To soothe the heavy heart:
Halloween costume contest from Penelope’s site. The chickens, elephant, chimney and pot holder were some of my personal favorites.
and I was honored to be the cover artist/featured artist this month on a wonderful site called Empowerment 4 Women. A bright spot in my otherwise gloomy day.
I love Penelope’s site – thanks for reminding me and brightening up this very very very gloomy day!
Oh Andrea, I share your heavy heart. All day I found myself trying to make sense of this, alternating between being stunned and ackowledging my heavy heart as well as,o my upset stomach. I received this email from a friend and much like you would like to pass it on in the hopes that we can buoy our spirits if only a little.
I really wanted to look at my e-mail this morning and see something from someone or some organization to buoy me up. ?I began to realize I had to buoy myself up. ?I’ve been thinking of answering my phone “heartbreak hotline” this morning. ?I’ve heard from some of you and although I feel your pain (and my own), I think we might need a glass of cold water in the face. ?I share my thought and feelings and hope you add to them and send your inspiration back to me and on and on.
1: ?One thing we knew this morning is that half of America was going to wake up this morning and have to say, “our guy lost.” ?I’m sorry it was our half. ?But, the first thing to remember, it was half. ?We didn’t get beaten 75% to 25%. ?It was really half and half. ?This isn’t meant to consol, it’s meant to remind. ?Yes, those few points mattered a lot, but when you look at what the numbers represent it means the inertia hasn’t really shifted. ?47% of the people in the U.S. think like us. ?That’s a number we can build on.
2: ?If we let this scare us in to handwringing and what-ifs, they win. ?DON’T GO THERE!! ?KEEP THE LIGHTS ON!! ?Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you a victim without your consent. ?It’s easy to find your way in the dark with a flashlight, much more of an art to have to make the light yourself. ?Ask yourself right now, are you making light or are you making darkness? ?You can choose. ?I suggest we all go out and see “What the Bleep” or better yet, buy a copy as soon as it comes out and inoculate yourself immediately and frequently. ?Hold your candle against the darkness.
3: ?One of the reasons our side didn’t win the election is we hid our light under a basket (I refuse to use the Bush-word). ?Maybe it’s time to allow the liberal label to transmute into Progressive. ?As opposed to Regressive. We need new bumper stickers to keep hope alive. ? Remember when all the hopeless souls followed Jim Jones down a dark road by drinking the drugged koolaid? ?To be followed by the ?Waco fiasco? ?This is what happens when people follow a religious fanatic. ?I want to make sure people know what happens next isn’t nay of my doing. ?Therefore, my first bumpersticker nomination is
?I DID NOT DRINK THE KOOLAID
I ?invite you to print your own.
4: ?When you feel yourself going down into the depths of despair, call a friend. ?We need to cultivate joy. ?Don’t hole up, as they used to say. ?Get out and reaffirm the beauty of your own good self, the web of good friends and this wonderful planet. ?Praise the good. ?Celebrate the wonder of us on the planet and be grateful for all the good around you and absolute power to make that good grow.
5: ??Cultivate your own spiritual fervor, as opposed to a religious fervor. ?Arianna Huffington pointed out that part of the right’s plan is to cast any spiritual leanings other that fundamentalist as second class religion, no matter what that belief is. ?Will you give up your spiritual beliefs that easily or will you shine brighter and more freely? ?If this is a gambit for souls, speak up for whatever it is you believe in. ?Two can play this game.
6: ?Yes, it might get worse before it gets better. ?The nature of the pendulum. ?First it swings right, then it swings left. ?Sometimes it seems to hover in midair. ?The Republicans have chosen to pursue a certain path. ?And they are in control of the whole ball of wax. ?What they do with it, the decisions they make, rests squarely on their shoulders. ?No body else to blame. ?If Kerry had been elected, Congress would have hamstrung him and gone full tilt at making him fail. ?Let us lend out political muscle to taking back the House and Senate two years from now. ?We have a running start. ?If you aren’t actively involved, find an organization that is and thank them for their hard work and either get involved or support them monitarily or both.
7: On this gratitude issue, make some quiet time to send your thanks out silently to all the people who are forces for good who have worked so hard and given so much, from our candidates to our friends and to the millions we don’t know personally who are with us for the good fight. ?And be kind to yourself as well.
This is a start. ?Most of all, BREATHE.
Andrea… as sad as we may be today with the results, I would encourage you and your readers to remember an important point: It’s fun and fairly easy to be involved in politics during the campaign. But the real work of being engaged in the political process starts now… after the election. No matter whose candidate won, it was a close election, and that means an extremely viable opposition party. The American public has yet to truly wake up to the value of a strong opposition party, and I encourage people who still genuinely want to make a change to stay engaged in the process.
Campaigning is fun… and often real political work is not. But the results of staying involved can be far more rewarding.
These elections kept me in front of the tv yesterday, and with glorious [NOT] CNN as the most direct American source on tv [aren’t we fortunate to have the internet…], things were pretty dull.
I thought that the worst now would be resignation. It is about time to show that something must be wrong if a majority of voters based their decision on “moral and faith” and “security” criteria when there are schools lacking financial aids, when there are still too many homeless and a problematic health care…whoever still claims to have made a moral based decision is wrong. It was a thoroughly selfish and naive decision.
You all have said everything that needs to be said!! Thank you…
I can’t believe it! Reading here makes me feel less alone. I didn’t think I’d feel so down about Kerry being defeated. I don’t want to go on a political tangent on my frustrations b/c I may just write a mini-book.
Congratulations Andrea on your feature!! Spectacular!! I loved all the costumes on Penelope’s site. People are so creative.
I really like Jill’s comments. You are an inspiration. Andrea~ congratulations on the magazine.
I can assure you all that much of the rest of the Western World shares your feelings about the result of the election. The feeling here in Australia is mostly one of trepidation. Your President was already certain that he had God on his side, but now he feels he has the American people too. So what’s next?
The UK Independent newspaper published a full colour cover, a montage of photos of Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo Bay, placard holding religious right extremists etc… with a bold heading “Four More Years”. An overstatement and simplification maybe, but telling of the fear and disrespect that is building against the US.
David makes a great point, an election that close should help galvanise the opposition. I hope so.
I, too, did not drink the Koolaid! I LOVE THAT!!! On my way to the printer’s…
We must now make our voices heard, more than ever before!
Congrats, you cover girl you!! I loved your feature on empowerment 4 women. Loved the funny and clever costumes on Penelope’s sight as well. Thanks for brightening up my post election blues. I take consolation in realizing that at least, nearly half of our nation did not vote for the uncubent president. Here’s to all those free thinkers and creative spirits out there!! With half of America demanding change, I can only hope that the current administration will open their eyes to the needs and wants of our people. Jill Valle’s post is right on. I think her comments sum up what needs to happen and how a great many of us feel. There was a line in John Kerry’s concession speech that gave my heart hope. He was speaking about going around the country and meeting all the voters and listening to their concerns, and he said that he found out from being with all those decent, hard working, people that, “America is not only great, but that it is good” Hopefully the “goodness” that is in most of us will outshine those in power whose arrogance and sense of entitlement threatens to harm us all.
I am SO making that koolaid bumper sticker. Maybe it’ll become the new slogan instead of ‘Plant Bush in Texas,’ or the many Bush/Dick jokes out there. It’s much more creative.