Dear President Trump,
This morning I tried imagining you wearing protective eye wear to view the eclipse and I just couldn’t see it. I knew there was no way you’d be a good sport and deign to wear such silly glasses. I did hope, though that someone would manage to override your vanity and make you wear them since you should set a decent example with regard to public safety. Interestingly, I didn’t have any trouble imagining President Obama or Hillary Clinton wearing them. I could see them with their goofy glasses cutting up and having fun with a bunch of kids on the White House lawn watching the eclipse like regular human beings. It’s sad that those were not the images beamed out to us. Instead we got a picture of you squinting up at the sun with no safety glasses, Melania looking disinterested in what appear to be designer (not safety) sunglasses, and Baron looking down with no safety glasses. What’s more, you were up on a balcony by yourselves looking like addled royalty just waiting for whatever was happening to be over. Sigh.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about how people are more willing to be open and honest about how they are really doing these days and I think we have you to thank for this. There is such a pall of worry, disgust, and incredulity hanging over most everyone (at least who I know) lately that we just don’t seem to have enough reserve to fake being fine. This is most noticeable at church where people feel safe to tell each other about the struggles they are having. It’s a little hard to be aware of so much pain and distress that is normally kept under wraps, but I think this is really a good thing for us and will help us feel closer to each other and be able to trust one another with hard stuff. Yesterday during the prayer portion of the service a good half dozen people stood and spoke from their hearts about their fears, their disappointments, and their anguish in letting go of what’s been safe and familiar for them. So even though I’d much rather we had gotten there some other way, thank you for propelling us toward greater authenticity and closer sense of community. Thankfully we are reaching out to one another rather than isolating in response to you.
May we all be safe to be real.
May we all be happy to realize we have little to lose.
May we all be healthy and strong in facing our struggles.
May our lives unfold and intersect with mutual support and care.