I’m reading the Iliad for the first time–the new translation by Caroline Alexander. It feels like the perfect time to delve into the classics, especially poetry. I don’t expect to find answers in their pages to our current predicament. I read for solace. The solidity of books is enormously comforting to me, and the beauty and care with which this one in particular was put together proves that there are many things we do very well.
Tuesday’s election was not one of our high points. We must determine to read closely, listen carefully, and take meaningful action often (#noDAPL), so these years with President Trump (or President Pence, depending on how Trump’s December court date goes) will not have been a total loss. Maybe having a dispicable leader will galvanize the public. He’s not yet sworn in, and I feel it already, the push to make all the change I can, in whatever small ways I can.
I asked the internet for thoughts, feelings, ideas about where we’re at now, where we should go from here. I’m going to run responses in small groups over the next few days, followed by longer, individual pieces. If you’d like to contribute, please do: firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Sarah Hoenicke, Arts & Culture editor
Last night, my 93-year-old grandmother who immigrated to the US from the Philippines in 1950 cried. Through this whole election process, I have been infuriated and horrified, but knowing that the strongest person I know has been emotionally broken by Trump is quite possibly one of the most painful parts of this wretched day.”
From Sherry, in Whitewater, Wisconsin:
I looked outside my window at my sunny backyard this morning and thought, ‘it looks just the same, but I know in my heart, that it is completely different.’ As this new reality that is the 2016 election results seeps in and starts to percolate, I know that this is the same country that I have known and loved and been so proud of…These results are making me appreciate, so much, those that I love and now fear for, whose futures have been placed in jeopardy by the votes of half of this place. They’re making me determined to work to forgive so that I can go on fighting for all of the things that I feel are so important to our ‘common good’ as human beings.Mostly, right now, I am numb and stunned and mourning what could have been, what I feel with all my heart should have been, that love would have won, and not hate and fear. That I would have been right about the American spirit being one of open arms and inclusion. I will never ever stop believing that this is what we are and should be.And then I have to remember that this is a 50/50 country and that we have survived periods like this in the past. And then I remember that those who feel as I do, that we are better than what these results represent, are still here, are still standing strong and will never give up on being what we want to see in the world! In spite of this ugliest of election seasons, I know that love will win.We will get there. Through all the shock and pain, I know that this is true. Please, please let me be right in this at least.”
I worry about my girlfriend, Najee, when she’s out and about everyday. Whether or not she’s affected personally, there’s still a great possibility she might have to deal with other people’s arrogance or outright racism. Even when she’s with me, a white heterosexual male, I’ve noticed people giving us odd looks as if we shouldn’t be holding hands or be walking so close to each other. I’m very afraid for her and her future. I am hopeful that young people like me will continue to vote and stand for what’s right despite the mistakes our older generation may continue to make.”