These are some of the ways I'm coping with the anxiety, distress, sadness, and a variety of complex emotions this week.
Because the first woman president was not elected. Instead, a buffoon of a man with no interest in government or service and no core beliefs beyond himself is president elect, threatening numerous populations in our country, the stability of the world, and the very planet itself. I think it worsens Clinton's loss because he is so awful. I had underestimated the anger in the nation at progress and at being left behind economically and culturally--how much people hate women and fear people of color; I had overestimated my fellow white women who voted for him in droves--I can't believe they embraced someone who thinks nothing of them, that they believed him and in him. As a lesbian with bi-racial children, I'm scared; as an American and a woman, I'm ashamed and embarrassed. If it weren't for the fact that we'd go down with his ship, I'd be intellectually amused to watch him wreck everything; part of me cynically laughs that "they" will get what they voted for--except so will I (though as an upper middle class white woman in suburban CT, I'm pretty insulated. I hope. But I think that's where all my cynicism and sarcasm on FB comes from. I fluctuate between anger, gallows humor, and sadness) I have drawn strength from my liberal friends and family, from my blue state, and from the survivor instincts and supportive environment of the Pantsuit Nation. But I still cried when Kate McKinnon sang on SNL.
Because my uncle died unexpectedly, which I learned about Saturday. He'd had cancer and it had metastasized; he chose to stop treatments and died soon after. He hadn't told anyone but his sister.
Because we were all focused on his son, my cousin the monk, who is dying in a hospital in France slowly. He has leukemia and now an ileus, which is intestinal immobility which will kill him. It's taking a long time, but I'm in touch with one of his brother monks and know that he is resting comfortably and accepting of both his own mortality and now his father's death.
Because our cat Mo's numbers are worsening and he seems to have taken a turn. We can't be sure if it's not the vaccinations he got recently or a turn in his condition. But we are devastated. Yes, we knew he was old; we knew he had kidney issues; we've been giving him subcutaneous fluids. But he had been doing great--still his old self, wandering around, meowing, sitting with us during dinner, arm time, enjoying sun spots, sleeping in odd places (the laundry, the bathroom floor, the laundry hamper, Sis's bed, our bed.)
And finally, because now a virus is winding its way through the family. Sis is home with a cough, stuffy head, and sore throat. We've all been teary, but this is more.
So, with trees and Beethoven (and Mozart and Vivaldi and Bach) and Mary Oliver (and Langston Hughes) and crochet and Zentangle and family and friends, I'm better now than I was before. "I'm not giving up," McKinnon said, "and neither should you."