“Yesterday I was a writer who was lost for words. I expect to find them again soon…”
This was my Facebook status on 10 November, prefacing a link to an article in the Independent about spontaneous protests responding to the election of the fascistic Donald Trump – and I’m not one to use this particular F-word lightly. For more details check out the links on An anti-trump masterpost and A final response to why Trump is a fascist.
So I was lost for words on 9 November… and while I’ve managed to scrape together a few of them now, I think it will be a work in progress.
The gloom cast by the US election results deepened when Leonard Cohen’s death became public a couple of days later. I loved Leonard’s music when I was growing up. Now, perhaps I’d be critical about some of his idealised images of women. But a lot of the music still works. One of my favourites is The Partisan, a song that he didn’t write but popularised for a new audience in the late 1960s. And this song needs to be shared now, more than ever.
Like many I’m full of fear and foreboding, and I’ve indulged in many a post-apocalyptic meme along with some darkly satirical ones.
Meanwhile, I’ve been inspired by the expression of strength, endurance and hope as well as grief in “The Partisan”.
A line in this song – the frontiers are my prison – has haunted me since I first heard it decades ago. It echoes in my mind as we prepare to resist those who aim to impose more borders and frontiers within our societies and throughout the world.
And then there are these lyrics:
“Oh the wind, the wind is blowing
Through the graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we’ll come from the shadows”
It’s early days, but we’re already fighting. I read stories about growing opposition to Trump & what he represents – this includes longer term initiatives as well as demonstrations. The American Civil Liberties Union is taking up the mettle, city councils declare their determination to remain cities of refuge to immigrants despite threats to cut off federal funding; universities, legislatures and other bodies are declaring to stand firm. We’ll also see what happens when more US workers find out just what billionaire Trump’s promises to them are made of. Meanwhile, struggles such as Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock continue.
I’ve also been trying to take hope from the high proportion of young people involved in the demonstrations.
Yes, winter is indeed here but perhaps we’ll see a hot and lively spring…