They met on the hill…

Trump's Proposed First Move Eerily Like Hitler's

When I read the above Huffington blog post, I finally let myself cry about the nightmare of Donald Trump poised to take over our country.  I haven't let myself go beneath my protective layer of sarcastic, bleak humor because I don't want to let Donald Trump get inside me.  I don't want to give him the power to make me despair.  But this article broke through my defenses.  Just to make sure Eric Schmeltzer wasn't also manipulating my feelings, I looked up the original Reuter's report:

EXCLUSIVE-Trump could seek new law to purge government of Obama appointees

Clearly Schmeltzer is not exaggerating.  He doesn't toss around comparisons to Hitler lightly, so I take very seriously his evaluation of Chris Christie's statements.  And the nightmare has become too real for me to protect myself from it anymore.

But after letting go and crying, I searched my feelings for despair and didn't find it.  What I did find is a profound sadness.  Sadness for our nation, for all the people who believe in Trump's nightmare, and for all who will suffer because of it if he's elected, including so many of those who right now are yelling their virulent support for Trump on the floor of the Republican Convention.

I also feel outrage, but I don't know how to talk about that yet.

All week I have had these words on my mind, a poem that I wrote 30 years ago, in 1986 while in seminary, after witnessing somehow this encounter of angels on the hill behind the chapel.  I've never completely understood it, but apparently it speaks to me again now, in some way, about the tragedy we are calling a presidential campaign.

They met on the hill,  
and the first angel said,"You must be an angel." 
The second one said,"You are an angel, too.You are the angel of mercy,and I—I am the angel of fear." 
"Ah, we two go together, then,"said the first angel.
And so they did.

photo:  Angel on interior dome of the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, edited


A girl can be anything she wants

All the years of rage and hopelessness and beating my head and heart against the relentless oppression of women's strength, and tonight I see a woman standing in the midst of a cheering crowd, winning her party's nomination to become President.  I felt in my heart as a young girl that the words "You can be anything you want, even President" were a lie.  There had never been a President who wasn't a White man.  That's who Presidents are.

Eight years ago a Black man stood in the midst of a cheering crowd, a Black man became President.  It was such a strange sight, strange and wonderful.  A wall came tumbling down.

But in my heart I still believed that there would never be a woman President in my lifetime.  I would never see a woman empowered to be the leader of our nation.

And then tonight my heart broke open and all those years of rage and hopelessness and beating my head and heart against the relentless oppression of women's strength—of MY strength—flew out and left only stunned hope.  Maybe it wasn't a lie.  Maybe a girl really can be anything she wants now, even President.


Real feelings

For a person with chronic depression, it's hard to tell what's depression and what's a real feeling. I feel sad and angry and discouraged. And scared, I have to say it.  I don't admit to scared normally. 

Sad could be depression. Discouraged, maybe depression. Angry, though, is not a depressed feeling. Neither is scared. You have to feel like you're part of the world to be angry at it or scared of it. 

So I can be half sure these are actual feelings that I don't have to dismiss because they're "just the depression talking."  These ones I can embrace as really me. I really do feel sad and angry and discouraged and scared. Since I know two of them are real, I'm claiming them all.  

I'm so practiced at dismissing my unhappy feelings that I'm not clear on how to feel them. One more thing to undertake in a time of undertakings.
Which I think gives me another feeling called Crap.