, including our enemies.
Today presents the opportunity to live. To breath. To note my heart beating. To receive the grace of the moment. To carry a cross if I must. And to embrace the gift of today. These gifts are ours to receive.
So I begin. Again, and again, until the father calls me home. Lets begin.