Saturday, January 21, 2017

Out to sea



*** Just a head's up that the following is politically and social activism oriented. If that is not your cup of tea, I hope that you will enjoy the photography and return next week. - H ***


Yesterday, I was sorely tempted to simply hit "publish" and let the title of this post speak for itself. I am glad that I didn't.

For while I woke up today with that feeling of being lost again, my eyes aching from last nights tears of disappointment, I remembered another series of mornings, not long ago. When I was staying with my friends in Menton, I would start each day by pulling back the curtains and standing before an open window to face the sea. My gaze would soften as I tried to focus on what was beyond fixation, out to the line and beyond, into unkowing. And how strong that felt to me then, the possibility present, thumping, alive.

My Mother and my Sister are attending their local version of the Women's March in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My American friend C is training up to Paris from this tiny village to participate. How proud I am and what hope this instills.

For while there is leisure lulling on the beaches (a constant echo back to other times, memories that seem all the richer for their distance), out on the waves, we can make our voices heard. After having lived in France for fifteen years, where the people are not afraid of contestation, I know the power that we yield, still.

There are many facets to Peace.

We can resist, we can write our future in action and response. To find and be found, again and again; awake, as a sea of possibility. With a societal shift that I am quite certain reaches beyond politics, this is our tide now.

I don't feel at all qualified to be writing this post; I feel awkward and am not sure of what I am doing. The "Who do you think you are?"'s are rolling through my throat, wishing to stifle thoughts, even half-formed but well-intentioned, into silence...but of course not. We are all qualified just by the nature of our being human and our innate connection with each other...so let's wade into the waters, even if we are just learning to swim.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Seneca











Are any of you joining the Women's March? If you are curious about taking part in this international movement, you can find more information about it here and a listing of locations in the United States and around the globe, here.

So far, it is estimated that there are over two million marches that will occur, including one that is happening in the Vieux Port of Marseille as I type.

This has always been a very respectful community and I don't wish to make anyone ill at ease but I would love to hear how you are feeling in response to yesterday's inauguration in the comments below, no matter where you are reading from on our beautiful planet. This concerns us all, as you are already well aware. 



Thank you for being here,
With Love and Gratitude,
Heather



70 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post - lovely calming photos! (the one with the light on the water is my favorite). Just read on FB that they're estimating 500,000 people going to the DC march - wow! As for the inauguration - couldn't watch it. So depressed. Hearing that vital parts of the .gov website are now down: LGBT page, climate control, etc. Feeling hopeless and fearful, but reading inspiring things everywhere and signing petitions like crazy. Will do my part with our small walk; people standing together, knowing others are standing together all over the country (and world!). Hoping for guardian angels to watch over marchers today and all of us for the next 4 years.

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  2. Feeling the same in Canada, Heather. I'm not American... but am still gobsmacked every time I think about the new "era" that began yesterday in your country.

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  3. It concerns all of us, anywhere. The same populists movement is spreading in Europe. And getting stronger. For me, being German with that German history of two worldwars and everything that lead to them, that makes me shiver!

    I wonder why, if we are trying to make politics of more compassion and equality why does everything have to become worse?

    The world is getting more complicated and people want easy answers. But there are no easy solutions anymore. Even if they were promised.

    I watched the inauguration yesterday and I watched the last two before. And my feelings couldn't be more contrarian. I am asking myself how was this possible?

    The internet has become a difficult place to discuss political aspects and thats why I won't go on here. (And thats really hard for me) What I would say would probably offend other people and thats how hatred grows. And thats how populists win.

    I only hope that there are also some men at the "womansmarch" and that they will be more than 200000.

    Thank you for this post dear friend! It reassured me to read that. Just like those incredibly wonderful pictures reassured me. Thank you also for Seneca. How true!

    And who feels "qualified" to write about such an issue? I feel like I should have better prepared this comment for two hours to avoid talking imprudently.

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  4. I too am Canadian, my niece and friends are marching right now in Toronto. I am so appalled I'm trying to figure out how to get through 4 years. The trauma of the last months has already seemed like a lifetime. I'm disgusted at...everything about him. I was going to say by what he stands for but he doesn't seem to stand for anything but himself. I'm incredulous as to how he got to be here and THAT is the most frightening thing of all! There isn't just one of him, there are millions. The direction the world is going in sickens me. I thank God every day that I am Canadian but even we are not immune to what is happening. So far we've just had to listen to his ridiculous and disgusting rhetoric. Imagine what's coming. I shudder. Prayers to all the good people in the world to survive this nightmare...

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  5. A reality TV star with a Twitter addiction is making crucial decisions about our life here on earth...how can that not unnerve everyone.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Apparently you are not bothered by someone who feels free to grab you by your genitals being president. You are pathetic.

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    2. Thanks for sharing you kind thoughts!

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  7. Loretta? Moral compass? Do you not remember the admission of grabbing a women's crotch? There is your moral compass. I do not need to judge the man. He has presented himself quite clearly. I only wish he had a clean slate as America's highest representative and "our" moral compass. As a woman, I am appalled with having five children by three different wives. No judgement here, just fact. I am grateful to all the people around the world that are marching today and showing their support for Americans.

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    1. The fact is that he has five children with three mothers.
      The judgment is your being appalled.

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    2. Thank you for correcting me. Tiffany Trump was born in October of 1993 out of wedlock. Trump did not marry Marla until December 1993. Again, I am appalled he is our president.

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  8. Thank you, Heather, for opening this subject up. I'm appalled and feeling sick. I think that every morning I shall include in my yoga the "Lion", with head back, tongue out, and a big growl. I'm amazed at my dear women friends who do seem to admire this jackass, #notmypresident. I'm nervous to be in a griup and say anything even slightly political. It feels, to me, as if his supporters hate us, not just disagree with those of us who, but that they are believing that they are "the law and order" of our society, our nation. I will be calling my reps repeatedly to tell them my opinion. Good luck to us all.

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    1. Good luck indeed. And I am going to be adding Lion too - a really excellent idea. Merci!

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  9. Walked slowly, with a cane, in the March in Sarasota. Unable to finish it; route is across a beautiful long bridge with high point of the arc. This being Sarasota, need enough room for yachts to pass under. Got to peak but if I crossed, I'd have to reclimb the arc...way more than I can do. So turned around and walked down the arc and am now waiting, for RT marching friends, in the park at the end of the route, with others, many who can't walk enough to even do a portion. We are here, visible from the busy highway 41, with our signs and smiles. Some are making and posting videos and blogging from their wheelchairs. P.S. Among the marches around the world, one is in Madagascar. Unimaginable back in the years I lived there. YES WE CAN !

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    1. You are amazing, Joan. After all that you went through last year, that you went and represented is very moving to me.

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  10. Everyone thank you for your heartfelt comments. I heard today that the Republicans are upset because the Democrats are playing politics and slowing down the confirmations of Trumps team. What on earth do they think they did for the last 8 years blocking anything that the Dems or Obama proposed. Even though they won they sound like a big bunch of baby head losers to me. I am marching tonight in San Francisco .

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  11. Thank you Heather for the beautiful pictures. They are soothing...#notmypresident

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  12. Loretta, I admit I am baffled by your confusion over why good, kind, loving people would reject Trump. He has shown us who he is. We gave him the chance to show he has all Americans' interests at heat. He has repeatedly failed to do so.

    Heather, dear. Those photos. The beauty and the thoughtfulness of your writing could not stand in starker juxtaposition to Trump's vicious, hateful demagoguery. Thank you, as always, for describing thoughtfulness and love.

    Both of my daughters are on the Boston march. I wanted to go to Paris or Toulouse, but was working. I have been heartbroken since the election, and am truly in mourning over what our country has allowed to happen.
    But I know there is love, and hope. You gave given both to us here.

    Kxxxx

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    1. So glad to know that your girls went. Yes. And thank you for the compliment!

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  13. Thrilled with the election and I'm American!

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  14. I voted for HRC and was very distraught after the election. I burst into tears the next morning when I interacted with an Indian immigrant and wondered how she must have felt that morning in Ohio. What kind of message had her country sent her?
    I've made peace with the thought of Trump a few times and then become very very upset all over again. I thought his speech yesterday was gloomy and more about upheaval than what it means to be American. I wept again as I watched our past presidents and the fact that not a single one of them trusted this man enough to vote for him.
    I thought Melania looked breathtakingly beautiful.
    I'm going to be patriotic and trust that our constitution and checks and balances will ensure that we have elected a president and not an emperor. So I'm feeling a bit more optimistic.
    Or at least I'm determined to. It seems a lot of people don't know Trump voters. Here in Ohio, I know many. Friends, family, clients, and acquaintances. People I love and respect saw something I didn't see. So I guess I'm choosing to trust their vision.

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    1. Thank you for this comment, Stephen. I am so proud to call you my friend.

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  15. DID YOU HEAR THE LACK OF APPLAUSE during his speech?THERE WAS NEVER A ROAR of AGREEMENT!
    AND what is with THAT CHILD BARON????There is something seriously WRONG WITH HIM.NEVER HAPPY NEVER CRACKS A SMILE...............NO coat either so he must have been FREEZING!
    I cried as OBAMA and GORGEOUS WIFE flew away...............in the helicopter.Woke up this AM thinking they are in CALIFORNIA having coffee shaking their heads.
    ALL WE CAN DO NOW IS WATCH AND SEE.....................MY NEIGHBORS ARE IN DC MARCHING with PUSSY HATS!!!!!!I AM Preparing a FEAST for the NEW neighbors who are ITALIAN!!!!!!!

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  16. Your qualification is your courage. I thank you for it, always.

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    1. Namaste, Susan. I am honored that you would say that, merci.

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  17. Let's remember a simple but very powerful notion:
    To my mind, one thing we need to do is constantly reaffirm, by whatever means we can, a basic but extremely powerful notion that we probably all know very well already: what makes this country "great" is its astonishingly immense cultural diversity, and everything that is created and has been created by this diversity, from the very beginning of our turbulent history. MUSIC is what reminds me of this notion, more than anything else. Growing up in Europe in the seventies I knew, like every other European kid, that this country’s natural affinity for music was unique and infinitely rich and transcendent (except I couldn’t use those words). And now I come to my specific “point”: Music has sometimes played a striking role in this blog, for me at least -- though I am only a very sporadic user of the internet, and therefore I'm not sure how often you have posted music, Heather. But I want you to know that, over the years, together with your words and images, your choice of music has greatly inspired me more than once (sometimes it was an absolute revelation). From your postings I have sensed that you have a very interesting intuition for music (whether you’ve played an instrument or not). And so, this is just my very small vote of encouragement for you to continue to use and share music in your work, when the spirit strikes you -- and at the same time to encourage everyone else to use music in whatever way you can to celebrate what brings us together so profoundly as a nation and what connects us so naturally to the rest of the world.

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    1. Stef, I love this so much. Yes to the power of music, of all creativity to unify, make question, inspire and even heal.

      It is interesting because a friend just mentioned that she liked when I used music here last weekend and it made me realize that I haven't been lately. Which is odd because I really almost always listen to one song on repeat while writing and it influences me enormously. I actually almost did include the song that I have been listening to non-stop while prepping this post in my head and writing it too. It is a recent favorite and there is much that is appropriate in it, I think - the beauty mixed with a darkness.

      Here is the link. "Familiar" by Agnes Obel:

      https://youtu.be/32kYH6XZrIo

      And thank you so much for coming by. If you are not often on the internet and yet choose to visit this blog, well, I am quite flattered by that.

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  18. Stephen's words resonated with me the most. I didn't vote for Trump and he personally offends me. I am hopeful that our country's checks and balances will keep him somewhat under control. It helps knowing that many in his party have serious reservations. I have always felt that our presidents wanted most of all to bring their vision of how to make this country better to fruition. Even when I disagreed with the person, I never questioned their motives. I try to believe that of Trump but he does make it difficult. What concerns me the most is that people I consider friends suddenly are saying the most racist, insensitive things and thinking its okay. It is straining friendships and I find that incredibly sad. It is suddenly okay (in rural California) to be a bigot.

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    1. Here too, Annette. It saddens me greatly but all the more reason to keep putting our non-bigot attitudes out there as well.

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  19. I am Australian living in Beijing, but still very sad about the situation in the States. Obama was such an inspirational leader, now you have the complete opposite....

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  20. Thank you for the beautiful photographs, Heather. There is tremendous energy in the U.S. against Trump and what he and his minions appear to want to do (and what he already has started doing). I, as part of that energy, am not sure how we will translate it into effective action, and I am filled with dread about what Trump will be able to do. Personally and politically, he is abhorrent. But today is a day to resist what he seeks to do to civil rights in the U.S., and so I am focusing on the positive act of marching in solidarity. I am carrying your courageous example with me, as always, Leslie in Oregon

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    1. Keep fighting the good fight, Leslie. We need you now more than ever and you have already dedicated your life to this! With much Love...

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  21. I live in Canada and am not sure what will happen next...
    part of me wants to panic and the other part wants to hold on tight and hope for the best.
    Time will tell and I have faith that there will be checks and balances in place so that things will not go sideways.
    Your pictures are very soothing and beautiful Heather.

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  22. Yesterday, I was ashamed of my country. Today I was reminded that Trump was not elected because of the voice of the people, but because of a flaw in our system. This gives me hope. We will get past this. We will move on. And your photos, as always, bring light to my day.

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  23. Ok, I've had enough...every 4 years someone gets elected as the U.S. President. Every 4 years some people are shocked, saddened, horrified, scared, angry and disappointed....don't continue to spread hate and fear because you are not satisfied with an outcome...we all have the Constitutional and God given right to have and express our own opinions and beliefs....i get it that some are vehemently opposed to President Trump, and again, that is your right...but the fact remains he is our new president...why is it that so many are not willing to give him a chance?....the bottom line is that he is our new Commander in Chief and he should be given the opportunity to prove himself before we all pull out the torches and pitchforks....regardless of who won or lost the election, if you live in the USA, you win...this is the greatest country the world has ever know....be grateful, be kind and love your neighbor.

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    1. Tracy, I have to be honest I feel the same way that you do. I am saddened that so many are spreading fear and hatred. We now live in a country that if you do not agree with whatever the conversation is, than you are wrong, you are ignorant, stupid, fascists, racist, and more. Not everyone who voted or did not vote for Obama 8 years ago thinks he is the greatest president or made the best of his time in DC. As not everyone that voted for Trump thinks he is the greatest. People were shouting from the rooftops that they wanted a change, he is what they picked. I stand by this thought, if you want change work for it. Make a difference in your town, state, local elections. And to quote Tracy above, "regardless of who won or lost the election, if you live in the USA, you win...this is the greatest country the world has ever know....be grateful, be kind and love your neighbor."

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    2. While I didn't vote for either candidate (I picked that nice Mormon fellow who did missionary work, then CIA, the Goldman Sachs, oh! he was peachy. But I digress), I do feel that many of Trump's cabinet selections were excellent. I hold them high in my meditation / prayers and hope that they can help us fix our problems at home.

      I'll admit I didn't care for Hillary as she felt like someone who was part of The (imo stupid) Inner Circle of Politicos and I had always hoped our first female president would be someone awesome, like Mia Farrow. ya know?

      I live in the Seattle area and, frankly, am fairly certain that if I even admitted to being married to a rep******n, I'd be dragged from my car and beaten.

      The most troubling thing, and yes, Tracy you said it so eloquently, is fear-mongering and outright hatred. "Damn trump supports, didja see those swastikas painted on that one house? I bet a trump supporter did that." Huh, really? Oy.

      Heather, as always, your photos are stunning and a nice soothing balm, and a reminder that the ocean is still there, the tides still come in and out, life has continued forward.

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  24. I’ll comment first, then go back to read. Unusually heavy rain in L.A. on inauguration day. Our power was out all day so I was spared what I vowed I wouldn’t watch anyway. Yesterday the sun came out and I marched in L.A., proud to be a part of a community defending threats to our humanity, health and welfare, decency, kindness. Yesterday our new president spouted more hate and lies. Today it’s raining again. Yesterday my friend (of 50 years!) had great advice, “Buckle up!”

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  25. Thank you for your blog -- your words and your photographs and the Seneca quote:

    "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Seneca

    Pendulums swing. And they swing again. It is my faith that our pendulum will swing again and swing higher.

    The most basic human right to speak our truth and refuse to be silenced. The most recognizable marker of evil is its impetus to suppress others' voices.

    Happily, speaking our truth is all we have to do to oppose evil. That's all. Ever.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for keeping it so simple and undeniable.

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  26. More for you Heather. I’m watching Meet the Press. K.A. Conway is defending yesterday’s lies, calling them “alternative facts.” Excuse me? Alternative facts are falsehoods. Not true. lies.

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    1. That. Is frightening. But where we are at now. In other periods of history it was socially acceptable to lie. Apparently now too.

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  27. Dear Heather, a good and insightful blog. Beautiful pictures to dwell on. I am from snowy Canada and the U.S. is our neighbour !! Not much point in panicking or feeling fearful, yet.... Again, thank you for the photographs, much appreciated, I use some of them when I meditate.

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    1. You do?!! That is an amazing compliment Eleni and makes me feel really proud.

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  28. Not a man of flattering remarks

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  29. My Dear Friend .. I awaited the first person in France to ask me how I felt, and was not disappointed .. it happened sooner than I expected. I respect all responses .. here is mine .. written after much meditative thought ..

    http://kauai-to-paris.com/blog/reply-to-bruno

    Rocket, Mahalo et Merci for being one of the courageous beings who put your position in ink .. I appreciate and admire that greatly.

    Aloha,
    Bill

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  30. Our daughter and granddaughter rode all night in a bus from Atlanta to make the Washiington march. We also had two nieces and three great nieces who flew from California to D.C. to join in We are so proud of all of them. I wish we could just all wake up and discover it has just been a nightmare.

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  31. I labelled your photo with the cypress "The sad cypress" by a book of Agatha Christie. The world has become lonelier and sader but the cypress is still growing. Sometimes I hope, sometimes I am in deep depression for our world's future. I think Trump and all these facists parties in Europe and elsewhere are warming again the snake's egg. We have only our voices to protest but I really believe that Seneca is right.

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  32. I walked in the March in Naples, Florida, with two other Canadians, a friend from France, and many, many women, men, and children of all ages and cultures. It was a powerful, peaceful, meaningful event and, afterwards, so thrilling to see the participation around the world. What happens in America affects all of us. Hopefully there are those in the new Administration who are listening. Thanks for your always beautiful photography. I thought you would appreciate this article, Heather. http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/6-compelling-things-gloria-steinem-said-at-the-womens-march.html

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    1. Thank you so much for the link, Patricia and you rock mightily!

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  33. Hello Heather,

    The colours in your photos are gorgeous - I especially like the authenticity of the photo you took of restaurant on the beach.

    As an American living abroad, I unfortunately didn't participate in any of the women's marches, but DEFINITELY would have if I were in my hometown, Chicago -- I was touched when I watched them 'march' on the boulevard where I lived for 18 years! Being abroad is not excuse, and I now wish I had taken a train to Berlin or Rome to march.

    The political environment is -- I don't know what. To simplify it for my simple mind, I keep thinking:

    "Here we go -- hold on tight." But what I think we'll all get is a good lesson in ethics.

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    1. I think that we have to do more than just hold on and I regret not making more of an effort to march too! For me it was financial constraints but how proud I would have been!!!

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  34. Beautiful photos, Heather! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

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  35. Here's my two cents in the form of a short story...

    The police kept a close eye on the man in the interrogation room. They all agreed that he looked a bit odd, deranged somehow. His accent, the words he used and his clothes. Everything seemed off but they couldn't quite pinpoint why. "I'm a time traveller," he claimed.

    Hours earlier the police had tackled him to the ground. They spotted him in a crowd. He was aiming a pistol at the President. He fought hard.

    "You don't understand, I'm here from the future and I know what's going to happen," he yelled in a horse voice as he struggled to break free. "I'm here to save you."

    The End

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  36. Replies
    1. ...I've come to talk to you again...

      History repeats. Or in more buddhist terms, we repeat won't we don't repair.

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  37. Is the march really about Trump, because it should be about so much more. As an American woman, I feel my privilege just by the happenstance of the location of my birth. If I were to march it would not be for me or my countrywomen for we have so much. So much more than than millions of our sisters on this planet. women who are victims of war, of rape in the name of war, women without clean water or electricity, women who can't feed their children and have no access to medicine, girls who are denied an education or a chance to participate in their own destiny and all the others who eke out an existence. Create light and the darkness will recede, send love to banish anger, let rationality negate chaos.

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    1. I think that last sentence needs to be my new mantra, Joanna. Thank you.

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  38. It seems you've got very few comments from non-Americans so here is one from Finland, which by the way is the best country to live in by a number of standards. Just have a look at this impressive list: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzx3QtPWhM

    I was shocked after the elections (this shocked: https://amateursventuresonlife.blogspot.fi/2016/11/wondering.html) and I've been shocked ever since. I watched the Friday festivities – which I until the very last moment hoped would never happen – live. The speech without the slightest hint of statesmanship you expect at this level but full of ugly and hostile populistic slogans made me sick and I felt bottomless shame the former president(s), Mrs Clinton, etc, had to sit there composed listening to such propagandistic agitation from a man who has a million times proven himself unqualified for the job.

    Now that he's been in the office for a few days I'm feeling even more shocked and worried because the untruthful views and outright lies are continuing and it seems the 'entourage' is not doing anything to make it better, but helping it to continue. Such a situation is extremely alarming. Lies and slander already paved his way to the office. I suppose no one believed they could continue equally blatant and ridiculous but would be kept under control by his ‘advisers’ after that.

    There is a whole nation of more the 140M people on the other side of our eastern border that has been systematically fed with lies for a couple of decades now, or broadly speaking for centuries. The younger generations are completely brainwashed in everything from historical facts to present-day politics. The (not that many) educated older ones who see through the propaganda are being kept quiet by fear. There is no hope for anything better any time soon there. As the European populistic leaders are now expecting a victory also here, Mr P. must be so happy with a smug smile on his face. Confusion in the western world is what he is aiming at making it easier for him to continue with his own agenda. I hope I’m wrong but there’s nothing indicating we would see anything better from another man obsessed in lying and cheating to serve nothing but his own ‘grandeur’.

    We can't even imagine what kind of conflicts could arise in foreign politics when an impulsive politically uninformed narcissist is taking the uncontrolled lead for one of the superpowers against equally delusional leaders of some foreign powers. So far, there are no signs of anything else than self-will. It makes you wonder whether his own party is wilfully letting him stumble over before the end of the term. Otherwise it's hard to understand how anyone with such political incompetence could have been allowed to write let alone give such a thoughtless and immature speech. The thought that the party would back his kind of populism is too frightening not only for the future of your country but that of the world.

    Here is where I see some hope. Perhaps the impulsiveness and outrageous immorality will go so far that he will have to step down mid-term. If not, I don’t know how my heart will survive the four years and the constant fear that any of the myriad of horrifying scenarios that would affect us all could materialize any day. In my part of the world, anyone with Mr. T’s kind of disposition would have been far below standard to ever run.

    PS. I haven’t made a pussy hat yet but will definitely sew one soon for everyday use.

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    1. Teresa, I wanted to thank you for putting so much thought into your response.
      My friend Judith is knitting me a pussy hat and I will be so proud to wear it!

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  39. Oh, Heather. You are about the only blog I read now; busy with too many other things to read the fluffy ones, and you are the only true one I can find. I just checked in to see your newest post, and reading through the comments to this one makes my heart sink.
    The angst and despair that is coming from the majority of comments is puzzling and sad; I had to think about what to say here without making it worse so I will just repeat what the very wise Joanna said above..."create light and the darkness will recede..."
    We are in a river of change all over the world but especially in America; not unusual, and never pretty or easy. This will all settle out and we will morph into a different world in the end because it is the way humans seem to go about evolving their societies. Living in the midst of that morph is unsettling, but exhilirating if you are up for the ride.

    Meantime, do as Joanna says: "Let rationality negate chaos".

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  40. The unexpected happened. Hope for the best.

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  41. The sea can wash away all sorrows even the unexpected.

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  42. Just read your post today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on peace and the many ways we can express it. These are beyond trying times with Mr. Trump at the helm. The power of many voices was expressed in the women's march. Everyday brings some new and tragic decisions from the current administration. All we can do is stay true to our convictions, and make sure the rights of all people are secured.
    It will be an uphill struggle, but well worth the effort!

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    1. It is Laura. I believe in women, especially to be vigilent and to insist on their voices being heard without giving up.

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