Ed, you actually enjoy hating him and being outraged at his latest policies. Ed, you know all this resentment you’re feeling is just poisoning yourself. But all of those pictures of him looking so ugly really are funny. All those pictures of him looking so ugly are really mean. You want to contact your friends and family members who voted for him and tell them how disappointed you still are and that you’ll never be able to forgive them. You want to figure out how to build bridges to them and be more strategic about his voters. It’s okay to make sexist jokes about Melania and Ivanka and Kellyanne; they support a sexual predator. There should be limits on what you say about him and his family; do you want to be just like him? Ed, it’s all right to want him to go down with all his crooked cronies, even if it hurts the rest of the country. Ed, you might want to look at your need to be right.
My spirits rise and fall with all the Trump-related breaking news; it’s overwhelming at times. I once got stuck, alone, in an elevator at work years ago. The lights flickered and then silence. I was glad the car wasn’t crowded but wished I wasn’t alone. I pushed the emergency button but nothing happened. I was suddenly both thirsty and had to pee. I called for help, but no one was there. I was beginning to feel claustrophobic as I tried to pull the doors apart with my hands, then broke my house key trying to pry them open. I kept looking at my watch, then felt short of breath, then took so many deep breaths I hyperventilated. I got really cold and then really hot. Thirty minutes went by before I thought I heard a voice. “I’m trapped!” I shouted, then silence. I walked in circles, sat down, watched the insane number of different scenarios that rushed through my mind. When the doors finally opened a man holding a ladder was looking down at me: the car was stuck between two floors. He said I could climb up to where he was or down to the floor below; I chose up. I left work early that day. It wasn’t the experience itself that had tired me; it was my unrelenting mind that had exhausted me.
When I moved to Greenwich Village in the summer of 1971 I met the oldest gay person I’d ever known. Everything about Roy was perfect: his silver hair, his teeth, his tan. A mutual friend told me Roy was a famous hand model and whenever I’d see him I’d discreetly look and sure enough, his were the perfect hands of a much younger man. His hands held the aspirins, the bottles of Coke and the cigarettes on television; they were insured by Lloyd's of London. Roy despised Richard Nixon and became obsessed with the Watergate scandal. Whenever I’d see him he’d update me on the latest twists and turns of the unfolding story and when Nixon finally resigned in August of 1974, he had a big party. It was done! Nixon was gone! Gerald Ford was sworn in and within a month, pardoned Nixon. Whenever I met Roy after that he seemed less animated, less interested, less engaged. It was as if he was sorry it had all come to an end.
When the Road of Resistance starts to feel long and shadows appear up ahead, it's important to lay it all down and contemplate your next move.
It’s been 146 days since Trump was elected. Too much to try to recall, remember, rehash, research. Many of us continue to resist and push back against the tendency to normalize the awfulness he stands for and these Terrible Times require our steadfast and strategic response to everything he and his cronies are trying to do. There are 1456 days between presidential elections (November 8, 2016-November 3, 2020) and most of us have lived through 146 of them already. We need to do this nine more times. How many things do we do nine times each minute, each hour, each day, each week, month, year, lifetime? We need to be resolute, committed and patient, which can be so hard when people’s lives and the planet are at stake.
“Patience,” Rumi says, “polishes and purifies.”