Thursday, January 21, 2021

 Welcome to a new era!

I did not watch any of the inauguration yesterday. I am not naturally attracted to visual pomp, and I was also nervous about what might go wrong; so while I checked in regularly to make sure everything was okay, I otherwise just tried to go about the day's business. I'm glad the young poet did so well, and eventually I'll watch her performance. I'm exceedingly glad that our new president went right to work, rescinding T's egregious executive orders. I'm delighted that our new vice president has sworn in the new senators. And I did cry a little. A woman vice president. Finally. Finally.

This morning, I will not be checking the news every five minutes. After four years on high alert, I am going to start weaning myself away from perpetual alarm scanning. Today I'll work on my copyediting project. I'll work on some Accident Sonnets. I'll talk to Teresa about our next reading project (Millay's complete poems). I'll make some headway on Lonesome Dove, which I've just started. I'll prep a lamb and mushroom stew for dinner. (Stovetop recipes are now my new normal, and lamb stew meat cooks faster than beef does.) I'll call my mother. I might text my neighbor and see if she wants to go for a walk.

All of these activities sound just like the things I was doing during the Trump regime. But I was asking myself yesterday: what is it that feels so different, personally, now that Biden has taken the reins? And I realized that for four years I've been constantly aware that, to Trump, I am nothing. No money. No beauty. A tiny house. Books and poems and physical labor. I barely register as human on his scale. But suddenly that's changed. Biden has no idea who I am, and I will never meet him. Nonetheless, I know that he would acknowledge me as a vital person. He would acknowledge that what I love is worthy of love.

It's incredible how much that knowledge has affected my sense of dread and fear.

1 comment:

David X. Novak said...

I like not having to think about the president. The former was like a bus driver who forces his (bad) personality on a busload of passengers...for four years straight. Unfortunately a portion of our fellow riders are still trying to hijack the route, so we're still not able to sleep along the way.