Messages in bottles

Dear President Trump,

I’ve never sent a message in a bottle and I’m guessing you haven’t either. That’s what these messages to you feel like though, something that is written because it has to be written and is sent on its way because it has to be released even though it likely won’t ever reach anyone, let alone the hoped for recipient. I bet you are getting lots of proverbial messages in bottles. You and your administration have provoked a torrent of feelings and frustrations and fears that many of us seem to feel compelled to express in one way or another. On my walk early this morning I must have seen a dozen “Black Lives Matter” signs and half a dozen supporting immigrants. You are sparking more expression and conversation than I would have ever thought possible. This is really a beautiful silver lining that I think the country has needed for a long time.

Granted, at this point it seems like a lot of that expression and conversation is happening in safe, pretty insular contexts where people who largely agree with each other are looking for reality checks and support. But that’s ok. At least people are talking to each other and aren’t just checked out on their devices all the time. I think we are gathering strength, practicing talking about things in our comfort zones so that we can eventually have the larger, harder conversations outside them. These comfort zone conversations are likely shoring up those of us who were maybe just starting to feel a bit safer and more accepted when Mr. Obama was president. They help gird our loins, so to speak, to hang in and insist that our identities matter and we have to find ways to keep all of us in the tent even as we work to understand the struggling white blue-collar worker who’s job has been automated and feels left behind, forgotten, as you say.

So while I still very much wish that you had not won the presidency, I do thank you for bringing us out of ourselves and forcing us to grapple with both belief and doubt as we work to wrest something more sane from the wreckage of this election.

Before closing I want to return to the main point of this message in a bottle, which is sending you blessings:

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May your life unfold and intersect with ease.

Tracy Simpson

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