The US presidential elections are over and like so many of the people I know it felt like a stab in the back. It’s not that I had not seen it coming, after all my husband for one was like the Oracle of Delphi once more (I wish he predicted lottery numbers with equal accuracy) and said for months, that Trump would win. I guess I am a “hoper” (I know this is not a word, but I don’t care) and so I hoped that it would not be Trump. In fact when the stories came out about his sexual assault on women, I thought, that this would surely do it, because after all, we are all decent people who would not have someone like that in charge of the most powerful country in the world. Surely not, right? Oh Melanie, you have learnt nothing.
I feel at the moment as if I am stumbling through my days discovering all the things I don’t know. I don’t know how to politically engage anyone. I don’t know the right words to express how I feel and I don’t know how to go beyond the fear of meaning well but saying it wrong. I don’t know how to make a change and how to be involved in things that make a difference. I don’t know what a first step would be and how to take that step and then the next one. I don’t know who to take these steps with. Alone, forcing myself along by sheer willpower, all the way fearing that it is just not enough? I don’t know what to do with my anger at the political establishment, my anger with those that resort to conspiracy theories to explain the world, the anger with those that patronise me and my views, my anger that as a woman in 2016, I am still scared to walk any distance when it’s dark. All of these and more. And the only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing anymore.
And the thing is that when you know nothing, it’s so hard to find the words. The words that would do justice to the way I am feeling. The words that could explain all the million things that go on in my head. The words that could give comfort not just to myself but to someone else too. The words that would not be wrong because being on the left end of the political spectrum sadly often means that your harshest critics are your “comrades” who will shout you down for using a wrong phrase. The truth is that I no longer have anything to say. It’s as simple as that. It’s comforting and scary at the same time. Comforting because when we take the words away the silence can seem so blissful, finally everything has gone quiet. Shshhh. Yet it’s scary because if people like me no longer say anything where will it go and who will be the people that fill the silence.
And then, suddenly, a revolutionary thought occurred to me: I don’t want to be part of the fury anymore. Fury achieves nothing. I may the only person who feels that way, but I know that when I am angry, I don’t achieve anything. I am just angry. Quite often when I am angry at the world, I don’t even manage to make myself a decent lunch. Yes, I have opinions and reactions to events that happen all over the world, but I shall try and no longer trust my opinions and reactions, ignore the lurch in my stomach and simply sit with it for a moment and try not to get angry. or even furious. Who knows, maybe this will lead to knowing things again. I might even find some words to talk about things again. I shall report back.