What Comes Next

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what comes next. What happens now that the world seems to be a profoundly different place than it was just a few weeks ago — or, perhaps more accurately, that the world seems to be a different place than I thought it was and would be just a few weeks ago.

In the days leading up to the election, I found myself so energized, so hopeful, full of inspiration for projects I wanted to work on, initiatives I wanted to support, creative projects I wanted to get moving on. The election was simply a milestone, and once it was over (and Clinton was safely elected), I could take my energy and focus it into the work that feeds my spirit — my rituals and circles, crafting a non-profit, teaching community courses, creating art.

And then November 8 came.

And it feels like everything I was so hopeful about is entirely pointless now. There’s a sense of being unmoored, coupled with that creeping sense of existential dread, and I can only see darkness in front of me. I can only conceptualize years of resistance, of fighting, of fear, of uncertainty where not long ago I saw endless possibility.

I know on a gut level that this is ridiculous and inaccurate. Many of the injustices that now seem so pressing and present have, in fact, existed long before DJT ascended to the presidency-elect. No matter who was in the White House, we were going to have to keep fighting police brutality, racial inequality, economic inequality, transphobia, sexism, and all the rest. These things have been part of the fabric of the nation for generations, and electing HRC was not going to wipe them away. I know this. I know it as deeply as I know anything True.

And yet.

And yet I didn’t think I would have to face the fear of seeing all the progress we’ve made wiped away with the stroke of an executive pen.

CandlesI thought that we’d have a President who was on our side, or at least not actively fighting us, as we worked for justice and change.

I didn’t think it would look like this.

And in the face of it all, I wonder if the work that I do really matters sometimes. Certainly in the face of increasing hate crimes, of the prospect of deportation and worse, of sexual and gender violence being normalized, of white supremacy being elevated to the very offices of government, the last thing people care about is learning spiritual tools. Right? What do I have to teach that can possibly matter when it feels like the very world is ending?

And then comes the small, still voice that tells me that these times are exactly the times when people go searching for community, for spirit, for liberatory knowledge. That if I cannot step up and do the work when it gets hard, then I am not really dedicated to the work at all.

And I know that to be True, too.

This is my work. This is what I was put on this planet to do. Even as I type these words, there is a part of me that shrinks from them, that fears they are wrapped in ego rather than a call to service.

But this is what I have to offer. It is what I have been called to do with what Mary Oliver called my one wild, precious life. I don’t know if what I have to give can soothe the pain of our turbulent times, can offer tools for liberation in the face of oppression. I can only show up, and make the space, and do the work, and hope.

Hope is hard to find right now. But find it we must.


About dreamingpriestess

Susan Harper, Ph.D., aka The Dreaming Priestess, is an educator, activist, advocate, and ritual specialist living and working in the Dallas, Texas area.
This entry was posted in Election 2016, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What Comes Next

  1. Ramya says:

    Rightly said Susan. Even i was disappointed after elections but we shouldn’t lose hope and do what we can.


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