How quaint it was, just a few weeks ago, when I wrote about Alan Alda’s storytelling advice.
How quaint when just yesterday I was working on a book about my experiences growing up as an artist and a woman in a culture that celebrates neither.
Because today I am militarized.
I am powerless and militarized and the idea of being an artist is no longer a concept I grasp at, it is the sword I grab for, the only one I have access to.
Fuck this election. This morning, tears in my eyes. Last night, sick feeling, creeping into my daughter’s room to kiss her while she slept and say “I’m sorry, baby. I’m so, so sorry.”
Sorry I didn’t do more, didn’t do anything, to make this stop. I was ready, at the outset, to gather my creative collaborators and take this bully on, but when no one bit, I gave up. I didn’t make calls or knock on doors. I gave some money, a couple hundred bucks, maybe, but that’s all.
The million dollar question, of course, is: Why? The answer — how much is THAT worth?
Here it is: I didn’t believe, deep down, that it would make a difference. That someone would pick up the phone and say, “Oh hello, why yes, how interesting of you to make those points, thank you,” and vote because I urged them to, or change their vote because of words I spoke into my iPhone from my home in Brooklyn.
I should have worked singularly towards electing Hillary until I bled from the effort. Even if doing so didn’t change the outcome, I would have known, my dear daughter, that I had given myself fully to the effort.
I was in a cocoon of luxury problems. We had just moved from one city to another for the second time in a year. I had just started a new job for the first time in 10 years. I was adjusting. And as I said, deep down, I didn’t believe. Because I didn’t believe that anyone who didn’t already have a fire in their belly about this election was going to get one because of talking to me. Which means I didn’t believe enough in me, or in them. I didn’t believe.
I’m so sorry.
I’m sad this morning, as though something has died, and I’m also pissed and full of steely resolve. This man will not get his mitts on my daughter. FUCK THAT. I will leave this country. It is the most I can do for her. Of course now he will have the nuclear codes so truly we cannot run far enough, but we will run. We will beg our loved ones to come with us. We will not tolerate calling someone our leader who has no business leading.
I wish it were different. I wish I could say, “Let’s stay and rebuild.” That’s how I was feeling when on some level deep down I assumed a different outcome. In the wake of Hillary’s win I thought, the root of the problem is that we all live in our own media bubbles with our own versions of reality. I was forming an idea to start a new media outlet, with founders who were well-known Republicans and Democrats, both disgusted from the election, that brought people together from different backgrounds to believe again in one unified version of reality. Where different beliefs were represented with respect.
But I am disgusted this morning. I feel sheer disgust for the idea of calling him my leader. My president. It makes my lips curl, it makes every fiber in me say “no no no.”
Today for the first time in my life being an artist isn’t an abstraction, it’s a call to arms. I will write about this until I am out of words. I will write not in faith that it will change anything but because I owe it to my daughter to fight nonetheless.
This morning, I feel truly powerless — a woman, a mother, an artist, none of these things valued by our culture. None of these roles one that gets to call the shots. I’m an executive, too, sure, valued somewhat more than the other roles I play, but useless in the face of this sea change.
I will write not because I believe it will change anything but because it’s the only sword I’ve got in this fight for my daughter’s life