moving through doomsdays

All day, I felt like a zombie. Devastated, ragged, not quite in my body, stumbling around my house.

So much pain, shame, disappointment, anger, fear, sadness.

Pain because I truly believed that even with all our fuckedupness, we were better than this.

Shame to see the statistics around this devastating whitelash.

More shame, plus disappointment, to see how white women - white WOMEN - betrayed the sisterhood we so desperately are trying to build.

This truth hurt most of all.

And so much anger. Anger like magma, coursing under the surface of my skin, through my heart. Anger that explodes each time a pundit regurgitates another stinking line of this election's misogynist narrative.

Fear. And more shame, because I know that my neighbors have so much more to fear than I do.

Stumbling. Sick.

Then, finally, the strange relief of deep, deep sadness.

Sadness begins to shift me from my zombie state. Sadness thaws my face, connects my aching heart to eyes filling with tears.

I still have it. It is heavy, but it grounds me.

I share this sadness with my partner, on a walk under a gloomy sky. I share it among so many friends, hurting all over the country. We connect in texts, on the phone, in our Facebook groups. We don't try to make anything better. Not yet.

I let this sadness be visible to my daughters, who respond to my vulnerability with strength and kindness. They tell me they felt the sadness in school today. They worry about me, about their friends, about their country.

They don't push away the sadness, they hold it.

I show them, and they show me, we are strong enough to hold it.


Tonight, I took comfort in the rhythms of domesticity.

I went for groceries, brought my sadness with me. Felt so grateful for the kindness of strangers, the shared, sad smiles.

I feel a glimmer of hope. I am not a zombie, I am a person. I am not alone.

I cooked dinner, talked with my girls, checked their homework.

I didn't flinch when my eight-year-old asked What's a Rapist. I took care to explain why my six-year-old's Nicaraguan classmate might have been crying today.

I see a glimmer of my ability to deal with ugly truths, to bring them up and out of the darkness. They're less terrifying when I look squarely at them.

The girls went to bed, and I began to read what smart women are writing all over this broken land. About how collectively and individually, we must reckon fully with our demons. About how the misogyny we've been facing is even deeper than we thought.

And from the superheroic women of color writing today about resilience - I mean extraordinary, grown-ass RESILIENCE - from this I draw the most strength of all, and am humbled and grateful and emboldened.

I see glimmers of power.

So today we grieve, and we are worthy of this grief.

We don't need to hurry through it. We don't need to make anyone feel better. Not today.

But I trust that slowly, surely we will begin to gather the glimmers. The hope, the ugly truths, the power.

We will use these glimmers to evolve our sisterhood. To fuel our resilience. Maybe to burn this motherfucker down.

Definitely to light each others' way.



natalie miller5 Comments