Archive for November, 2016

Wear the Ruby Slippers
November 15, 2016

Trump’s victory was an emotional Kansas-sized tornado for me.

You see, as a Canadian, I really and truly believed the United States was ready to elect a female President.

I even teased my kids on the morning of the election that they wouldn’t have to do their chores until the US had a woman in charge.

Well that didn’t go so well.

It was the death of a dream for me and for countless other women around the world. Such were the feelings that ravaged my soul in the days following; the five stages of my grief.

First, denial. It couldn’t be. Something was missing. Had all the votes been counted? What about the West Coast. Why wasn’t that enough? I will never watch television news again. That was just Tuesday night.

Then anger. How could it be? Such vile intolerance had been on display. How could any electorate endorse that with a win? I will never go to the United States again ever. That was Tuesday night too.

Then sadness. On Wednesday morning I ventured out to do my radio show on Voice of the Shuswap with my friend Tracey. Our topic, as it happened, was The Art of Reflection. And reflected we did. Subdued but reflective. I came home straight away and wallowed in the sadness for awhile. I cried while watching Hillary give her concession speech, especially when she apologized to all the little girls who believed in her.

By Thursday morning, I was ready to bargain. After the President Elect met with Obama I actually considered letting it all go. If Obama could be that classy, why couldn’t I? But there are things that were said during that election campaign that will only ever be taken back with some sincere apologies and some drastic reversals of proposed policy.

Friday was Remembrance Day. So I was back to sadness yet again for so much more than any election. So many lives have been given to achieve peace. How could such hate overcome those sacrifices.

So I did what I often do when I need redemption. I cooked. There is so much satisfaction in taking simple ingredients and creating something for those whom I love so much. I cooked potatoes and pork and pumpkin pie and brownies and pizza. You get the idea. And just as I waited for the final batch of cinnamon buns to finish baking on Saturday night, I started watching the Wizard of Oz on television.

As I watched Dorothy, the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man, suddenly, acceptance came within view like “skies of blue on a cloudy day”. Maybe Trump is like the wizard. Just a guy, behind a curtain, who intimidates with loud words and big flames to keep those who are afraid, fearful.

And Dorothy knew that fear but she overcame it at every turn with courage (it’s what makes a King of a slave says the Lion.), and kindness.

Somewhere over the rainbow, lives the next Dorothy. We’ll have to wait awhile yet to meet her.

But in the meantime, don’t let the flying monkeys scare you. Peek behind those curtains every chance you get. And, in the absence of ruby slippers, wear red shoes.

WTF
November 9, 2016

This morning, when my kids left for school, I joked with them that they wouldn’t have to do their chores until there was a woman president. I was feeling quite confident apparently.

Oops. My bad.

What I didn’t take into account was the vicious reality that the US could elect the likes of Trump. I mean, really. Totally shocked and disappointed at the outcome.

So, let’s face facts. it’s no longer about Trump. It’s about the realization that most of us live within a few hundred kilometres of a country so angry they would elect a mass deportation, woman disrespecting, climate change denying. islamaphobic maniac.

Apparently, North America just got Brexitted.

When it became apparent that this was the outcome, I dug through my important papers folder and literally cut up my passport – I won’t be going to Disneyland, ever.

Chalk this one up to the racists and misogynists. But don’t forget that despite the ignorant and the hate mongers, in the great United States of America can be found some of the most talented, capable, caring and smart people the world has ever known. And I hope they know they are welcome here, in Canada, at my house and in my neighbourhood, in my town, and in my province and my country.

You are better than this. Really, you are. And your children deserve to live in a community that respects respect, diversity and inclusion. And that goes for you Hillary, and Bill and Chelsea and family and Barack and Michelle and your lovely daughters. I don’t mean to pick and choose because I know the list is long. But I’ll start there, for now.

I mostly want to say to Obama that you did a good job and the world should be grateful. And that’s the thing about doing a good job. If you’re really good at what you do, you often work yourself out of it. History will be kinder than tonight was, no doubt.

But there is much work ahead. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that we live next to a country that is suddenly so opposed to what we consider as such important fundamentals.

I’m reminded of Robertson Davies. He said that Canada was a nation of losers. Sent away from their homeland for lack of work and food. Unlike the United States whose “ founders” came to America in search of “utopia”, many Canadians can trace their ancestry to Irish, Scottish and English who were sent away because they were burdens on society. Our humility is part of our DNA. I’m beginning to think the US has no humility.

What else could explain a Trump presidency? No talent, no training, no education, and no morals yet, he wins.

I don’t want to live there. I’d rather be a Canadian loser than an American winner.

At least for today.