Did Anybody Sleep?

Tough Election Night. I won’t show you my ballot, but I’ll show you my heart.

So I put the cork screw away, wipe the sleep from my eyes, stir the coffee, and wonder what this day will bring.

I was discombobulated anyway from the time change. When I should be using salt, I sprinkle pepper. When I should be pouring mustard, I’m pouring Cabernet.

Actually, I think I like the time change. I like the earlier dawns, the earlier dusks. I think those who grumble about the shorter days are the same people who complain it’s too cold when the temperature dips below 80.

Me, I’ve always done better in the darkness and the cold. Plenty of that now.

Big news: The holiday ads have started on TV. Guess my prediction of yet another Christmas is about to pan out after all, huh?

I mean, when are you people going to believe me about anything?

We are a cowering, fretful nation right now, but when I see people voting in record numbers and Christmas beginning to blossom like this, I remain stubbornly, stupidly hopeful.

What else you got? Gonna fold your cards now? Going to run back to mother? I’m sure she’d like that.

Such a disconnect. Such a schism. Fold the country in half. On the one side, people who want to be heard and respected. On the other, people who want to be heard and respected.

Comes down to that, really. Neither side feels understood, yet won’t listen to the other side. Easy labels don’t stick.

I’m a centrist, down-the-pike, no-nonsense Kennedy democrat turned Reagan Republican turned cynical independent (a lousy mix of both those guys).

Like George Washington, I am a member of no party. Some days, I think I’m getting more liberal as I age, some days more of a button-down Federalist.

I’ve seen enough candidates that my gag reflex no longer functions. I vote for values and principles, not people.

Good luck with that, right?

I won’t show you my ballot, but I’ll show you my heart. Democracy without decency is a mall mob. It’s hooliganism, it’s me-me-me.

I keep looking for the Voice of Reason at the network — a Murrow, a Brokaw – to offer us perspective and relief, a sense of hope.

Dear God, the most resounding voice on Election Night was ABC’s Chris Christie, who actually sounded like a human being and not an aloof media twit.

Dear God (again): Can we borrow back Cronkite or Peter Jennings for the rest of the week?

I just want someone who will encourage us to listen and not lash out. Both parties feel reactionary right now. Never seen anything like it.

When writers have no wisdom in the moment, they look to other writers. We’re like a co-op that way.

Hey pal, can I borrow a cup of words?

So let me leave you with one of my favorite chestnuts (either by Kurt Vonnegut or Iain Thomas, depending on whom you want to believe). A friend posted it recently, accompanied by that incredible photo of a leafy country road.

“Be soft,” it says. “Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

Amen to that.

Make mine a double.

Be safe, dear friend.

22 thoughts on “Did Anybody Sleep?

  1. Thank you for your soothing reminder to be understanding and respectful of each other’s opinions, hopes and dreams. Whatever the outcome of this election, there will still be Christmas, Dad Bods, five cent salmon, wolf dogs and our families and friends to love and cherish. Thank you. I always feel so good after my Chris fix.

  2. “Be soft,” it says. “Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

    These are words to live by, to be sure! Hey Chris….What about Dan Rather and his “News and Guts” columns? I think they are pretty fabulous!

  3. How can I not be reactionary when I am a woman whose rights are being destroyed, the planet is being destroyed, nasty people are posting slanderous attacks. I don’t live in the same headspace that you do Chris. I pay my taxes, I was sexually harassed as a young woman, I have friends of color, I believe the virus is real, that understanding science is one of our greatest tools and realities. My livelihood has been destroyed by the ineptitude. My future has been derailed by this horrible excuse for a human being. We are being mocked by the world. While I have always found a moment to take a breath by reading your lovely words, this column is not one of those times. Who would have thought I would be so grateful my mother and brother passed away before this all started. Grateful because I did not have to face that I would not have been able to visit either one of them due to the virus and my mother would have died without me. To be clear, I am not suggesting you do not pay your taxes, have friends of color, etc., etc. I am saying that the person who created this rift is not a figment of our imagination. It is a depressing, hope sucking reality. Sometimes words of comfort are not going to work. Respectfully, Laurel

    1. Thanks, Chris for being the big brother doing his best to help us all come to terms with these times. We have to find our way there for the kids sake. Peace to you and the non violent Americans out there Democrat, Republican, and Federalist. lp

  4. Thank you Chris for once again for bringing a sense of reason and humanity to these incredibly divisive times. I could barely stand to check the news feed on the computer this AM. Happily husband Larry mentioned your comments and suggest I read them. I too long for the days of Cronkite, Brinkley, and Huntley.
    I sincerely wish that your hope is well placed.

  5. I confess, I too, am weary and dazed. It’s Wednesday morning and although I was hoping I’d wake to good news, I think we are in for a much lengthier sojourn. Sigh…

  6. Beautiful quote. If you haven’t already, be sure to watch The Social Dilemma. It explains why our country is folded in half and really well done. We are all hanging in there. A double espresso may not be enough today.

  7. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Anyone have a cup of courage?

  8. A wonderful sentiment to read on a very anxious morning. Also, any chance you know where that photo was taken? I live in the.Midwest and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such beautiful fall colors.

  9. “There is a Balm in Gilead, “ your thoughtful and sagacious words are the balm we need right now. Love your musings.

  10. In 6th grade we had to memorize The Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution. They never fail.

  11. Chris, this column struck a note with me. And I have to say, if you did nothing but fill this space with glorious pictures this one opened with, I would be deliriously happy. Love your words and your pictures.

  12. Like you, I voted for JFK in ‘60. Raised a FDR – Harry S Truman Democrat.
    When I finally grew up I voted for Ronald Reagan. I’m still a registered Democrat. But do not support the Party.
    I vote to support traditional American Values. The presidential election is NOT a personality contest!

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