in which I acknowledge that turd on the carpet

Things which have changed this week, only some of which are surprising:

  • All of our family’s charitable donations now go to the ACLU and Black Lives Matter. (Those links will take you straight to their donation pages if you have anything extra in your pockets.)
  • Just about anything can make me feel like rage- crying.
  • I’ve started running again.
  • I’m smoking, too (but I’m not planning on buying another pack).
  • I’m also drinking a great deal more wine and bourbon, but I’m working on that, because I don’t want to end up like my mother (or look like her, either really, but that’s quite an aside). This is no way to cope.
  • I’ve become a bit of a point person when it comes to advising my trans and queer friends on their handgun purchases. Those who know me well, especially those familiar with my work on projects like 600 Monsters, will understand what a massive switch this has been. I hold very firm beliefs about gun control. I also want the people that I love to be safe, and they are absolutely going to buy these weapons, so I want them to do so safely, to purchase the correct weapon for them, and to be safe while they have and handle them. (Are you queer, a Muslim, a person of color, or a woman looking to purchase your first weapon and feeling uncertain, or just have some questions? Please feel free to use me as a resource, whether we know one another personally or not. I am a veteran who has held expert qualifications on multiple weapons. Your comfort, privacy, and most importantly your safety are my priotities.)
  • I’ve signed up to be a clinic escort and poll worker in my state.
  • I don’t smile at strange white men.

I want to say so many things: all of the things, any of the things, but I don’t have it in me. It’s not here, it’s not happening, everything is stuck. I’m doing things instead: mobilizing. Gathering. Getting my shit back together.

A while back, I’d thought that really, things couldn’t be much worse than 2014, as  cumulative spans of 365 days go, but here we are: 2016, a truly shitshow of a year. 2017 is going to open with a frightfest, and I don’t know what comes after that. I don’t know a lot of things. I know how I’ll be spending my time, though.

In between planning, gathering resources, comforting friends who are (quite correctly) now concerned about losing their marital status, adoptive children, health insurance, recognized gender identity, already tenuous physical safety, access to birth control, jobs, protection from sexual assault, access to reproductive choice, religious freedoms, liberty and lives, I’m engaging in massive amounts of anxiety handspinning, which I highly recommend. I’m also working up a design in Neighborhood Fiber Company‘s Studio Worsted with a bevy of wonderfully distracting cables. If you don’t spin, consider casting on something mildly complicated in a technique you feel pretty confident in; it’s a good way to feel productive and keep the mind moving when you can’t be actively doing anything.

What are folks doing this week, both to make things around you better, and to make yourselves (and each other) feel halfway okay? It’s been one hell of a week, which still isn’t over, and outside of curiousity, I’m collecting suggestions.

Be good to one another. We’re going to get through the next four years, hand in hand, goddamnit.

 

  One thought on “in which I acknowledge that turd on the carpet

  1. November 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I actually heard a woman in Starbucks say “he is a Godly choice”. I said, not my God

    • November 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      I agree, Rose. I’m thinking of my friends who are clergy; Trump’s platforms- and most especially his running mate, Pence- these aren’t the positions of the ministers, rabbis, imams, and monks I hang out with.

  2. November 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    As I was brushing my teeth yesterday morning I thought “I need to get a gun” and I have no idea where that came from. I live in Philadelphia in the middle of the 9/11 triangle and arming myself didn’t occur to me then. I have international students, many of whom are Muslim, and they are terrified.

    • November 10, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      I know what you’re talking about. I have friends who are putting together martial arts classes for LGBTQ folk (mostly focusing on trans kids and young adults, but open to all) right now in spots all over the country; that fear seems to be a pretty universal response. Hate crimes immediately spiked after the election, and the KKK has announced that they’ll have a celebratory Trump parade in NC on the 3rd; it’s a scary time.

  3. Gail Rector
    November 10, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I walk. Every day. Sometimes a half mile, sometimes two miles.
    Often only just before dark because I’ve procrastinated. Once at ten thirty at night because it still counted. It’s been over 60 days, I have lost count.
    Yesterday, I woke up feeling pummeled. I immediately went out walking. In the rain. For an hour. When I got back home I was soaking wet but didn’t feel so frozen with fear.
    My daughter sent me a message of love. She had done somewhat the same by biking to work.
    But she said “I don’t feel safe. I’m female, in a mixed marriage, to a foreigner.”
    I told her to do what she needed to to feel safe.
    Maybe I need to get the sand out of my eyes, but I’m just trying to keep my feet under me and deal with each day’s (insert escalated descriptor here) horror as it comes.
    I love you Sarah, though the only way we know each other is through your blog and Craftsy class, and I wish you well, very well.
    Gail

  4. Barbara Hoffman
    November 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I personally am making charitable contributions more carefully. Today I send money to Meals on Wheels. Next will be Planned Parenthood of Maryland. More focused will be my mantra for the next 4 years

  5. tw
    November 10, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    You are a perfect example of why the hate and fear of the next administration won’t win. Thank you.

  6. Nancye
    November 11, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I am swimming. Lots and lots of laps. I also found myself thinking about a gun. I grew up in the Midwest. I lived in DC through 911 and the sniper. Never crossed my mind before but I keep thinking about it. Our money now goes to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. And I’m planning gatherings with friends. Knitting nights. Felting nights. Dinner. Creating. Trying to surround myself with good hearted people to remind myself that most Americans are good loving people.

  7. November 11, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been sick with a stinking cold all week and honestly, I’m kind of thankful for that. Being full of snot, aches and physical malaise has been a fairly effective distraction.

  8. November 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    You are a good woman and you have summed up the distress of so many vulnerable people.
    From Australia, it is terrifying, that vulnerable people are considering buying firearms to protect their values and their way of lives.
    Thank you for this.. I’m sorry it comes from so many points of deep pain…
    Be good to yourselves…
    Cheers
    Karin (AKA The Knitting Man Recommends…)

  9. February 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m terrified Sarah I truly am – we are probably relocating to Boston MA from the UK in the summer and Trump/Pence scare the bejeebers out of me.

    • February 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

      I know what you mean. Our respective health issues keep us pretty firmly grounded in the US, at least for the moment, but we have been talking to some of our friends about looking into their options, and the Kids, too. Neither of us like the way these first few weeks have gone at all.

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