The space-time continuum – broken by COVID-19. Days of the week are merely suggestions. Don’t ask me the date. I don’t have a clue. I know, however, the election is near. The sigh of relief from my lips when I received an email from the state saying my completed ballot was received could be heard from space. Now I wait to see if it’s actually counted.
Earlier this summer, I printed as neatly as I could 100 postcards urging people to request a mail-in ballot due to COVID-19. I donated some money. I bought pins and stickers. I tried my best to open the eyes of the willfully blindfolded who only watch one channel, to no avail, then channeled my energy elsewhere where I knew it might help make change happen. That helped me to combat feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness — about things we couldn’t do much about (the COVID new normal) and those we could (helping elected officials at all levels who don’t understand their job out the door in November).
A week ago today, I voted by mail. Years of Catholic school training made filling in the ovals completely and following the ridiculous directions about the multiple envelopes (inside and outside) a breeze. And now I practice patience and hope that the will of the people won’t be undone by created chaos / partisanship. I’m so tired of that.
There’s a lot to say about 2020, but spare energy with which to do so was not available. Even though things are maddening and depressing at times, for a couple of months it feels like it’s going to get better. I have no proof, just my gut. The pit that grew in my stomach at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016, feels lighter and smaller than ever. I like to believe a reckoning is coming. In the moments of worry and dejection, I think of the people who’ve dealt with much worse for decades. The ones who bring chairs and snacks because they’ll wait all day to vote if they have to. Those who never give up even though the system is beyond slow to change most times. They helped to prod me along when things started to feel hopeless. I’m optimistic but remember that not everyone plays by the same rules. Karma eventually prevails, this year hopefully helped by an overwhelming majority who say, “Enough.”
No matter what happens next week, the fight will continue, always.
Along the way, even in times like these, some find joy. That’s grace. May we all benefit from their spirits and be inspired by their fortitude.
Power to the people.
Power to the polls.