On election day Mira was overtaken by the ebullient feeling that the glass ceiling was about to be broken and she strolled through her sweet little town with an election day high. Though her vote was a forced choice that left her uninspired, the feeling of rising woman power was upon her … and it was good. Until it wasn’t, and then it was very bad.
Mira’s world was upside down and she on her head in muck. Burrowing into facebook, where she is an infrequent participant, she changed her profile picture a half dozen times as if seized by a multiple personality disorder, finally settling on a bursting bubble.
Returning to normal was not an option, there was only before and after. Her artist side experienced this as color shifting. The US flag became turquoise, black, green, opposites of red, white, blue. The studio, still a sanctuary, caused her to slow into a new kind of stillness, unknowing, inability to paint.
Mira had the strange feeling that she was in an echo chamber. Postings about shock and disbelief, followed by despair and then unending opinion about how things would play out in the worst way populated her liberal network.
Soon enough the bubble and echo chamber memes were everywhere. She was alone in good company.
She realized that this way of living in a liberal bubble had so disconnected her from others in her community that their cultural ways were stranger to her than the European countries she had just visited. She began to think that her next discoveries lay in her own back yard.
Arlie Russell Hochschild, in her book, Strangers in Their Own Land, calls this gap the Empathy Wall between the political poles.
Physical and verbal attacks against minorities are sobering reminders of an opened wound spewing pus. She wondered what the response would have been had her candidate won - better, worse? She doesn't think this election produced the wound but has exposed and opened it.
Her hope is that we respond like a reasonable doctor, look for the root causes of the broken down systems, and apply appropriate treatments, rather than reinforcing the autoimmune disorder that is eating us up, one side against the other.
A reasonable place to start she supposes is by examining her own calcified beliefs, bigotry, and prejudices. Yikes, it's ugly in there!
In an attempt at self education Mira reached out to Trump voters in what she calls her Listening Tour to hear about their motivations and hopes, and to possibly get a glimpse of their deep stories.
Despite her liberal friends' warnings she found some fellow human beings on the other side to be intelligent, inquisitive, caring, rational, and far more optimistic than anyone she knew. It became her medicine when she felt the ground beneath her giving way and the dark moods swallowing her whole. Yes, they had significant differences in world view and priorities but the similarities were surprising and stereotypes were shattered with each interview.
The predictions from the left are dire - like we may not survive the presidential term so full on resistance is needed right now Yet her new right wing contacts are optimistic and have a specific list of hopes which have nothing to do with racism, misogyny, or homophobia. None of them so far like the president-elect's character and describe him as a despicable person.
So we have quite an array of possibilities for this next era which is likely to be dramatic (comedy, tragedy?) and hopefully survivable.
She has her photo ready for Muslim registration ... which her friends assure her is imminent.
Mira's been having a recurring fantasy where she is invited to the inaugural ball, a tango dance, and wears her Trump Grabbing Pussy costume with new tango shoes which inspire a well placed high kick that lands between the eyes of His Twittiocy knocking him on his squishy carapace like an overturned beetle. Carrying on the fast paced amygdala milonga dance, she finds herself prancing on his pink pudgy parts with those fabulous spikes, as Leonard Cohen said, "in the places where he used to play."
It pleases her that she could throw a burka over this outfit and walk around in the new public with her own private joke.
I know, I know, she needs counseling, but as much as I suggest this she insists that dancing is her therapy.
Seeing the planned Women's March on Washington Mira started readying to go, when she remembered her vow to not attend such an event again after the Climate March in NYC where they were duped by the police state which was happy to provide space for the clan reunion, protection, and even cleanup - knowing that they'd go home happy and nothing would change. She will be well represented by thousands of women who will have a connecting and meaningful time and maybe this time something will come of it.
She plans is to keep listening, use her resources for targeted environmental actions, and attend to her addiction to self-righteous indignation with its exhilarating, habit forming dopamine surge.
In this collage of crazy, she thinks we need to be clever ... coyote-like, in our responses and hopes she can expand her action repertoire and recognize when such opportunities arise ... hopefully involving tango shoes.
Anyone know how to build an anti-testosterone bomb that would lower the world's human T level by about 75%? That would take care of a lot of problems and no one would die, except perhaps of humiliation - oh well.