January 20, 2017. The day that so many of my friends and family have been dreading. It is another grayish day in Syracuse. Mornings like this are nothing new to us here in the Salt City and we still rise every day and go try to find some joy. I have been feeling unsettled all week and everything I have been paying attention to in the media has not been helping. So this morning I sat in my warm house and had a hot breakfast, took a hot shower and got ready for a job that provides me with a living wage and health care and vacation time. I thought about how I am living the American Dream. But really, what is the American Dream? I am fairly sure that just about every writer around will be posting about this today. This is a day that will go down in history, no matter what comes tomorrow and the next day and the next…everyone I know has strong thoughts and opinions about what will happen during the next four years.
Many, including myself, are staying away from the news and social media today. Friends are planning to attend one of the many marches being held across the country tomorrow. I think the people who think as I do forget that there are many others who are looking at this day as one of victory, including some in my own extended family. There will be tens of thousands on the Mall cheering our 45th president, entertainers will perform and balls will be held, and everyone there will be looking forward to all the things he has promised to do. I do not understand why this is happening but I try to be respectful of their opinions. My best hope is that he will not be able to fulfill every promise made on the campaign trail.
My Facebook feed has been full of posts about Black Friday and about all the programs that are in jeopardy and the civil liberties that are being threatened. I myself feel like we are living in an alternate universe where each subsequent cabinet nominee is less qualified than the nominee announced the day before. It seems surreal and some of us are just waiting to wake up from this bad dream. But it is not a dream, it is our new reality. Many have been wringing their hands unsure of how to proceed, hoping against hope that this day would not come. Now that it has, it is time to stand up and fight.
I will turn the news on after the weekend and watch very closely. I will share my opinions and raise my voice and fight for the rights of those who cannot speak. I will live as good and as gracious a life as my parents have taught me to. I will continue to support those in my community who help those in our city who need a helping hand and a kind word. My family is safe and happy and poised to celebrate yet another milestone birthday (this time the 50th of the twins!) Cloaked in white privilege we will live to be safe and happy another day. And I will try to make the world a safer place for the kids in my life and all the kids, and elderly, and immigrants, and marginalized people in our country, all those who need to be covered.
When I find myself in times of trouble, I turn to The Beatles. I am not suggesting Let It Be, but a much more hopeful song. As the sun tries to break through the clouds, let me leave you with this song of hope and light. Peace.