Post Election: The Search for Gratitude

Sun-splayed tree, 2016

Sun-splashed tree, 2016

There are times, like this past week, when the subject of gratitude comes hard, sticks in my throat. Hillary, her face gray and drawn, her hair lacking its coiffured fluff and luster, spoke out. “It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer,” she implored. Obama, overseas, in Germany, gathered crowds, put his best face forward, gave the message that our democracy will carry on and survive.

Yet, as I listen to Hillary and Obama, I mourn, feel regret. I am fearful and believe it is essential to adhere to values and action to assure civility and safety for all. But in the meanwhile, I must answer my own questions.

Who is Trump? How will he lead? Does he have perspective beyond the immediacy of his own lens or is he easily led, swayed by men such as Steve Bannon with his uncanny ability to pinpoint language, switch Trump’s moderate considerations into rhetoric of power with impunity.

Eleven days out, how do I live? How do I make sense of the onslaught of bad news— men who have spoken out against diversity, my core beliefs— being chosen to lead? What day-to-day action do I take? How will I use my time and resources to manage what is now becoming a stream of alien options difficult to digest?

My gratitude blog is my window to the world, a once a week deadline where I show up, rain or shine, to explore what has become the challenge to find and experience gratitude. I began this blog a year ago. Post election, I considered shifting to an every other week schedule. Now, I feel the imperative to continue, to write, to stay the course.

Yesterday, as my neighborhood mechanic was sealing a slow leak in my tire, I took a walk. The sky was energetic with dark clouds swirling, the air brisk with erratic winds as I combed a familiar street on foot to explore a major bridge, shut down, in repair, straight ahead. For weeks, this route has been re-routed, adding up to over a 20-minute encircling to what had been a 10-minute trip. On the ground, close to the site, I understood— they were rebuilding the bridge from the bottom up; rebuilding takes devoted attention and time.

In the afternoon, grateful and refreshed at the image of the bridge, I continued to meander and found another— smaller, simpler in its wooden structure, across from the Wellesley public library. I was in soul-tracking mode, the low sun highlighting tree after tree, some a century and a half old, their limbs stretched, each one perfect in its way. Beyond the trees, I found the bridge, weathered, a flexible, wooden arch, sheltering a spring, grey and gritty from lack of rain, but still running.

With gratitude, I felt the sun on my back as I clicked away on trees. Sometimes, what we need is pause, the time to dig deep, to grasp what is essential before we can find the image, the words to move back into the stream.




12 thoughts on “Post Election: The Search for Gratitude

  1. Heather Christie

    Lovely post, Faye. Each of us needs to be an example of peace and acceptance, to be the voice of civil discourse, and to be the light that shines despite the darkness. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Your gratitude blog is a blessing to the cyber world.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Thank you, Heather, for your affirming and generous comment. It means a great deal to share the challenge of writing and messaging about civil discourse in the cyber world with you. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving as well.

  2. Bruce Ward

    Thank you for all of your delightful and thoughtful blogs, Faye.

    I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!


    1. fayewriter Post author

      Thank you, Bruce. Wonderful to have you as a reader. Wishing you abundant songs and a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Carol

    WOW….you expressed my feelings perfectly and it felt comforting to know you and know I am not alone as I take a pause. Hugs of comfort back to you,

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Carol, you are a dear friend. Yes, we are soul sisters! Hugs of comfort right back at you.

  4. Rosemary Booth

    I like the parallel images of internal and outdoors streams–one, a felt “stream of alien options,” and anguish; the other a discovered “gritty spring, still running,” carrying a faint but plain suggestion of hope.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Rosemary, thank you for your close reading. I was truly buoyed,surprised and grateful when that last line emerged.

  5. Hy Kempler

    Wise words about how to carry on. Still I’m left wondering is all this chaos, unrest, fear what trump
    Voters had in mind or is the situation being exploited by others with more sinister intentions? I must be patient and track developments. But distractions are needed to not focus on nonessentials.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Hy, you ask an interesting question and one, I think, we will not know the answer(s) to for some time. In the meantime, yes, how to stay on course and mindful of the essential of community, vigilance, being active. A tall order, but so necessary.

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