For the last three weeks, I have mostly been listening. I’ve been listening to my friends talk to me and to each other. I’ve been listening to the reactions of smart writers and thinkers. I’ve been listening to podcasts and pundits. I’ve been listening to the sadness in my mother’s voice and the faith in my father’s voice. I’ve been listening to the comfort in Kevin’s voice. I’ve been reading the texts and emails of my sisters, who are holding me up. At 2 AM the night of the election, the last thing I did before finally attempting sleep was to read a text from one of my heartbroken sisters. It said, “Love still trumps hate.”
I’ve been listening to Georgette Heyer audiobooks and watching Jane the Virgin and Gilmore Girls, for comfort. I’ve been writing a new book, which is an amazing distraction and vast relief in the moments when a scene manages to suck me in. As is the case for many people, my mental health has taken a hit. So I’ve been dealing with that.
I haven’t been blogging much, because I don’t have anything new or fresh to contribute. Everyone else is saying everything better. Have you read Malinda Lo’s lovely post?
I haven’t figured out yet how I’ll contribute. Of course I’ll donate what money I can to what causes I can. Of course every book I write will be influenced by the realities of our world; they already are; I’ve already written three books with the backdrop of a narcissistic, cruel, selfish, power-hungry man who manipulates and traumatizes people with lies. I will keep telling stories – of the young people who throw their hearts and bodies into fighting that bullshit.
But I haven’t figured out yet what else I will do. I’m slower than a lot of people who are currently bursting with passionate ideas left and right. But I’ll figure it out. Each of us needs to find her purpose; forgive yourself if it’s taking you longer than it seems to be taking other people. Forgive yourself if you’re hearing ideas and thinking, “I’m not ready,” or “That’s not for me.” Also, remember that small things matter as much as big things. Everything matters, and everything is connected.
Because I’m mostly listening and thinking, I’m not sure how much I’ll be blogging about all of this. I’ll keep blogging about writing; I’ll keep blogging about the new things we’re doing every month; certainly I’ll be blogging about my new book. Beyond that, I’m still figuring out what to say here.
I wish I had something beautiful and inspiring to offer today. I don’t. But, from my current place of deep processing, I wanted to reach out… and let people know that I don’t have anything to say yet. If you find yourself trying to understand or articulate or express yourself right now, and you just can’t yet – I feel for you. I get it. It’s okay. We’ll get there.
The one thing I’m sure of is that love does trump hate. Always.