Darkness Returns, 11/3/2020
If you haven’t yet, please start from the first part of this piece.
We have now arrived at the dark portal that is this Election Day. Four years ago, I woke to the shock of Trump’s election and started down a path of learning how deep injustice runs in this nation. I ventured further along and took some small steps to push back against injustice. Now, we have reached this doorway. What is on the other side, we do not know — we cannot see it. Whether through absence of light or presence of dark magic the path is now obscured from view.
We must step through that portal, not knowing where it will take us. We must step through, not knowing when we will arrive. Joe Biden was not my first choice as a presidential candidate, but today, he is my unabashed choice. Polls indicate that his victory is likely, show that he has many “paths to victory”, but given our experience in 2016, like many others those polls give me little solace. And beyond the presidential campaign, there are so many questions, most notably whether Democrats can capture the Senate and keep the House.
There are so many permutations of where we could find ourselves. A clear victory for Biden for president and for Democratic control of Congress. Positive outcomes in some of those races and not others. Legitimate defeat by Republicans. And of course, perhaps most frightening of all, the possibility that everything will remain unclear for days, weeks, and months. Trump refusing to concede, or worse yet sowing so much confusion that no one can legitimately determine who has won through his use of federal troops, his control of the mail, his manipulation of federal law-enforcement, or other means. What will that mean for us? Participating in mass demonstrations and protests on a scale we have not had before in this country? Or something else?
And so we are left to wait, to wonder. To ponder, to ruminate, to stew in anxiety. To ignore, to step away, to return. We don’t know what will happen, and we don’t know when we will know it. And if our fears for tomorrow and the coming weeks and months come true, we don’t want to contemplate what will be true in the next year, the next several years, the next decade. We cannot yet contemplate it.
We are at the doorway. We can not step back — our feet will not turn from this path. We must step forward without knowing what ground is there for our feet. But we know that we must step. We may not have courage, but we will step because it is unavoidable. We may not have hope, because we know we have been hurt before. This next step is simply the next movement in life.
And so for one moment, let’s turn our eyes from the dark portal in front of us. Turn to the side, to see those who are standing by your side — those who you love and who love you. Your family, born and chosen. Your friends. All those around you, those you know and those you do not, taking the same step with you.
Look into their eyes. See their fear. See their despair. See their hope. See their courage. See them. See them seeing you.
Take their hands, turn your eyes into the darkness.
Take that step.
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