[personal profile] burying_songs
I've been talking on and off with [livejournal.com profile] bentastic the last week or so, and he reminded me about this place and why at one time I really loved it. Journaling, whether privately, or in a public venue like this has always helped me work through my more complicated thoughts & emotions, and I would like to get back into it. As I type more quickly than I write these days, I might be doing so here, regardless of readship or lack thereof.

So. That happened. A lot has been written about the National Travesty that occurred on November 8th, 2016, by people far more knowledgeable and eloquent than me. It was a terrible week; I personally fell into deep anxiety-fueled despair and became suicidal. I lost all sense of hope and was searching for an easy way to just not feel all the sadness and fear that had taken its place.

I'm still upset, and I'm still deeply frightened, particularly for our environment. Yes, I have Very Strong Feelings regarding women's rights, and LGBTQA+ rights, and the (mis)treatment of people of color in our nation. I also feel like those are battles we've fought/are constantly fighting, and no matter what the GOP does under Trump, we will continue to fight those battles and eventually the pendulum will once again swing towards justice, especially considering the younger generation coming into their own, who are significantly more enlightened & welcoming than all generations previous.

Once we start drilling in the arctic, that's it. It's over. In a big, irreversible way. You can't put the cat back in the bag. We'll be fucked. Abolishing all restrictions on business and allowing them to run rampant over our environment will, quite literally, kill us all. And everything around us. I'm never having children, but for those of you who do have them or plan to in the future, that should be a sobering thought. And I can't understand why everyone is just shitting themselves every fucking day thinking about it.

Yes, it was two days of deep despair, capped by the death of the long-time minstrel of my soul, the inimitable Mr Leonard Cohen. The More Best of Leonard Cohen is the single greatest disc I own, and I've been listening to it for almost twenty years now. On Thursday night, I turned off all the lights in my room, put the cd on repeat, and laid in bed & cried for two cycles.

When I woke up Friday morning, I felt better. Not 100%, maybe just 30%, but that was better than the 5% I'd been functioning at since Tuesday. I'm not speaking to my coworkers right now; as the only liberal in the office, I am literally the only one not laughing over the results or high-fiving in the break room and it's taken all my will power not to burst into a ball of righteous flame and destroy every single, ignorant, racist last one of them. I'm freezing them out, and I think they know it now. And I don't give a shit. I'm actively looking for work at the university, preferably in the environmental department. I have few applicable skills and zero experience, so I don't think I'll be able to get anything, but at least I'm trying.

The other thing that helped me dig my way towards solid ground was deciding to attend the Million Woman March in DC on January 21st. I have a friend in NYC and she is going as well. A lot of people say that demonstrations & protests don't do anything, and I agree to an extent. One way in which I do think they're useful is that they illustrate in a very concrete way that the claim that the more radicalized faction of the GOP (read: the Klan, the Neo Nazi's, in short, the Trump supporters) constantly makes, that they represent "the silent majority" of the country, is fucking false. Just look at those videos coming out of the LA protests today. Those are numbers. (now if we could just get all those yahoos to VOTE....). I will always condemn destruction of property and violence as methods of protest, and I think what's going wrong in Portland right now is there's no clear goal/aim and there's no organization or figure rallying all the disparate groups together for a common purpose. People are just upset and angry and they want someone to see them and hear them. Great. Be as loud as you want, just don't hurt anyone or break anything along the way.

One of the most frustrating parts for me right now is that I feel a wave of animosity from communities of color towards whatever method of allying I attempt to do. I accept and sympathize with this anger, and I also acknowledge that my skin tone offers me a certain amount of protection & privilege in this society, and that I benefit from systemic racism. I'm certainly not saying people of color don't have the right to feel animosity towards me; I, like every other white person in this country, am complicit. I just wish someone could tell me what I can do besides what I'm already doing (reading literature, fiction & non-fiction, by writers of color; trying to educate myself on the history of race relations in this country, past & present; speaking up against the overt racism spouted by my coworkers; talking with family & friends about race/being an ally/etc) and how to do it in a way that's not perceived as disingenuous or, as some folks of color on twitter have called the safety-pin movement, "embarrassing." There are allies who are trying, we're doing out best. I'm not asking for any sort of recognition for this. I'm not seeking a pat on the back or special validation. I only wish that I didn't feel like no matter what I do, I'm still going to be viewed as a necessary but ignorant nuisance at best, the enemy at worst. And, yes, I do recognize that that is a mirror image of the way many/most(?) folks of color feel in this country every single day just by virtue of who they are.

Anyway. That's a lot of words for a Saturday night. I hope you are all taking care of yourselves; drinking lots of water; giving & receiving lots of hugs; getting lots of sleep. I'm thinking about you and want you know that I'm here if you need to talk. ♥
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