This is a day of celebration and connection. I know it’s not over yet, but I want to savor the moment and fan the sparks of hope. I first got the news from my neighbor who left me a message right after the election was called. “I know you haven’t been watching the news,” she said, “so I just wanted to tell you: Biden has been elected. Hallelujah!”

Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump to become US President: “It’s time for America to unite and heal”—NME

November 7, 2020

Erupting celebrations
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

In the first years that I lived in this condo, I assumed that my next-door neighbors were Republicans. Why? Because every year, on Memorial Day and the 4th of July, they hung a large American flag on their deck. And maybe they were. But that was before Trump consumed the Republican Party.

It is only this year, when our levels of anxiety about what Trump was doing to our country were through the roof, that we started talking about politics.

Only it doesn’t even feel like it’s “politics” we’ve been discussing. The word carries an implication of distance from our personal lives, something that is going on “out there.” But the past four years have made it powerfully clear that that distance is a fiction. It’s also clear from the celebrations in the streets and the texts that are flying across the country.

I’ve never received or sent so many texts in such a short time.

Woo hoo and yippee and yay and welcome new world!

Thank God! I’m weeping with relief and gratitude but not naïveté about the challenges ahead.

Many of my friends have been writing all week (most of us not being up for a phone call—it’s hard to talk on the phone when you’re having trouble breathing) about waiting to exhale. Today, they’re taking it the next step.

I can finally take a deep breath.

OMG. I was hardly breathing since Tuesday.

Breathing again.

Looking forward to breathing deeply again, trusting the people running the country.

All these people are white. If we’ve been having so much trouble breathing, I thought, what must it be like for people of color.

Then this came in from a Black man: I have been crying all morning. FINALLY I feel like I can BREATHE! I will feel a lot safer leaving my home.

And from a Jewish woman in Texas: We stopped the move towards fascism in this USA. Now the work can start. But first I am taking a moment to rest.

Yes.

For the first time, rather than using the word “erupt” to describe disturbances in the street, CNN is talking about erupting celebrations.

5 Comments

  1. Ruth, I wanted to comment on your post about assuming your neighbors were Republicans because they flew the flag on holidays. After my son married and for sure by the time grandson David was was born my son Howie always flew an American flag from a pole on their front porch. I remember also one Halloween when he did a ceremonial burying of our constitution (probably during Bush, Jr administration.) in their front yard as a ceremonial gesture to teach David an important principle. That’s when I realized that liberal people could fly the flag too without any assumptions being made. Unfortunately, both at my previous condo with my ex, and where I live now, they don’t allow you to hang anything in your windows or on your doors, although I’ve had the Black Lives Matter poster on my front door since I moved here after my divorce. I remember the first year here, some black staff members would come up and show the sign to friends and family and ask if they could photograph it. I’ll never take that down!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your experience of this very special moment in history. It’s a joyous day to celebrate the renewal of our democracy! Yes, there’s much work to be done to repair all the damage of these last few years, but I’m very hopeful and optimistic because we will have a dynamic duo at the helm.
    Best wishes to all…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a week this has been! Yesterday I noticed that my anxiety level had started to come down a bit, as ballot counts continued to be released in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada.
    On Tuesday night I was texting with my good friend in Philadelphia. She was losing it. I was watching MSNBC and passed this along to her: “From James Carville tonight: ‘put down your sharp instruments and put your ambian away, it’s gonna be fine.’ Fingers crossed, I hope he’s right.” On Wednesday she texted that it looked like it was all coming down to Philadelphia. My hometown! I’m so proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So happy to join you in this very important celebration, dear Ruth! While I know that we are still in for many upsets and disappointments as we move forward, the fact that at the very brink of a loss of our democracy, Joe and Kamala (and more than half of the US voters) pulled us back from the edge is very heartening! I stand with you, my friend and celebrate this excellent election outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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