I promised to use this blog to write about love. Since I made that declaration, many things have happened and my world is not the same.
Today I’d like to talk about “the fight” and “the war.” While I try to stay out of politics as much as possible, I cannot deny that I am a citizen of this earth and a member of modern society and that to a certain extent that means I am not exempt from its consideration, nor safe from its follies.
I am still in shock at the result of the US election. I have been tip toeing around my friends and family, particularly those who I know like to spout their mouths off or be argumentative, because I’m just in too much pain and shock to deal with them gently. Usually very patient, I snapped more than once since last week. Before I can tell you about the fight, I want to explain a little about my sadness. I hope you can humor me just a bit — my therapist said talking about it is good for me.
To many people the election is the victory of a hate and hateful man over a woman. I don’t see the victory of a man. What I see is the manifestation of a festering, vitriolic misery that has been rotting the foundation of the United States for a solid generation, but probably for longer than that. I see a generation of young adults, fresh out of school and trying to make their way in the world, with no hope and no opportunity. Standing above them I see a layer of people who rode a high wave of inflation and fossil fuel driven economic expansion, but who attribute their success to their own hard work and sweat. Everywhere around them and in between I see those who have been forgotten or passed over. People who try, but have no opportunity. They are demographic minorities, but they are also the heart of America. Indeed I see the heart of America crusted over with hopelessness and anger from having been lied to by the establishment for their whole lives. All the fear and anger and desperation and hatred of all these people I see manifested in that strangely colored man that they call our President Elect.
So I don’t see this election as a defeat of women or a victory of hatred, or even the defeat or victory of a woman or man in particular, instead I see it as evidence that we live in a machine that has run away with our hopes and our freedom and somehow our humanity as well.
Well then, what is the next fight for us? We fought for victory in the election, we fought terror and drugs, we fought bigotry, we warred on this and battled against that and what we have gotten out of it is something very frightening indeed. Dan Savage said that while we must fight for our rights, we must also make music and dance and fuck, because art and joy are part of the fight, too. It was this claim that inspired my post today.
This post is about love and I would like to amend Mr. Savage’s words to what I believe is an even more powerful truth:
Art and joy and love ARE the fight.
There is, in fact, nothing more to it than that.
Ghandi was a pacifist. That does not mean that he took no action, it means that above all he believed that only peaceful action could bring lasting change. I believe that any action that does not stem from love is in fact counterproductive to our hopes.
Fucking is a form of self love even as it is a form of expression of love for another. Making art is an expression for love of the truth. Playing and experiencing, creating and spreading joy are all expressions of love of the very life that breathes through us. Everything of value, I believe, is rooted firmly in love.
And like I said, love can save the world.
For several days after I heard the news I obsessively refreshed the web pages of internet personalities that I respect. It was my hope that they would help me to see how to move forward and how to understand the extent of what is about to change. I am still afraid to browse any news pages because my inflamed sensibilities would not stand up to the sensationalism with which they present everything they report. While no one as of yet has been able to provide me with a road map of where to go next, the words of Mr. Savage did coalesce in me a truth that I had known all along.
Going forward, all of us who love freedom and goodness and who hope for a better world than what we have been born into, are compelled to walk a path of gentle love. It is the only way to overcome the powers that be.
As I once heard it explained, the government is big and strong and has powerful guns. We the people are fragmented and small and armed with neither guns nor money nor political influence. A brute force battle of wills to topple the Powers would only work in Hollywood. But guns must be held by people, and people will only fire the guns if they believe they have something to gain from it, whether it be honor or money. What we as the poor, weak, fragmented people can do that the government cannot is we can love each other and refuse to be violent. We can teach each other that the government has nothing to offer us that we cannot give to each other.
Not health care
Not food or shelter
Because health care is provided by healers and they have the power to use their skills for the good of themselves and others. And jobs are provided by our own efforts and the earth we live on. And security comes from knowing that our family will protect us when trouble comes. And food grows on trees and homes are everywhere. And freedom is something we cannot be given, but only find within our own hearts.
So this is my path and this is my solution. My call to arms is that you wrap them tenderly around someone. If you feel betrayed by the world that was supposed to protect you, then use your power as a thinking, breathing, loving being to ensure that no suffering in this world will occur that you had a chance to prevent it.
Go out and love.