Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


A too-short night. My pounding heart. The feeling that I knew all along. The map, too red, all blood. The women behind me in the ballot box: my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, all of the women, black and white, dead and alive, who have fought for a voice in this country. They're fading even as I type: they're slipping from my vision, moving to the periphery, looking on with heavy, hooded eyes.

It took women to vote our woman down.

Our lives won't change, my partner says, as half-hearted reassurance.

That's just what I'm afraid of, I reply.

And we sit at the kitchen table, the morning still dark, the tea grown cold, our hands sweaty, empty. Even touch doesn't help. Later, I stand at the sink, choking back sobs. The grief will come in waves, I realize - a little today, a little tomorrow, the sadness parsed out in bits and pieces for months and years to come.

I try to summon love. I try to send it out, to exude it. I try to think of sunshine, of women's voices, of babies being born. I try to think of families.

No sweetness comes, though - not today.

The hope didn't go away; it's still inside. I'm carrying it in my heart - but there's no place to put it now. 

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