This post originally appeared here.

It’s getting ugly out there, isn’t it? Dark. A lot of us, myself included, are walking around with our hands held up, helpless.

Hate is matching in the streets.

What can we do?

Nuclear war is on the table.

What can we do?

It’s hard when you feel helpless. We are fixers. Women especially, maybe mothers even more so than that, but probably humanity in general. We see problems and we fix them. We do good works. We help. We make casseroles and donate money and give medicine and help each other move.

I still believe it, still do: people are inherently good. Almost all of us. Maybe all of us at first, until something terrible happens to us or is taught to us.

I try to remind myself of this when I find myself wishing bad things upon our president, smaller ones usually like for his pants to split when he bends over during an important event but also bigger things like impeachment or alien abduction or to be visited by three ghosts in the middle of the night and shown the egregious error of his ways.

I try to remind myself of this when I find myself wanting to grab people who voted for this monster by the shoulders and shake them and point at everything that’s happened since and yell “REALLY? This? DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE?”

Except grabbing people in the grocery store or at a family picnic is generally frowned upon by the law and common etiquette and again, I still believe most of them are mostly good. Even good people can make bad decisions, I say under my breath instead, like I say to my youngest when he tries to wipe himself with a hand towel because the toilet paper roll is empty.

So what can we do?

I don’t know. Of course I don’t. I’m as scared and as alarmed as you are, maybe more so even because scared and alarmed is sort of my starting point even before the world stared to splinter at the edges under the weight of a crazy man’s ego.

I know what we can’t do though. We can’t hide. We can’t slink back into bed and throw the covers over our heads and claim helplessness. I know this because I tried and it’s not a valid reason to call into work according to HR.

Also the world is still actually pretty magnificent and I don’t think we should sacrifice our own sense of wonder just because we might blow up. The sunrises are still so full of hope and color that it can make you spontaneously weep. Trust me.

So there’s something we can do. Get up in the morning, still. Go outside. Look at the sky. Watch the butterflies dance in circles at midday and the fireflies glitter at dusk and let yourself marvel in true wonder at the million little pieces of gorgeousness that makes up the whole of this place.

Hold the babies and inhale deeply their smell of promised optimism and notice how the three-year old’s eyelashes are so long they get caught when he blinks hard in excitement.

Hold the hand of someone older than you and listen to their story. Bake someone a casserole. Plant flowers.

Eat whatever the hell you would like for dinner and don’t worry about calories or carbs because if the world is going to end sooner or later anyway I sure as hell am going out with wine in one hand and a big hunk of crusty bread in the other.

Get involved in politics at the local level and get educated and donate money to causes that help lift up the very people being held down right now. If you have no money donate time or clothes that don’t fit or space at your table or your ear. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

Watch the sun be eclipsed by the moon in a few days and remember how just years ago that was so frightening that we were willing to sacrifice goats and virgins and weep and wail until the shadow moved on and the sun could shine again in its fullness and we all exhaled the breath we had been holding, not yet understanding that the sun was still there the whole time shining away like it wasn’t no thing at all.

So maybe start there, by saying prayers to your God if you have one or whispered reminders to yourself in your own dark corners about how people are good, still and the world is magnificent, still and love trumps hate and the sun was never really gone at all, you guys, even when your own eyes could only see the darkness. There’s always light.

So much love and light to you all.

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3 thoughts to “So What Can We Do?

  • Karen DeBonis

    Liz, I love your analogy of the solar eclipse for what we’re facing now. I do believe there is light on the other side of this. And I will continue to be kind no matter what – that’s one way that I contribute.

    Reply
    • Liz

      Karen, I couldn’t imagine you being anything other than kind. ❤️

      Reply
  • Sonni Abatta

    Gah! Love!

    1 – “I try to remind myself of this when I find myself wishing bad things upon our president, smaller ones usually like for his pants to split when he bends over during an important event but also bigger things like impeachment or alien abduction or to be visited by three ghosts in the middle of the night and shown the egregious error of his ways.”

    2 – “Also the world is still actually pretty magnificent and I don’t think we should sacrifice our own sense of wonder just because we might blow up.”

    3 – “I’m as scared and as alarmed as you are, maybe more so even because scared and alarmed is sort of my starting point even before the world stared to splinter at the edges under the weight of a crazy man’s ego.”

    Those metaphors though! Those descriptors tho! All the words doing their magic little dance together! Delightful.

    Thanks for another good piece.

    Reply

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