Time is dragging its feet as this election draws near. Looking for clues in its letters I notice time spelled backwards is emit. While we’re waiting this interminable wait, what are we to do with ourselves? What helpful things can we emit?
They say time heals all things. That’s a lot of pressure on time, and c’mon, can we really catch up and start improving? Time is moving too s l o w l y. The election just eight days ahead feels like months. Why can’t we just get there already? I sound like a kid on a car trip.
This is bigger than most things. This is our health on the line, our safety, our equal rights, our reputation in the world, our economy, our planet. Our DIGNITY. This is the biggest election we will experience in our lifetime. No pressure, right? I’m glad I voted early yet now feel powerless in this waiting. Do you? I almost envy those voting on Election Day because they still have that ability to move the needle. If you’ve already voted, it’s done. You’ve made your choice. And now, you must wait.
Just as you can’t “Like” a Facebook post twice, you of course can’t vote twice to nudge things in a certain direction. Decision 2020 looms large and I find myself hitting pause in my mind until this election is over. It’s a significant threshold ahead. Not that I have social plans during a pandemic, but I’m holding my breath in a state of suspension, stuck until November 3rd cracks things open. We had our before the pandemic days, and now we are in our before the election days, on the cusp of big change we can almost taste. Some days I’m confident all will fall neatly into place, those balls bouncing overhead will come down and slide into the right slots, and on other days, I worry, what WILL we do?
We are waiting to breathe a collective sigh of relief, but we’re not all together — we’re divided. One person’s dream is another’s nightmare. As we’re waiting for time to speed up and get on with its healing magic, what is it we can emit in the process? Certainly please, not Covid virus particles. (Wear your mask!) What can come out of each of us that will help things? There’s always that divine trifecta of hope and grace and love, but I’ve been looking for something small I can roll up my sleeves and do.
Sure, I voted. But this election I also did things I’ve never done before. I don’t consider myself terribly political or an activist or even particularly versed in policy. Yet this go ‘round I donated money to Biden’s campaign. Twice. Ok, thrice as moments ago I succumbed to another campaign plea, the ActBlue receipt coming in just now. A small sum, but still a first for me. I added signs (yes, plural) in my yard. They had to go up. Did I change anyone’s mind? I’ll never know, but there’s an elephant in the room who is not helping things, and I had to stake these messages in the ground, show passersby that I am not okay with how things are. That I want better for myself and them. For all of us. With several signs up and another really large recently added, maybe someone driving by might think, why are they so passionate about this race and this candidate? And who are they voting against? (as if they don’t know by now, but still!) I wrote a few postcards for two senators and that brought me a little hope when I mailed then. I volunteered to make calls on three Saturdays and I’ve got just one remaining. Every now and then I feel it working. Someone asks a question I can answer which helps them get closer to casting their vote, another person needs that reminder to fill out their ballot and get to the drop box, and we share a kind word. Others hang up on me, tell me I’ve called Trump country, or scream at me asking me how I got their number (they’re a registered voter), that they did not consent to being recorded (I’m not recording them) threatening me they are recording me right now. I’m pretty sure I know where they learned this vitriol.
You know the type, you’ve seen him. He’s the guy in front of you in traffic who has been a terrible driver for miles, but who suddenly as the light turns red careens through the intersection and zooms ahead, making it across. Meanwhile, others have been obeying the rules and trying to get ahead themselves, but this guy has his own rules and can’t seem to get with the program and proceed normally like the rest of us. You find yourself stuck because of him, frustrated by the guy with no scruples who slithered through the intersection, turned his head, laughing, “so long suckers!”
No matter who wins, we can’t throw in the towel, we can’t give up. We know we’re better than this, and if our leader doesn’t represent the best of us, we still can as individuals become our own best. No one can take that away. This is America. We can still lift each other up in the smallest of ways every single day, and we will begin to see that shift, that pivot we’re craving.
I can’t look anymore. Wake me when it’s over.