This has not been the easiest post-election week.
I predicted a Hillary blow-out, for whatever that’s worth now. And as the Democratic Party — and the nation — goes through a sort of reckoning, so too am I going through my own. The tectonic plates of the political world have shifted entirely. I am not sure I know how to navigate this strange, new world. I don’t know if any of us do.
As I try to figure out how to cope with all of this, I’m reading a lot, thinking a lot. It’s frustrating, because not a lot is making much sense.
I am particularly concerned with how to help the kids understand this. Finn is still pretty young, but he gets it. He seemed grumpy about it the morning after, but then moved on. Emmy seemed disappointed as well. Neither wanted to talk about it much, which means they’re both just processing it.
I am thinking a lot about Emeline. We built up the potential for the first female president to her quite a bit. I can’t imagine that she’s not disappointed.
Emeline is so smart, talented, creative, still full of wonder about the world and the universe. And so I want to say the right things to her. I don’t want her to be disillusioned.
I want to make sense for her. Mostly because I am her father and I believe that is my job.
…art will be our salvation, if we let it.
Art can be our way forward. Our writing, our vision, our ideas put out there, our heartsblood put to whatever medium we choose. If ever there is a good time to let art be subversive, it’s now. Get weird. Don’t be safe. Have a message. Bring it forward and into and through the work. Some of the best art, the best fiction, is stuff that has teeth, that’s willing to bite the hand that takes away its food and its shelter and its rights. This is a good time — once you’ve mourned the country you thought you lived in — to hunker down and make something. To resist through writing. To occupy your world with story, song, game, and art.
Your voice is now more vital than ever.
Art will be our salvation.
Emeline is an artist, a really good one and a really prolific one. She draws characters and paints portraits and colors landscapes and builds entire worlds. I think art may be her salvation in a time when her parents are a bit lost.
Maybe it will be my salvation, too.
I started writing and this blog not to comment on politics all the time, like I used to. This is for stories and essays and terrible recipes. And, right now at least, it feels good to write, to not process political fallout. To put this out in the world and go from there.
I’ve been doing political stuff for a long time. It is a pendulum, swinging one way, then other. My family, and our nation, will get through this, because we’re great. When we do, the pendulum will swing the other way. I hope we don’t forget our art when it does.