Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Comfort Queen: Comfort During Fearful Times

November 5, 2008
I said I would share a story today about the power of moving the body… what was I thinking?

Today is how-can-anyone-not-be-voting day?

Today is how can anybody-get-any-work-done-day?

Today is I-get-why-democracy-is-worth-dying-for-day.

Today is history-making.
Today is hope-making.

Today may be the day in which we collectively begin to turn away from fear-mongering and begin to have a relationship with our real fears. Which will, hopefully, allow us to create real solutions.

No matter which candidate you are voting for, no matter what voting shenanigans take place, no matter how long the lines, no matter that the archaic electoral college still exists, millions of people have enough faith that their opinion matters that they are casting a ballot.

Not one voter, however, will be killed for voting. No one will not be shot at. No one will lose their job. No one will have their children or family tortured.
No one.

As often in my life as I have felt shame at being an American because of choices our government has made or the lies our leaders have told or my own complicity in not marching in the streets when those things happen, more often I have felt gratitude.

Gratitude that I can complain about those choices and lies, that I can write a blog, newsletter or article that is not censored, that I can send a slip of paper through the mail (we have mail-only voting in my county) without retribution.

I have even more gratitude that my child can walk safely to school, that I can walk the streets day or night without fear, that I can buy food, that I can sleep at night without wondering if someone will burst through my door and kill everyone I love.

We may be profoundly poorer in the coming months and years, in dollars and international good will, and it is entirely possible we will become vastly richer in self-determination, integrity and the deep remembrance that each of can truly make a difference when we remember we have a choice.

When we remember our fears do not define us.

Today, I cry with gratitude and hope for the ideals of our country. Flawed and dented as they may be, they are ideals each person who casts a vote today is living.

They are ideals worth overcoming our fears for, whatever those fears may be.

To the power of voting, the glory of freedom and the remembrance that remaining awake to our choices is our first and most challenging duty.

Tomorrow, the great story! Promise.

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