“Hell might be empty, but there was evidence of the divine in their midst too. The trick, as Stephen had taught him in the garden of Musee Rodin so many years ago, was to see both. Dreadful deeds were obvious. The divine was often harder to see.” Louise Penny – All the Devils Are Here
Today we heard the news that the trumps tested positive for Covid. We also heard the heartless comments from Melania regarding the children on the border. I’m not sure which affected me more. This writing space is a place for me to share my honesty. My honest feelings and thoughts as they work their way through my being. So in all honesty, when I first heard the news I thought, “I hope he dies a long slow death, alone and in absolute fear.” Just as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died, alone, afraid, in his rotten detention cell. Carlos was a 16 year old boy from Honduras who died from the flu because of trumps inhumane policies.
All day I held onto that intense hatred and anger and ill will. I shared it with a few friends and family. I swore a lot. I closed my heart to nothing but loathing of this couple and those they surround themselves with. Today I also heard that Anderson Cooper released an audio of Melania swearing about the kids at the border. Her jacket above, which she wore when she went to the border, actually sums up her ill, twisted feelings. It became painfully clear she is as low as her husband. They deserve each other.
It’s rather scary how quickly we can go to that dark place. I realized this first hand as I became aware of what my first thought was when I heard the news. As you can see, my thoughts weren’t from taking the high road, and I didn’t even come close to traveling on that road until I read the line above.
As the day progressed, I became more and more angry. I was angry at these immoral, dangerous humans and the harm they have caused so many people. I was also angry at the scolding on social media about how we should be better than the thoughts I was thinking. It reminded me of years ago when “friends” told me I needed to forgive. It just made me more angry. You cannot push someone to feel those holier than thou feelings if they aren’t ready and I must admit that I wish people would stop trying, because it’s wrong and thoughtless.
Finally after a walk with the dog, a few hours reading a good book, staring out the window at the rain soaked yellow and red leaves, and a good local pizza for dinner I began to feel differently. Here’s the thing. I didn’t feel differently because I was shamed into it (never lasts and is never real). I felt differently because I took the time I needed to process the events and my thoughts around them. Most of those who know me know that I’ve worked at our southern border on several occasions and I have spent time with those who have traveled thousands of miles escaping unimaginable violence to ask for safety from our country. But instead of safety, they were greeted with more unimaginable violence. While this post isn’t about that,I think it helps frame my thoughts and reactions today. Talking with people trapped on the border, who went through the iceboxes, experienced intense violence and/or lost family members to violence, and now live in dangerous shelters or tents in dangerous cities, it was incredibility clear to me that these are good, kind, severely traumatized people who need our help. But what they got from this man with covid and those who work with him is vial hatred and incredible cruelty.
After the debates people were on social media asking if you were embarrassed to be a United States citizen. I laughed. That happened for me each time I went to the border and worked with the people we intentionally harmed. I was never so ashamed to be a citizen of this country that has all the power in its means to help them but instead chooses to harm them.
As I read that line above, I realized how tense my body was, how angry I was, how much hatred I held. And just like that I released it. It was gone. I, in my own time and on my own terms, came to realize that those feelings and thoughts are what got us to where we are. They made me feel like that asshole won and I was down in the dark, upside down world with him. I didn’t want to be there anymore. And just like that I was lifted up out of his darkness. I felt lighter. My headache and stomachache were gone. You may wonder if now I’m in a place where I accept them and like them. Hell no. This regime is a fascist regime and I want them all gone, out of our lives and government. Some say maybe this will soften them. Well I’m not that delusional. Sure it would be wonderful if he saw the light but I think they are all well beyond that capacity.
Something many of us see everyday and maybe we notice it or maybe we don’t, is that there are good people out there. Good, kind, decent people. They are the divine. As the quote above reminds us, sometimes they are just harder to notice in all the noise of hate being spewed. Look for them, the divine. Notice them. Enjoy the moment when you do.
When you are strong enough and ready, and it’s on your terms, see if you can choose to rise up from the dark muck he has dragged us down into and choose the light. If you are ready and able to, it feels better. It doesn’t affect him in the least but it sure does affect us. If you are not ready, that’s ok too. You can hate him all you want. He deserves it. But if/when you can, choose you. I chose me because I came to the conclusion, fuck trump; he’s not taking my soul too.
In love and solidarity, Mary