Uncomfortably Numb

Writing has always been a part of me.  Since childhood, I can count on a few fingers the number of times when my creative well ran bone-dry.

I would never intentionally trivialize the devastating loss of my mother and the crushing impact it had on me. After she died, I was emotionally bludgeoned into a creative silence that lasted years. Too broken to write.

I am, therefore, reluctant to admit that I find myself in a similar place, at least creatively speaking, following this election.  Looking down the barrel of inauguration day, I feel stunned into a sort of stupor. When the unthinkable happens, words are lost. I feel lost.

A political person I am not. You won’t hear me expounding on foreign policy, economics or the antics of our Congress. To be truthful, most of my friends understand these things far better than I do. To me, presidential politics was always the same old cronies, Yale, blah, blah, campaign finance, blah, blah, lower taxes, raise taxes, blah, blah, blah.  I have always leaned well to the left, but my cynicism was very much front and center.

Voting for the first African-American president, however, was one of the most joyous, proud moments of my life. The most engaged I have ever felt by anything remotely “political.” Obama was everything I could possibly hope for in a president and a leader and my cynicism was temporarily forgotten. A role model.  For all the public scrutiny he endured, decent and dedicated to a fault, he is someone we can all look up to. Not perfection achieved; but certainly excellence.

Now here we are.  Donald Trump.  Did America willingly, knowingly elect a reality TV star, philandering, self-aggrandizing real estate mogul to the most powerful position in the White House? That guy with the hair and the highly inappropriate, albeit entertaining, discourse? Marla Maples dude? I’d date my daughter guy? As a nation we took a giant leap forward and twenty mammoth skids backward. I want to find it all amusing, but I fail to see the humor. I am stunned and shaken. Still. Mourning.

While my creativity may have been temporarily stripped away, my ability to act has not. This coming weekend I am heading to Washington DC to protest, I don’t even know what. Yes, again, I am being honest. I am part of the problem. The disengaged, ill-informed, well-meaning side-liner. Perhaps I have been numb far longer than I care to admit. A bubble-dweller. I hope I can do better.

Donald Trump being the president of the United States of America at a time (any time) when we need strong, authentic, stable leadership is so, so wrong. I am not a Christian, but come on Christians! This man has the moral fiber of a dung fly. I know God has a purpose for all his creatures, but surely he never meant for “The Donald” to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Washington, the Roosevelts, Jefferson, Kennedy, Obama or even Bush (senior, please).

By marching, I want Trump to know that I’m not buying what he’s selling and I want to stand shoulder to shoulder with others who feel the same way.

Today we honored Martin Luther King, Jr.  A man who gave his life for his principles.

With all my heart I am hoping that by taking action, the numbness, shock and sadness I feel will be galvanized into something hopeful again. At least I could write this much.

God help America.

Scratch that.

Let’s help ourselves.


© 2018 Jenny Bruce