Gratitude Amid Chaos

Women’s March,Sundance Film Festival,Park City, Utah. Thank you, VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

I do not like chaos in my life; I prefer order and a semblance of predictability. I am not alone given the number of crowd-swells starting with the day-after-inaguration Women’s Marches throughout America and continuing night and day, in the streets, at senate and representative’s offices, and at airports on this 9th day of Trump’s presidency.

We are living with a leader who , by nature, shoots from his gut in total defiance of rationality, especially if it fits a sound bite that feels true to his “fantastic” sense of self. We have elected a man without the resource of executive functioning—i.e., the ability to consider consequences of rhetoric in service of self-aggrandizing emotional spillage.

Those of you reading thus far know exactly what I am describing. We are all in the same boat, unmoored, longing for a navigator to set our course, provide assurance and reassurance about how this trip will end. But setting this boat called Democracy right, and keeping it on course depends upon all of us. Trump leads by defying what makes moral and legal sense. Our right to protest, long ago modeled by the founders of our Republic set the format for how citizens can create order out of chaos through peaceful demonstration. Case in point: The Women’s Washington March attendee estimates range from 440,000-500,000. There was not one arrest.

I have endless gratitude for the thousands of women who planned ahead, left their families or included them, bought bus, train, airline, metro tickets or drove to the capitol to show our newly elected president that his crass rhetoric, bankrupt values, and bullying-my-way-or-the -highway leadership style will not be tolerated in our United States of America.

I wanted to attend the Boston March but did not, my own effort at executive functioning in acknowledging my age and need to balance my energies. Instead, I watched on television with pride at the outpouring of families and women, their pointy pink hats and bold signs.

Four (yes 4!) female organizers, in conjunction with Planned Parenthood, organized and planned the event. The issues — reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, gender and racial inequalities, worker’s rights, environmental issues, to name a few. It was amazing to witness the sheer numbers, the energy and dedication of so many navigating what they/we believe are the issues we need embrace and protect.

One week later: we are in the midst of the chaos ensuing from Trump’s immigration ban on January 23rd. I am grateful to Judge Ann Donnelly who, on a Saturday night, stepped up, made the phone calls, determined that safety for people came first and ordered the first emergency stay on the ban.

For myself and for so many with common concerns, the course ahead is about how to maintain focus and a healthy balance. The how, the where and when will depend on what feels essential to each of us. Each in our own way, joining others in the essentials of democratic principles, can make a difference.

As a guide for focus, I offer this Boston Sunday Globe’s Citizen Guide to Survival in Trump’s America:



10 thoughts on “Gratitude Amid Chaos

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Kat, thank you for touching base!Hope you are doing well. As Meg says, Onward!!

  1. Hy Kempler

    Yes dear Faye we are living in unstable times.Just trying to keep from getting agitated many times in a day is a challenge. To engage , protest, ignore, deny all of these are employed at times. We are called on to practice democracy perhaps more than we want. Last night I was grilling fish with other folks who were doing the same. They announced they were from Louisville Kentucky, Trump supporters. When they asked me where I was from and I told them they guessed I was a Hillary supporter. To my surprise we didn’t get into an argument and one guy said we are all Americans. I agreed.
    So let’s hope we can survive this challenge

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Dear Hy,I enjoyed the image of you and others in a grilling group,putting out feelers, Clintonites and Trumpsters side by side. “We are all Americans,” indeed. Such a welcome response! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Pat

    Thank you Faye for this…as one who attended the rally here in Boston, I was very grateful to all the men who joined in and now particularly grateful to Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham for having the courage to speak out!

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Pat, Thanks for acknowledging the men who joined in support of the Women’s March all across our nation. Courage all around!

  3. Rosemary

    I aprpeciate the care in this piece to cite and celebrate the women involved in pushing back on chaos, including the mention of four female organizers of the Women’s March, and of Judge Ann Donnelly who ruled to halt initial deportations under the President’s executive order on immigration. The author’s gratitude to these and other women–most of them younger, probably with home, family, and work responsibilities–who are providing reasoned countersteps to unreasonable rule is apparent, and strong.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Yes— I so resonate with your final words re: my gratitude to those younger women “who are providing reasoned countersteps to unreasonable rule.” And since then, to all the younger women and men who are showing up nationwide.

  4. Alison McLennan

    Love you, Faye. Keep resisting but take care of yourself. You’re an inspiration.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Love you right back, Alison. I so appreciate the content and energy of your posts. Resist, we must. Self care, a must! Onward.

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