Poetic Justice

I was obsessed with Watergate when I was a kid. But as I read each news story, I was rooting for the national nightmare to come to a just conclusion – and it did.

I don’t know anymore. Because we no longer have a Republican Congress capable of putting country before party.

Even as I spent my childhood guppy-fishing in the creek with kitchen strainers and paddling canoes and learning to sail the Great Lakes, I felt the rip currents pulling away from shore.

But when I came home from camp, sat on the floor and stuck my face as close as I could get to the TV to watch Nixon resign, I felt triumphant over my powerlessness as a child. I felt a victory for America – and for goodness everywhere.

I suspect most of the people who voted for Trump are not good people. A good person does not overlook misogyny, racism, xenophobia, etc. – no matter how important any single issue is to them. I understand why Clinton was a problematic candidate. But America would not be suffering the way we are today, if she were President.

I knew Trump in the 80’s. He was a despicable sleaze then, as he is now. I saw him at his worst – entitled, surrounded by people on drugs, a predator. Pretty damn hard for this White House to fight the opioid crisis when it IS the opoid crisis.

Of course there are some good people who voted for Trump. Everyone makes mistakes. It defies all reason why a thoughtful person would support this awful human being and not be full of remorse and regret. Unless the only way to survive for them is not to see. Because Trump is victimizing our country.

I am just as disturbed by blind loyalty to Israel. America and Israel are supposed to represent democratic ideals. Yet ours and their leadership is tending more toward authoritarianism every day. This flies in the face of hope.

One of the hardest things to do is to be intellectually honest. To take a look around at the company you keep, the tribe you identify with. I’ve failed to do that in my past.

Maybe that’s why I feel this national crisis so keenly. That mistake has nearly ruined our lives. I’ve always thought the best of people because I willed it to be so.

Clarity can be as stinging as hail on your face. My innate positivity and optimism physically hurt.

I used to edit an arts magazine in the East Village in New York City. I created a column called Undercurrents, where I interviewed all sorts of artists, writers and musicians on their spiritual inspirations, their muses. All these years later I still believe that a spiritual sense of our world, a poetic understanding, is our salvation and reclaiming of power.

I’m now in a time in my life where God, if God exists, has pulled the curtain back and nearly every week is a fresh, raw, horrifying reveal. Some days I’m not sure we’ll make it through. I have no idea how to navigate what we are experiencing.

I’m treading water in the ocean, surrounded by darkness – hoping to see stars.

I count, focus on our blessings. Years of spiritual practice have strengthened me for this. I’m grateful for remarkably loving friends, for a profoundly beautiful daughter.

At the end of the day, at the beginning of the day, all ll I really know is to love, and to write. Then, I can swim to safety. Then, maybe I have a chance of being a lifesaver. And maybe others won’t feel so alone.



About the Author
Dana is a Jewish feminist, writer and poet. She is passionate about kindness, spirituality, the artist's voice, and speaking out for the vulnerable. She lives in New York.
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