I woke up this morning thinking about what would feel right for today’s blog. And what came to me was I wanted to hear from some of the voices that we’ve gotten to know over these months. This is a journey we are on together and it felt important for us to be together today. For myself, I don’t know which of the tears I’m shedding in these last official hours of our national nightmare are tears of relief and which are of sorrow. I’m not sure it matters.
The final night—Voices from the blog
There is a saying that goes, “The opposite of love is not hate, but fear.” My heart swings between the two opposites, or the triangle of emotions. I am anticipating with much joy and love the start of a new administration and leadership that I believe is driven by truth and compassion, while the hateful insurrection that we all watched in horror makes me fearful. I hate that the Capitol looks like a war zone. I love that we won against dictatorship. I fear that we will slide back into our comfort and refrain from doing the deep work of transforming this country that is so clearly needed if our democracy is to survive. So here I am, at moments fearful; some moments experiencing hate and anger; some moments I know hope and love. But the best of these, and the one I am committed to keep cultivating, is LOVE. For if I give this one away, the people who attacked us win; this is a price I am not willing to pay.— Irit Umani, Austin, Texas
We are almost at the point today when we can say: “Round #1, almost done,” in regard to Trump’s effect on our lives. I had wished that the whole thing would be over, but feel in my bones that we will be burdened by the long-lasting effects of our 45th president for many other rounds in this terrible prizefight! Round #1 lasted from the moment he announced his run for the presidency to this current moment when we are holding our collective breaths as to what damage he can still impose upon our country in this, the last full day of his term. Hopefully, wise minds will help us to get through all of this with as little permanent damage as possible. May it be so! — Ellin Snow, Lynnwood, Washington
I think of myself as a basic optimist. I hope for the best and try to put things in perspective. On this last day of an administration that will be known for its cruelty and lies, its deep corruption and flagrant posturing, my feelings ricochet from relief to anger, sadness and confusion. I will not miss the daily girding of my resources to withstand yet another offense to the most basic of expectations. I needed to write that because what I really want to feel is hope, optimism, compassion and pride at what can happen with Biden and Harris as our leaders. I know tomorrow will bring tears and maybe even joy. I will allow myself to feel them. I will listen and be open to the messages that tell me what I am meant to do going forward. I will commit to doing what I can to help heal what is broken. I don’t know what that will look like, but am willing to trust people who are committed to telling the truth. — Rebecca Crichton, Seattle, Washington
The well-worn phrases roil in my brain—Waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is always darkest before the dawn. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. — but none capture the depth of anxiety nor the hope that is my true heart. The things that carry me to the depths are the 400,000 souls lost to COVID-19 and the prediction that the number will be 500,000 in three months. It is the threat of violence from those who spout hate and otherness around the world. As in nature, one cannot have the darkness without the light, and what makes my heart soar is a vaccine that is inching closer to my arm and to the arms of the world. Biden’s inauguration tomorrow fills me with a quiet peace and a gentle expectation, and the new pictures of my gorgeous grandchildren fill my heart with unending love. While the future will, indeed, be challenging, there is an insatiable hunger for the healing to fling us to the stars. — Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
In the beginning, when Donald Trump was elected, I was not a happy camper. But my prayers for our Country had not yet expanded. Time went on. The lies, racism and hate kept escalating. My prayers expanded.
In the beginning, when the Covid virus hit the world, I was hopeful it would be contained in a reasonable time frame. Time went on. Trump’s administration, in so many ways, lied, dropped the ball, and caused our Country to suffer worse than any other nation. My prayers expanded.
In the beginning, my personal prayers were mostly focused on my family and friends. Time went on. My prayers expanded. I pray for each and every family who lost a loved one from Covid, I pray for our Country to heal after the last 4 years, and I pray for the safety of the Biden family and the Harris family.
May my prayers be heard. — Terrie Turner, Palm Springs-Palm Desert area, California