a particular collection

Oh, friends. What has happened?

So many words. So much and so little to say. Information coming from every corner, opinions, news, real and fake, essays, hashtags, heartbreak, everything. It’s an avalanche, a deluge, a whirlwind of hurt, of thought, of cries for help, of gloating, of fear. I’m exhausted. My heart is heavy, the world feels loud, and fear has crept in. Words feel ineffectual, at least mine do. But I’ll speak anyway, quietly, here, in my own little corner. Just for a moment.

Like so many other people, I was so very wrong. I didn’t know that I lived in a world that could elect someone like Trump, I didn’t know that I lived in a world of so much hurt and misunderstanding, I didn’t know that things had gotten this bad, that the divide was this wide, that for eight years the tiger was lying in wait just around the corner. I didn’t know, but I should have. This is not new. I should not be surprised. I’ve read the old testament and the new, I’ve heard the tales. I know that we cannot save our world. I know that we all make hurtful choices every day. I know that fear has not yet been banished.

But I also know and cling to the fact that Jesus is right now, impossibly, making all things new. That Israel went into exile and came back. That God sees us even here in this desolate place. That all this hurt, all this confusion, all this pain is not the end of us. I know that I will never understand the fear that people who are not white and straight and safe like I am are feeling, but I can say that I know that Jesus was once bodily on earth and when he was here he stood with the brokenhearted and the outcasts. I can say that I know that that is what I’m supposed to do too, though I will fail at it every day, though I am brokenhearted too.

There’s no more to say. There are no answers to this quandary. None of it is at all okay. We will never figure this out. But we are not done. We are not finished. Here, in exile, we will sing and walk and hold each other and keep saying useless words, none of the right ones. Here in exile we will wait on God, try, trippingly, to ascend his holy mountain, rend to Caesar what is Caesar’s, weep endlessly with those who weep, look fear straight in the face. The sun is up. We are all still here. We are not done.

In the midst of my growing feeling of quietness, I’ve collected some special things. Words that feel powerful, things that are beautiful, little emblems of hope, rallying calls, joy. Here’s a small, special collection, little bits of joy and truth to carry as we walk.

Thoughtful things:

“A Letter to my brown son about Trump’s America” by Mira Jacob.

SNL’s perfect opening, if you haven’t seen it already. 

David Remnick’s response to election night.

A friend’s writing, shifting “I’m With Her” to somewhere new and lovely and true.

“What will I tell my children?” an essay from one of my favorite bloggers.

“When’s the last time you heard a policy wonk say that politics is inherently tragic, that it frequently involves the conflict of two goods rather than ideology’s black and white scenarios?” 

Beautiful things: 

This album by Mountain Man. I’ve been revisiting it lately, one of my lifelong favorites.

This novel that I just finished and absolutely loved.

People knitting, strange solace.

This soft irony, this refrain. 

Joyful things:

3191 Miles Apart, dwelling in beauty and friendship and realness.

Already missing Hillary’s shimmy. 

Knitting is rhythmic and mathematical and always makes sense, and this pattern is free if you sign up for Purl Soho’s newsletter. I also feel really good about this hat.

We could all learn to weave if we wanted to!

Hopeful things: 

This poem by Wendell Berry.

“The Get Through” zine from Many Mothers Co.

An embodied “the future is female”. 

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