When I was talking with my oldest friend this morning, Rebecca made the observation that one of the things that makes this time so hard is that whenever we have something to look forward to, something which we think will bring some relief, the relief, when we get it, is so short-lasting. More dread quickly floods into what we hoped would be a space of calm and release.

Remains of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lie in honor at Capitol—CNN

Jan. 6 rally organizer planning ‘MAGA Sellout’ tour targeting Republicans who ‘betrayed’ Trump—ABC News

An ‘idiot’ who’s trained ‘like a dog’: Marjorie Taylor Greene mocked Parkland survivor in unearthed video—NBC News

February 2, 2021

Groundhog Day
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

Think about the morning of January 6, the morning we learned that both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock had won their senate seats in Georgia. Depending on which time zone you were in, there was a longer, or shorter, interval of normal-people-being-awake time in which to savor their victories, in which to go, Whew. Those on the East Coast made it to around noon before the reality of what was happening at the Capitol drove out all other thoughts. Those of us on the West Coast were just getting into our day when the nightmare began to unfurl.

Tuesday, November 3. Election Day. No results. Breaths remain bated until Saturday, November 7, when Pennsylvania, and the election, is called for Joe Biden. I remember that being a very good day, with people dancing in the streets. Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at the Four Seasons Landscaping, held at the same time as the networks called the race for Biden, was so ridiculous that it didn’t dampen our giddy relief. Those clowns would have to shut up soon and accept reality.

Only it was we who had to accept the reality that they weren’t going to acknowledge the actuality of what had happened. It made no sense to us that millions of people, despite dozens of legal rulings, recounts and whatnot, believed more and more firmly that the election had been stolen from Trump. Surely, we thought, it will stop after the election is certified by all the states on December 14. Then, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

No? I guess not. Okay. Let’s hold our collective breaths again until January 6 when the Electoral College vote is certified during a joint session of Congress. Which brings us back to where this post began.

When Bill Murray woke each morning into an endless loop of Groundhog Day, the world he woke into was the same, constant. Every day, he ran into the same people who said the same things. It was he who had to change if he was going to make his lived reality better. We have spent the past five years waking into a world in which the only real constant was the question, What new bottom will be hit today?

As part of the inaugural festivities on January 20, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and a street full of young people sang, danced and declared, Better days are coming. I sure hope they’re right.


  1. Ruth, your record of our moments of hopefulness during this pandemic and their each being cut short by the next time of upset is so true! I am doing my best to remain optimistic, but it does get more and more difficult to hold onto hope in these really tense times!

    Liked by 1 person

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