wail in grief for a dead person; sing a keen.
make an eerie wailing sound.noun: keen
Well. It certainly has been an interesting week. Optimistic by nature, I’m trying really hard to find the good stuff in each day, while simultaneously grieving after the election results of Tuesday night. I made a list of high and low moments from the past few days. Here they are:
Positive: I hopped out of bed on Tuesday morning with a song in my heart. I’d considered baking red, white, and blue cookies to take to work that morning, and giggled thinking how fun it would be to make gingerbread people representing our candidates, but I realized on a practical level that this was not a day for levity. Everything I’d heard led me to believe we’d be electing our first female president on this day—and I was filled with joy! I admire Hillary’s work ethic, her intelligence, her record, and her ability to stay cool even when an angry, bitter man is hurling insults at her on National television. She’s devoted her life to trying to better our world. I’m 100% with Hillary. I was happy that our daughter Eve was joining us for dinner and to watch the results roll in . . . which meant I got to cook for family (my favorite thing). Life was good.
Negative: By 8 pm it was obvious the election results were not as expected. Hubby, Eve, and I were dumbfounded. Eve works in a medical office and is at work by 6am, so clearly exhausted, she headed for home. I poured a stiff cocktail and after another hour, could not stand to sit and watch the bad news. I spent the next hour “stress cleaning” alternately singing along with Bastille then keening and wailing—-all the while trying to wrap my mind around a Trump presidency. During the campaign process, I found it too difficult to hear his voice and always turned off the radio. How on earth was I going to endure hearing his voice during the next four years?
Positive: After the aforementioned stress cleaning, William’s shower had never been so clean. You can now literally eat off the tile in that bathroom. Also all the drawers and cupboards have been emptied of unwanted items. You’re welcome.
Negative: At 11 pm, Hubby was still watching the bad news trickle in. My brain could not accept this alt reality—do I really live in such a bubble? NPR and the New York Times said it wouldn’t happen. The skits on SNL weren’t even fictional and were horrible in their accurate portrayal of our new leader. 99% of my friends were against Trump. What the heck? Was I dreaming??? I got out the vacuum and hoped the sound drowned out my keening and wailing so Hubby wouldn’t hear my grief. I cried myself to sleep.
Positive: On Wednesday morning, I walked into our school office to see one of my favorite work friends. I hugged her and said, “Are you okay? Because I’m not.” It felt so good to be frank with another person on the same team, who was also in shock over the election results. I’m happy to report that all of my interactions with coworkers that day were positive, and I felt that everyone was being very careful of raw feelings. (I work in a very special place.) Overall it was very healing to be swarmed by small children on the playground as they took turns launching the “Stomp Rocket” I’d brought from home. I lost myself in their joyful interactions and felt healed by their sweet hugs.
Positive: When I returned home after work and had good snuggle time with my dog and cats, I read this quote on my FB page by Garrison Keillor: “We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.”
As a long-time Garrison fan, his words were a salve on my soul. As I read these word which are now front and center on my refrigerator, I can hear his fatherly, wise voice. It’s good to have a mantra, and as I find them, I will add to my “fridge collage.” When nobody’s around, I can’t help but keen and wail, but for now, I will keep Garrison’s words close to my heart, while also looking for ways to get out and help our community to protect rights for all. But I’ve made a promise to myself that I will NOT get lost in anger, and instead will spend time smelling the roses.