Peace At Home


 

It is raining here today. The tapestry of leaves on the ground sodden and untidy. There were no teabags left in the copper pot on the counter. Only a trickle of the skimmed milk I favor lingering in the fridge. My feet have turned an unusual shade of purpley-blue because I have not yet made it back upstairs to tuck them in to pompom slippers. Finley came downstairs fully dressed! And Donald Trump is on stage: a confusing mix of humility and gloating shaping his now softly spoken words. That circle he makes with his fingers slightly less pronounced now he is no longer raging against a country that just yesterday seem unwilling to bend to his manic will.

Not so long ago I used to to tell my Mum that the world scared me. And she would say that the world had always been a scary place. That in her lifetime there had always been terrorism, the threat of war, crazy men, religious lunacy. That we have learn to live with a certain level of potential fright or else we might as well retreat under our patchwork quilts and whither away.

Today the women on my Facebook stream, my sister, my friends, my readers have declared themselves scared of Trump. For the world. For their children. There is a lot of pain. Disappointment. Confusion. And anger. There is also too much rage. Too much venom directed by those who consider themselves to be intellectually superior towards whom they consider to be “the great unwashed” – on whom they are firmly placing the blame, forgetting that among that majority there are Mothers scared for their babies too. The world feels broken and they want to have someone to blame so they look to those they consider less than them. An ugly truth if ever there was one.

I am no more political than I am religious. I find any kind of division between human beings to be distasteful. I am also stupid. I want people to be kind in an unkind world. I remain bewildered by angry men and warmongering women, and care only for the politics of my my own household. The politics of step-parenting. The politics of who takes the bins out. Who gets to choose what’s for dinner. And I am telling you this not because I want to publicly declare my own ignorance, but because I suppose, I want to appeal for calm among those of us who want to live a life less ordinary. Because I understand that politics is a necessary evil and we cannot always swing a vote the way we want it to swing. Because I want us all to feel safe within our own four walls despite what goes on beyond them.

We fear change don’t we? We understand career politicians but cannot (do not want to) begin to fathom a maverick, sexist business man standing at the head of one of the most important countries in the world. We confuse personality with politics and forget that in even the smallest of businesses liking or even respecting he in charge is not necessarily key to our own success. We cringe at the toupee, feel our skin crawl at the idea of hopping in to bed with such a vile creature, allow our own instinctive, female revulsion to dictate our feelings, wonder what the heckity-pie could be wrong with that wooden, soulless Melania woman and fail in the midst of our revulsion to understand that Trump will not stand alone. That there will be some good men and women standing behind him, guiding him, reigning in his arrogance, advising him and hopefully taping up his mouth. That a person does not get to be Donald Trump without possessing some nous. Some wisdom. Despite how utterly ludicrous he strikes us. How little we yet understand about who he will be as a President. For we do not know yet whether he will be the dictatorial oaf we imagine he will be. Or whether he truly will rule the world with one hand permanently hovering over the dreaded red button. Or more, whether we will all suffer the kind of catastrophe The Simpsons predicted should this have ever come to pass. We do not yet know and that is I suppose terrifying in itself.

We fear change even when we cannot prevent change itself and must instead, if not embrace it, then at least accept it. If only so that our children are not spooked by our own terror of something that has not yet come to pass. So that our little girls are not forced to see this as the vote for women’s oppression that it so blatantly is and are not immediately reduced by it. Our boys not kept awake at night by fear of war fueled by an impetuous, impulsive man. So that they are not weeping tears for something that has no impact on what we decide to pack in their lunchboxes today. We must therefore refuse to wrap their sandwiches in anxiety. Keep appalled conversation to a minimum in front of them. So that they do not sense our fear and are instead reassured that all remains well. For that it does. For today at least, for our children all remains well. That is our job and it remains our job whoever ends up living in the White House – to make our children feel safe despite whoever walks the long corridors of power.

It could have course have been different. We could have had a woman I have certainly never related to standing in Trump’s place and perhaps we would have rejoiced anyway for it may have seemed like a triumph for sanity. For more of the same. For the safety of better the devil we know. But we haven’t. Something has happened this morning none of us could have predicted and all the wringing of our collective hands will not, in the immediate future, make any difference. We have to be at peace with that for now. Or else we allow something we cannot immediately change to trouble our own four walls. To bring a sense of dis-harmony indoors at a time when we would be better served strengthening the minds of our little ones so that the politics of the future does not stink quite so badly.

Here, there are no teabags and I am sipping coffee instead: my taste buds already recovering from the shock of Booth’s Italian Blend where there should have only been Tetleys. Finley is joking about all the builders in the world lining up for a lifetimes work building Trump’s Godforsaken wall and calling the house in our garden New Mexico as the joiner finally staples up the fence between us and them. Dad is in the shower and Ste, nonplussed by the whole affair, preparing a Powerpoint presentation for an interview.

And I am here. Typing out words that may make no sense to me in the future when we better understand the impact Trump will have on all our tomorrows. Tutting at the fingerprints on the glass on the doors into the conservatory and about to splash my way down to the crazy Post Office for a pint of skimmed. Refusing to be scared.

25 comments on “Peace At Home

  1. tdowell on said:

    Thank you for this. I have been in shock and fear since last night and your words really help. I’m so glad I found you, Alison.

  2. Lynn Dirk on said:

    This was one of your best, Alison. I am without words. Crushed and this was so very much needed. Thank You

  3. Thank you. I’m so deeply saddened by what my country has done.

  4. Jeanna M on said:

    Thank you for your wisdom. Being an American woman I am both sad and apprehensive about the future of our country. But life must go on and I know the strong men and women of this county will survive and maybe learn a thing or two.

  5. Mellie Huffman on said:

    I was wondering if you could please check your website messages. I have written a few times about problems with the Get a Grip program. I hoped contacting you through this method might produce results!
    Thanks!

  6. Thank you, so much….Alison. The words calm and soothe….I am not only shocked, but embarassed by what has happened here. Trying to keep the fear at bay.
    I needed this on this morning. Thank you..

  7. Well, just for balance, I voted for Trump and am thrilled he won. To have the Clintons back in charge would be a nightmare. And considering Hillary’s support of full-term abortions is reason enough to vote against her. Remember Benghazi. Remember the people who have lost their lives investigating the Clintons. Remember Monica Lewinsky. You want more of that? I’ve adore you for years, Alison, but in this I respectfully disagree.

    • Alison May on said:

      And Melissa you know how very much I adore you and that more than that I so very much respect your right to a different view point to mine. Thank you so much for making your case so kindly: you are right voting for Clinton would not have sat well with me either but this post truly was to describe my reaction to the hysteria I had witnessed on Facebook and to make a plea not just for calm but also for not judging what has not yet come to pass.
      My personal opinion about Trump as a man is very separate to my opinion of what he can can do for your country and I simply am not educated enough to make anything other than a fleeting comment about that. Please know that it was never my intention to offend, but merely to soothe.x

      • Alison, you are correct in recognizing the fear with which so very many United States citizens are trying hard to come to terms. This country has been a traditional Superpower, which has become obvious again in the midst of the international economic turmoil which occurred overnight due to the doubts and distrust put into the minds of not only us USA citizens but also into the collective mind of the world. This country does not need to be made great again for it has always been great. It has been great not from the cult-like words spewed forth to instill the masses to distrust those who are different than themselves, but by words that bring its diverse citizens together to work with synergy in improving our country and each other. This country has been defended and safeguarded by its military, of which the aforementioned (and apparently somehow charismatic?) future president has no experience, due to a minor foot problem with which the middle class salary-earning citizens would still be able to function. This country has been continuing to be great also by its civilians who defend and safeguard our rights, care for our citizens, run our economy (often without a million or so startup money from our parents,) teach our children while providing good role models who watch the words that they use, the actions they model, and the respectful attitude shaping the minds of the young and old. This is what we do with the desire for a better tomorrow filled with hope and faith, kindness and respect. Yes, this country is already great. Maybe without having to feel like he has an axe to grind and having to prove himself a leader, capable or not, our future leader will open his eyes, his mind, and just possibly his heart and be the leader in which his followers have put their trust as well as the safety of the rest of us and yes, the rest of the world. I hope he does realize that a president cannot declare bankruptcy on an entire nation, and I hope he also realizes that tax loopholes one has slyly utilized, while preaching about fair taxing, is not something of which to be proud. I hope he never has to learn how difficult a disability is within his own growing family tree just to understand how painful it would feel to see a grown man in front of a well-televised audience mocking those unfortunate to have a disability nor criticize those who involuntarily develop PTSD, possibly from defending the country to which he now will have such a great responsibility. Maybe he is a quick study and can learn what it takes to be a great man and then he can concentrate on also being a great president. That must remain our hope. Thank you for your prayers for our nation for many of us feel a sense of betrayal by those who have seemingly taken us back many years in our progress to be good shepherds of this planet and of our great country, but maybe and hopefully we are wrong in worrying. Maybe our fears should give way to strengthening our ties with each other and work together for the good of us all, regardless of who voted for whom. Maybe he will do well once he is in office and is in a better position to learn what he needs to learn to shepherd this country of which he obviously does feel much passion.

        • Alison May on said:

          Thank you for such an incredibly thoughtful commentary. As someone who doesn’t live in your country it really does help.x

    • I agree with Melissa. I also voted for Mr. Trump. We have to now stand together as Americans and do our best to light the darkness in this country instead of cursing or fearing it. It does begin at home. We have to be upright all areas of our lives, in everything, no matter what we see happening in the wider world. My closest workmate was in tears today and vented pretty hard on me but we still love each other. It has to start with each person as an individual. I’m tired of all the filthy talk, the slur throwing, etc. and yes, both sides have done it. We all have to vote our conscience and thankfully we can do so in freedom. Blessings to everyone and I’m glad we can talk about these very sensitive issues in a gentle way.

      • Alethea on said:

        I’m with Linda and Melissa. I also voted for Trump. It’s nice to see others who have. My friends in England are shocked, but give him a chance. Don’t always believe what you hear on your news. Steve Wright in the Afternoon is my morning radio show and I am always surprised at just how biased and half truthful the news often is, however, I love England and and my English friends so I take it all with a grain of salt, smile and move on. Keep thinking positive thoughts, send some our way and we will do the same for you.

        PS…I hear England and France are planning to build walls.

        • Alison May on said:

          I think it probably goes two ways Alethea… the media is so biased on both sides of the water that it is almost impossible to make any kind of safe judgement.
          But likewise… I love and appreciate my American friends and readers so very much and respect each and everyone’s view on life, love and politics!

          P.S: I love it that you listen to Steve Wright in the morning!x

        • Jones.paula8@sky.com on said:

          England won’t be building any walls…

      • Alison May on said:

        And I am so glad to have readers who understand that I would never want to add to the ugliest of noise but am always keen to acknowledge all our feelings and differrences. Thank you Linda.x

    • Annene Robertson on said:

      Thank you, Melissa, for stating how I feel so beautifully.

  8. Thank you,thank you,thank for this post.
    It has put my fears and distress into perspective this morning.

  9. Hope you feel a bit better today. The Americans had a difficult choice between 2 unsuitable candidates.

    I thought Brexit would cause the Earth to stop turning. It didn’t. It will all probably be alright xx

    • Alison May on said:

      I do thank you Anna… but it has quite astonished me the amount of very graphic “the end is nigh” media doing the rounds! As I tried to say above he is just one man representing an entire party… and I agree: I would have had a terrible time choosing between the two candidates… and Brexit may yet turn out to be another storm in a teacup!
      Think I might stick to worrying about puttery treats…x

  10. Rachel Kallenbach on said:

    Alsion,
    I have followed you for many years and have so loved your writing. Thank you for this piece. I completely agree with you! I too have been so saddened by all this craziness. The fact is, we were essentially given no choices in this election. I think Americans need to take a good look at ourselves and ask, “How did it come to this? Out of 325 million people, those two are the best we could come up with?” We’re clearly doing something wrong.
    For the record, I voted for neither, chastised by others that I was “throwing my vote away” or giving my vote to the “other” candidate.
    I believe that we should not base our decisions on fear, but on faith. Fear is a destroyer.
    I’m a mom and a homemaker and the best and only thing I can do is to make my home loving, kind, safe and happy. I starts with us mamas! I am so grateful for your blog that has inspired me and encouraged me these past few years. Here’s to continuing this great work of homemaking which is so often derided or at least devalued in our society.

  11. Caroline on said:

    I just have to wade in to this discussion – if somewhat belatedly! I love much of what you write Alison and through you, am delighted to find others who love caring for their families and their homes in the way you describe so beautifully. However, having spent a fair bit of my life putting my head in the sand when the big wide world starts to get too scary, the outcome of the American election has made me realise that just such an attitude is how the inequalities and racism that exist in the world are allowed to continue. Too many middle class white women, who also love their families and their homes, are putting their heads in the sand and not seeing the racism and sexism that is all around them. They are not bad or evil people but as the saying goes ‘ all it takes for evil to succeed is for good ‘men’ to do nothing’.

    By ignoring the injustices, the racist behaviour, those throw-away comments that undermine others, we are allowing evil to succeed. Further more, it isn’t that the media are ‘being mean’ about poor Donald Trump, we have heard his masognistic, racist comments come directly out of his mouth. I repeat – we have heard and seen him saying it. So tell me – those of you who are blaming the media – are you just ‘sticking your head in the sand’ or do you think we should not believe our own ears and eyes?