When I began my day on Wednesday morning, the day after the election, my school campus was barren and eerie. There was a lack of inspiration, lack of motivation and most heart-wrenching of all: lack of hope. Then I walked by two people strumming to guitars and singing words of love.
They handed me a flower and said, “May you find beauty today.” This showed me something valuable.
As we take time to process this new reality post-election, I am finding gratefulness in the band of community I am noticing. Power in numbers. And most importantly: power in the emotions we feel.
In my poetry class on Wednesday morning, we talked about how art can play such an important role in our society during a time when it may seem trivial compared to the surrounding chaos. Art can help us understand our emotions, reach others, and invoke change. Art can have an immediate impact on how we feel. In fact, art (in its many forms), has been the only way I’ve been able to start to digest my feelings from this week.
Conversation as art, photography as art, music as art, words as art.
I’ve realized that art’s effect on us as people really comes down to self-care.
As my yoga instructor said in class this morning, we must settle our own minds and bodies before we can expand to more postures. In other words, we cannot do anything until we have taken care of what is going on in our own bodies and minds.
Below is a playlist that includes some songs I’ve been listening to as I process all that has happened in our world this week. I’m really thankful for music’s ability to connect people and draw us closer to the emotions we feel. Some songs on this playlist make me feel, some make me think. Some just make me happy.
This following is special song, specifically about the election, written and performed by my good friend Mike Spector:
Here are some poems by one of my favorite poets, Rupi Kaur, a contemporary feminist poet. They’ve put into words many feelings that have expressed what I’ve been feeling:
so much pain
and here you are
making gold out of it
you look at me and cry,
i hold you and whisper
but everything can heal
I am sorry this world
could not keep you safe
may your journey home
be a soft and peaceful one
my voice is the offspring
of two countries colliding
what is there to be ashamed of
if english and my mother tongue made love
my voice is her father’s words
my mother’s accent
what is the matter if
my mouth carries two worlds
my heart aches for sisters more than anything
it aches for women helping women
like flowers ache for spring
what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives
“if you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise”
As a woman, this election has both failed me and fueled me. I am proud of my generation for using it to fuel them as well. This has affected us greatly, no doubt. You know, sometimes it takes an event such as this to wake us up, make us realize that things will not change if we don’t make them. I am more empowered than ever to make my voice heard.
My voice begins with my most pressing thought: the worst thing we can do right now is bring more hate into this world. I am sad for the divide that I feel. I am sad we seem unable to reach a sense of unity and understanding of one another. This is why we must be filled with an overwhelming need to express more love. To anyone and everyone.