Begun election day 2020, finished day 3 of The Waiting…
Today we head to the polls all over this beautiful, diverse, complicated land. Some of us have voted early—by mail or in person. Already, we’re reaching record numbers of voter turnout. No matter what the outcome, for me, this is good news.
It’s good news because it means we’re mobilizing, we’re participating, we’re realizing we’re active players in our own lives, not victims. This is good news.
As this day approached and dawned, I’ve been noticing the feelings in my body and being. Yesterday I couldn’t stop crying. Today I cried filling out my ballot. I’ll probably cry through the afternoon and evening. Come, holy tears! Wash this field of my humanity. Clean me out for some new thing. Please, bring us all to some new shore.
As we lean into this election day, I have hope. Not so much in the results, but in the evolution of humanity. I don’t know what will happen tonight. The worst could happen—the re-election of a man who has spread hate and fear and darkness. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it could. And either way, something has happened in this country that we can’t take back—a veil of sorts has been lifted and we have seen clearly the depth of darkness that exists, the heights of hate, the shadows that linger and try to take center stage in ourselves and in our sister and brother Americans.
Like so many people I cried the night Barack Obama was elected, so hopeful that we were turning a corner as a nation, proud and full of joy. I cheered and hugged my roommates, elatedly voting for him twice. But as we learned, (and by we I mean white people. My Black brothers and sisters have since let me know that they weren’t nearly so deluded, knowing all too well the deep sin of racism in the bedrock of this nation) electing a Black man in no way means we have overcome racism, and it did not mean things changed forever for the better. We should all know that now.
I cried for totally different reasons the night Trump was elected— horror. Disbelief. Fear. Sorrow. There’s been a lot of grief these past four years, utter anger, frustration and feelings of helplessness. We’ve seen four years of the worst sides of our leaders and neighbors. Of white supremacy and other evils alive and well in this country. It has rattled me to the core and given me great pause.
In a series of horrifying events, probably most piercing for me was watching the video of the death of George Floyd and hearing him cry out for “mama.” I have heard since many mothers say that when they heard that cry, it was not just a cry for his own mama, it was a cry to every mother, everywhere. I heard it as an appeal to the Great Mother, to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the One who holds and weaves All of Life.
It seems the collective has forgotten so many things— common good, civility, decency and respect. I know that’s not true of everyone, but if it’s here among us then it is in US, this one body of humanity. It seems we have forgotten Her, who is Our Mother. We have forgotten the One who is and invites us to be compassion, tenderness, and love and who constantly weaves Oneness. We forgot that She is asking us—with every breath and thought and action—to participate in this Oneness, to be what we are fully—human beings made in Her likeness, to love and do all we can to honor the dignity of our fellow beings in this One ecosystem, the web of life.
When Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a poor indigenous man on the hillside in Mexico where, for generations, the Goddess was worshiped she asked and reminded at once—“have you forgotten? I am your Mother.” She told him—I am YOUR mother, you, brown skinned and struggling; you, forgotten one; you, avoiding me; you, my precious love. I am YOUR mother.
The Mother gathers us all under Her One mantle, her cloak of love, on which is splayed the stars of the heavens. She gathers us in as if to remind us—you are all connected. You are all mine. Have you forgotten this web of life? Have you forgotten that every wound impacts the whole? Have you forgotten?
It seems we have forgotten. We have forgotten we are Hers, that we are ALL, without exception, her children, and we have turned against our brothers and sisters—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, all the thousands of kids at the border, the body of the earth Herself as the EPA is dismantled and so many environmental restrictions pulled back. Four years ago we (again, the collective here) elected a man into office who is an outright, unabashed misogynist and racist. A man who has assaulted and raped and denigrated women—the Mother among us. A man who laughs and lies and brushes off his actions, as if “boys will be boys” and this is all we can expect from our men. The same old, untrue lie—that they can’t “help themselves.”
No matter what happens tonight, or in the next few days, we’ve had four years of this rhetoric, this attitude, these lies, this hate. It has not only seeped into our psyches, whether we’re shocked or supportive—we’ve witnessed millions of Americans support him. Vote for him anyway. Continue to say things like he “keeps his promises” and worse—who admire him. Who seem to worship him. Who want to be more like him.
I know people give many reasons and rationalizations for voting for him, and I know the alternatives have not been perfect. But any rationalization to me is a forgetting—of who we are, of what we are here for. It’s a deep loss of our humanity. It’s a sign that in so many people, the pain of life has gotten so deep there is no hope; there is a void into which pours fear and hatred and ugliness. This might feel like a filling, but it is of the most counterfeit variety. We are made for so much more, things so much greater than this.
We’re still in the waiting. The final election results have yet to come. It is undeniable that we have become, fueled by the flames of selfishness, greed and fear– a starkly divided country, in terms of our opinions and ideas and political preferences. Yet it also remains that we are human, that at its most organic level, no matter where we live, our needs are the same—to live good, healthy lives. To create and contribute. To love and be loved. To give life to our children. The Mother of all Life is constantly reminding us of this. Of our oneness, our inherent connection to one another, of the ecosystem that is human life on this planet earth.
When George Floyd cried out for “Mama” it was a cry that shook heaven and earth. It was held in Her. The Great Mother rushed to his side and carried him into unity with his own departed earthly mama. His cry should be a battle cry for all of us—the epic battle of good and evil that is the central story of so many of our movies and books and scriptures and songs. It is happening now, in our lifetime. We all have a choice, and sometimes, the choice is just that clear. You can stand with good, with life, or with death and destruction, division and evil.
In Her, I choose Life. In Her, I choose unity. In Her, I choose Oneness. I commit to living my life, casting my vote, following my heart, acting with courage in a way that leans into life and human flourishing—not just for me or my bank account or to assuage my fears, but for all my brothers and sisters, especially the ones most struggling, most victimized by the unjust actions of this American empire. I hear Her saying to them, to me—“have you forgotten? I am your Mother!”