Bitter and sweet, sweet and bitter

President* for only 73 more days (and counting) Trump,

My word of the day today is “bittersweet”, which is defined as either “bitterness and sweetness combined,” which I think is rather too literal and pretty lame, or as “pleasure mixed with overtones of sadness,” which I like quite a bit better (https://www.yourdictionary.com/bittersweet). In this morning’s awesome sermon about the need to be prepared for anything and everything (based on the song “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning”), our pastor started out by referring to the election outcome as bittersweet.

Yes. Absolutely.

For those of us who have resisted you and what you represent, it is a pleasure to now look forward to a time soon when you will no longer be our POTUS, when you will return to civilian life and will no longer be shielded from indictment and prosecution. It is sweet to know that someone who cares about people, who cares about humanity and the planet, is set to take your place on January 20, 2021. What a relief to know that Joe Biden, someone who can cry and hug and kiss so naturally and easily that there’s no question that he’s feeling the feelings that normally go along with such actions, is going to be at the helm shortly.

January 20th can’t come fast enough.

Certainly the need to wait for 10 more weeks for Biden and Harris to take over is part of the sadness and bitter in bittersweet for me. But really, the much, much larger issue that tinges the edges of the pleasure I feel at the prospect of the new administration is the overwhelming reality that far more people voted for you this time around than in 2016. I know I’m doing the broken record thing in saying this over and over, but the heaviness of this reality tempers everything.

I spent much of the day either in tears or on the verge of tears. Every mental nook and cranny I ventured into felt loaded and fraught. Seeing a young family and thinking that now I don’t need to worry quite so much about their baby or all the other babies in the world got me choked up. Thinking about us getting back into the Paris Climate Accord or realigning with the World Health Organization brought on tears. The relief in all this is palpable, but knowing that those loyal to you are going to throw sand in the works at every turn is so damn frustrating and frankly, infuriating. We have so many enormous problems and we don’t have time to f*ck around with greedy, nihilistic jerks. We shouldn’t have to devote our precious energy to defending against those who derive sick pleasure from humiliating and dominating us. These realities are the bitter (and sadness) in bittersweet.

But you know, we have no choice but to continue the resistance, to continue to push for justice, dignity, and respect for everyone no matter what you all throw at us. We have to keep our lamps trimmed and burning to light the way, to give warmth, to be beacons for one another. We can’t stop now just because we’re tired or because it feels unfair that there’s still so much opposition to contend with. The babies and their babies are depending on us.

Thankfully, we can take some pleasure, there is some sweetness, in knowing that there are millions more of us who want a planet that is fit for babies, who want to end systemic racism so that all parents and babies are safe and sound, who want our leaders to rely on science and commonsense to address covid and to stand up to the gun lobby. There is actually a lot of pleasure and sweetness in knowing that we are going to be able to rejoin the world come January 20th and that the world is ready to welcome us back into the fold. And there is a huge measure of sweetness in knowing that we didn’t let you and yours extinguish our democracy’s light, that we will carry on towards a more perfect union.

May we be safe and free from harm.
May we remember how to be happy and content.
May we know that even though we’re tired and feeling frayed, we are strong beyond measure.
May we accept that now is not the time to claim victory – there is still much work to be done.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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