We aren’t owed a specific number of days.
Regardless of your beliefs about what happens after we die, in this life, we all die the same. Well, not the same same. That would be ridiculous. I mean our bodies stop working, we stop smiling, and we become someone’s happy memory. Hopefully.
I’ve been terrified of how all our lives will be affected since a year before this shit show of an election. Between November 8 and January 20, my high anxiety became my normal anxiety. I did have a day of feeling light-hearted on the 21st. People showing up against hatred from all 7 continents made my soul feel light. For a day.
Through it all, Randy has been my rock. He has been telling me that it will be okay and we will all be fine.
He’s starting to fray. He’s watching our access to information wink out like stars. He understands how bad this could get. He sees the vile direction the new administration is taking us and he is fraying.
I had a choice.
I could give in to the fear that has been screaming in my ears for months or I could take my turn at being the rock.
I did what I do. I took a stance, bent slightly at the knees, threw my head back and screamed “Bring it, motherfuckers.”
Okay, I didn’t really do that, but I did make a decision.
I am going to paint the cabinet in my kitchen. The one I got from Ikea when we moved into this house. My coffee maker sits on this cabinet.
I’m going to paint it white and then tangle it up with black sharpies. It’s going to take a while. The end result will be questionable because I don’t have the patience to do precise work, but that is okay. I need a project.
I need to create something. A distraction is imperative.
We are going to keep living our lives. I will draw and paint badly. I will keep telling you stories. I will go to work. And I will fight with everything I have to defend my family and fellow humans from the oppression of this administration, but that will not prevent me from creating art.
They can’t stop us. They can kill programs that support the arts. We will make our own art. They can silence the internet so that we can’t share with each other. We will meet in libraries and parks and street corners. They can shut off the electricity so that we can’t listen to music. We will sing.
They can burn all the paper. I will write in the dirt.
When it washes away, I will write it again.
I will keep fighting until I can’t. And I hope, when my breaths dwindle to the last few, my final thoughts are peaceful. Because I did what I could. It would be nice to have a few moments of peaceful thoughts before I expire.
We can fight for what we believe in, but that doesn’t mean we are guaranteed the outcome of our choice.
No one gets that guarantee. We are still waiting to find out how we are going to be bound. What freedoms we are going to lose. Maybe, we will recover quickly. Maybe, it will be worse than I have imagined. Although, I doubt that. My brain has been very thorough in creating detailed doomsday scenarios. Regardless of what lies in store for us, we get to decide how we are going to live our lives.
I am not owed a number of days. I am grateful for the ones I have. I am excited as fuck that I even got to be alive. I know the future looks bleak and scary because it is bleak and scary.
But I’m still going to write. I’m going to paint. I am going to read. We are going to live our lives, make our plans, laugh and play and cook. No matter how bleak life gets, no matter what is taken from us, we get to decide how to live. I will keep telling you stories, even if I have to speak them to you one person at a time, then I want sit back and hear your stories. They can’t take this from us.
I don’t know how yet, but I’m taking my joy back. I suspect it will start when I begin to paint that cabinet from Ikea.
Make something pretty. A noise or a letter or a picture. Anything. We are going to need as much beauty as we can get, because we can’t look at ugliness all the time.