What a week. What a blinding, absurd, ridiculous week. Do you know what I mean? I’m sure you feel it too.
It is late on Friday night. I have done the closest thing I can to lighting a fire – I’ve put the “Fireplace” video app on the TV – and the rain is coming down on our metal roof, which is a sound I find oddly reassuring. The dogs are a little restless, the cat is still outside in the dark somewhere, and the cowboy is out playing poker with his friends.
Monday morning feels like a very long time ago. I am at once keen to share my thoughts on what has been an historic occasion during this US election, and yet reluctant to throw my hat in the ring. As somebody who was not entitled to a vote, I felt a strange sense of impartiality. My opinions didn’t matter. Truthfully, I was frightened of the outcome, regardless of which candidate won. I saw sad, vicious parallels with Brexit and the quiet decline in social standards that Britain is grappling with.
But I also saw an outpouring of support, love, solidarity, encouragement and dedication from people all around the world. As I swapped small talk with a fellow immigrant, my Mexican mechanic, we both laughed and shrugged and talked about how it will all be ok, people can still be good people to each other.
And I believe that people will be good people. I have no doubt that my friends who voted for the winning party are still the most generous, welcoming, kind and accepting people they were before Tuesday. I also have no doubt that my friends who voted for the losing party are shaken to their core, unable to understand what would drive people to make this decision.
All I can say, from my awkward spot firmly on the fence, is that I can see where everybody is coming from. I understand why rural communities don’t want the same things that the urban populations want. I get why the interests of those who don’t conform to the usual checkboxes are completely removed from the interests of those who do. I see you all where you are, and I understand.
Except for you vile individuals who think that you now have a license to verbalise your angry racism, xenophobia, misogyny and obnoxious privilege. I don’t understand what hurts you so badly that you don’t see your fellow human beings as fellow citizens of this bigger place that we call home, the planet. You don’t get my sympathies.
So, I suppose, in conclusion to the politics stuff: I’m not unfriending anybody. I’m not silencing anybody (except you vicious people, you can shut up). I’ll just be encouraging you all to be kind to one another, to give people a hug and mean it, to share your tea and cake with any who might need it. Be open minded, open armed, and be excellent to each other.
This week was one of my busiest work weeks ever. I have put in more hours with my hands on horses than I think I have ever done in one week. It was a week that forced me to be both active and still. To pay attention. To push myself. I had two wonderful nights of riding on my pony, who never ceases to amaze and impress me. I have fallen into my chair on most nights this week, exhausted beyond measure.
It’s been quite good.