If there’s one thing we all can agree upon, it’s that Trump has always been, is, and will always be transparent. Living proof that all the money in the world can’t buy depth or brains or class or self awareness, or kindness or empathy or compassion or a heart. Even before his disgraceful term in the WH, he’s never hidden the fact that he’s a petulant, vindictive, thin-skinned, privileged, corrupt, criminal piece of shit who will shit on anyone and anything to get what he wants. His history is one big shitsmear of evidence.
Still. In spite of the indelible stain he leaves on everything he touches, Republicans, from top officials down to individual voters, blatantly, willfully ignored all that, and chose him as their candidate, then pulled all stops to make him their president, then catered to his self-serving agenda (or their self-serving agenda, is probably more accurate), encouraged him, pandered to him, coddled him, excused him, justified him, apologized for him, saying shit like, “he’s better than the alternative,” and “oh my god I could never vote for Killary!!!’ or “we can’t have a SOCIALIST running the show,” or “well, I don’t really agree with his policies but I really like his tell-it-like-it-is personality!” admired and envied him, and probably hoped a little of his shit would rub off on them, if they got close enough. What happened last night, what has happened over the past 4 years—let’s be real, what’s been happening for far longer—speaks more about Republicans, as individuals, than anything. They have shown the world exactly what they’re made of. Shit. And got exactly what the bargained for—a shitshow of epic proportions.
I am so filled with rage and hate and disgust and fear and a damned lot of cuss words right now, tinted with a mild bit of amusement—what the even hell were some of those bizarre costumes? A Renaissance festival gone horribly awry? Were the Patriots playing? A Furry convention? A historical reenactment? NO. It was a failed couindignant, wronged white supremacist terrorist insurgents thinly disguised as patriots, attempting a hostile takeover of our nation’s capitol. Because they are “sick of it, and we’re not going to take it anymore!” but when pressed, couldn’t (or don’t want to, on camera) define what “it” is. I’m going to guess “it” is the very things the people in Georgia fought so hard to gain. GA’s first ever Black Senator, without a doubt, has something to do with the terrorists’ unnamed “it.”
I used to tell my sisters that the first and only question they ever needed to ask a potential suitor was, ‘Who did you vote for in 2016?” because the answer will tell them everything they needed to know. Now, it feels like an applicable, necessary question to ask anyone we meet, from here on out. But a lot have already outed themselves with their MAGA hats and banners and yard signs and bumper stickers, and social media posts, and right now, I’m wondering how do we ever move forward and begin healing as a nation? Will we ever? Maybe not, but we can’t ever stop trying…tonight, every. single. thing. feels daunting…futile…impossible…imperative…
As I sat in my living room last night, and again, this morning, listening to the coverage of the terroristic shitshow in our capitol, I had to do something to dispel some of that toxic waste surging through me…I kept going back to stories about Georgia, and reveled in the contrast of the two events playing out at the same time. I know these feelings are going to surge and recede, swell and release, ebb and flow. breathe… my anger today is huge and centered around Republicans, it’s an easy target, their transgressions are huge and violent and so damaging, but I know the answers that matter lie deeper…answers to the question: how am I connected to these events unfolding? That’s the harder piece to decipher, to confront…
I was compelled to break out my sketch pad and pastels, which I’ve dragged from move to move over the past 25 years, but haven’t used in almost as long, and began drawing the monster trees in my neighborhood from memory, which moved me into a meditative mind…the ragged old souls I’m in love with, that I hug every chance I get, gentle giants clustered in parks like gangs of Shel Silverstein sketches come alive.
I often wrap my arms tight around these monsters’ waists and press my ear against their chest, to hear their heart beat and the hum of their cells, and run my hands along deeply cracked, rough skin. Sometimes I sit at their feet with my back pressed against theirs, especially at night, and look up into their charcoal limbs exploding against the blue black sky, and breath in deep cold air, and I believe that trees are always in communication with the world, which includes us, and it doesn’t take much to stop and feel what they have to say. It really doesn’t.
I learned last night that I can invoke this energy by drawing them, too, as my hand swept across the paper, I felt the trees’ energy seep from the air to the page to the crayon to my hand and into my veins and my breath, swirling in with the hate and rage and disgust and slowly began to take the shape of something new…all of this is to say, it’s more than okay to be enraged and disgusted and yes even hate what’s going on right now, but it’s also imperative to do something productive with all that, whatever it means to you, or it’ll eat you alive. I suspect I’m going to be drawing giant cottonwoods for a long time to come. xo.