The other night I had a dream where I was escorted into a sprawling tree house compound. It’s open sides allowed the residents to engage freely with one another. I felt welcomed, but was troubled by the thin, unsubstantial flooring. When I moved about it felt like the foundation could give way at any minute, hurling me down to earth.
My discomfort caused me to exit the tree house community, rushing to catch a bus. I don’t know where the bus was going, but I needed to be on it. When I breathlessly reached the bus station I was denied entrance. My name was on a list of undesirables.
I think my dream speaks to the dislocation I’ve experienced since Donald Trump was elected president.
My protected, comfortable community represented by the tree house feels too restrictive. Nor is it safe. (My feeling unsupported walking in the tree house points to the crumbling foundation of America’s liberal class.)
In my dream I seem to be searching for a better fit: a place where I can challenge the many restrictions emanating from Trump world. At the same time I’m I frightened at the prospect of an emerging police state, represented by my landing on a government list of undesirables.
In my waking life my sense of urgency is palpable.
I want to do all I can to stop the Trump machine. My anxious mind jumps from despair over the world my grandchildren will inherit to a newly fueled commitment to activism. For me, the silver lining in Trump’s ascendency is the impressive way people of all backgrounds and ages have rapidly mobilized to protest Trump’s agenda.
I’m heartened by the way desperate communities are assembling with their homemade signs and fire in their bellies to stand up for human rights for all.
I’m encouraged by the large-scale mobilizations like the forthcoming Women’s March on January 21st in Washington. Already over 100,000 women have signed on. I plan to join them.
I’m encouraged that the veil has been lifted on the Democratic Party, revealing its out-of-touch elitism, the factor most responsible for Clinton’s defeat. I’m hopeful that popular support is growing for a third party movement that will bring into the fold poor white Americans, Trump’s base.
The social media dialogue that has erupted from Trump’s win has brought home my privileged life style. The barrages of postings from angry black women have forced me to take a hard look at my white women’s bubble. It’s uncomfortable, but something I might never have started to examine without the frank discourse ushered in by Trump’s win.
It’s easy to get lost in sadness for our country’s impending loses symbolized by Trump’s declarations to bar immigrants, to develop a Muslim registry, his blatant racism and sexism and perhaps worst of all, his total denial of climate change.
As important as our collective grief work is, time is not on our side.
I agree with Jill Richardson’s piece in Truthout that we can’t delay our protests out of the belief that we need to give Trump a chance. His arrogant behavior and twitter rants point to a dangerous man who has to be challenged from day one.
If you’d like more conversations with like-minded women, we have a Facebook page for you: WOW (Women’s Older Wisdom)