2016 – IT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING
AMBER LOVE 17-JAN-2017 This was originally a submission that never got published. At least having it here means I can add gifs! You can support my writing at Patreon.com/amberunmasked.
There’s a line from the movie “The Mummy” where they translate ancient hieroglyphics that say, “Death is only the beginning.” That’s how I feel about the year 2016. It was filled with death.
My own beloved cat died. Every day it felt like another celebrity death was announced. I saw posts of my friends announcing that their spouses passed too.
Then there’s the metaphoric death of democracy and feminism. We in the US watched as the most qualified candidate in history won the popular vote by nearly three million, but lost to a tyrannical child. We’re watching rights that marked progress get threatened now. We’re watching the government’s own checks and balances processes altered in shady midnight meetings so they can continue to pave the way for corruption.
It’s only January. “Death is only the beginning,” I remind myself. Something has to come after. We mourned. We got angry. We’re trying to find ways we can take action within our limitations.
I couldn’t realistically consider cloning my beloved old Himalayan cat. I honored her and have her ashes in the spot on my desk where she sat with me every day. What I was able to do, with the help of family, was adopt a new little one for the household. He’s young and vivacious. He loves his new cousin and he’s even warming up to the dog, his part-time step brother.
Rescuing Gus from the pound altered the mood of the house. It took months until he seemed attached to me; he was way more interested in his new playmate. My quiet moments watching TV or reading with Caico were replaced by throwing paper balls and furry mice to this shiny black goofball who licked my face when I first held him.
All of the other deaths, physical and otherwise, that occurred can’t be resolved as easily as going to a room filled with cages and picking out a substitute. My friends can’t replace their husbands. Our country can’t replace the unqualified oaf in the White House for four more years.
At the end of 2016, I read “Loving Eleanor” by Susan Wittig Albert. Although fictional, it was about Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok and the secret affair they had. Reading about a polyamorous, bisexual First Lady reignited a spark in my heart. Coupling that with the dynamic ferocity of a former reporter turned federal investigator of the Great Depression added so much sadness about the desperation people suffered. They were both women wanting to be themselves. Trying to do what was best for the country before thinking of their own wants and needs. How can we, the modern feminists of today, follow in their footsteps?
A lot of us are vying for Op-Ed space. Others say write and call your representatives. The creatives are saying make your art count more than ever and shove it in the faces of people who want a homogeneous history. Everyone will have their own approach to navigating 2017 and beyond.
Move beyond the collapse of that road to progress. Build another road, not a wall.