November 2, 2020
I am sitting here after my last Zoom meeting of the night, nerves jangling. I set up our altar for the Day of the Dead last night—the dogs and Jim and Bob—all those memories recorded on this blog. We played some Creedence for Jim, lit the Palo Santo, talked to the dogs.
But now I am in front of this computer again, on my birthday, my nerves raw and buzzing. What will happen tomorrow? What else should I have done?
I taught all of my first year writing classes around the issues of voting (GOTV), ballot propositions, and making change in the community (see student website link here: https://voting-101.com/
Under Why Vote? You can see my students’ videos—they give me hope.
I changed our LOVE sign to VOTE.
We took the Bus Ridin’ With Biden.
And, of course, we voted.
But now, on this unseasonably warm night, a night when the desert nature of L.A. feels written in the wind, I am afraid. I remember the 2016 election, remember sitting on the back porch, driving to work, watching the students flood onto the freeway to shut it down. Everything was still and hot then, too. I remember talking to three of my favorite students in my office, all of us crying, and one of them telling me that we had each other, that we would get through this, but I didn’t know in that moment how long these four years would be.
So, here we are. I have notes on my desk to remind me what I meant to write about here: “Inculcar,” one reads, and another says, “Take the skinheads camping, (take them camping).” I thought I would have the energy to write a great blog post to explain those notes. I do not have that energy, just this jangling desert night nervousness. I can hear the crickets singing faster now, like a soundtrack of my nerves. I will have to leave those posts for another night, for tonight is my birthday, and I need to try to spend some time with my amazing husband and that terrible puppymonster.
If you are reading this, I hope you voted, even if we do not agree politically. We need to have a voice in our elections, in our government, in our country, in our communities. Most of all, I hope you are as blessed in your life as I am in mine. A friend recently reminded me of “Late Fragment” by Raymond Carver, and I think it says what I mean to say more eloquently than I can, so here is my hope for you:
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.