[Author’s note: These scribblings make no attempt at being profound, objective or politically correct. If they offend some, I am truly sorry to have caused that offense. But I need to make sense of my heart right now, and the way in which a writer comes to know his inner workings is by writing]
- On the election results: I am afraid to open my mouth! If I go to say a single word the feelings in my heart will overpower my tongue and a deluge will roar out which will overwhelm and destroy relationships! But I am choking on what I dare not say! It’s almost like wanting to throw up!
- I am terrified of the lynch-mob anger unleashed by this campaign! What if the unthinking mob… fed on and fueled by the frustrations of their own lives… decide that I, as a monk, am too much unlike themselves? Will I then become, in their eyes, the foreigner who it is all right to abuse? Will I become the piñata for their disappointments? Why is “otherness” so frightening as to cause so many to feel besieged, impelling them to circle the wagons?
- I find it odd that these so-called “Christians” feel that they have no responsibility to care for others, that they feel righteous in their belief that everyone must fend for himself and that if he fails it is only because he was too lazy to try hard enough. I mean, even Jesus Christ himself took a few loaves and fishes and fed 5000! That being so, how have these disciples of Christ come to embrace such a parsimonious stand of heart?
- Why do they call Social Security benefits and Medicare “entitlements”? The connotation of this word is that I am a lazy bum who is simply sponging off of society, off of the sweat of others brows. The fact is that these are programs that I have invested into all of my working life through mandatory payroll deductions so that I might not be a beggar on the streets when I am old… which is not far away, since I will be 68 in January.
- On this day after the election results, I feel as if I have woken up in some country I have never heard of! I have never before felt the terror I now feel in my own land; I mean, I was born in Brooklyn, New York for God’s sake – you can’t get more American than that! But this is an America I have never before encountered! But then, I’m white and male, and basically lower-middle class and so maybe now, for the first time in my life, I am getting a taste of what those in slave-ships knew, what those who were about to be lynched felt, what females have had to contend with: a terrifying disorientation caused by feeling unprotected. It is a feeling of helplessness that I have not felt since 9/11.
- I am embarrassed by my current desire to cry. I tell myself to put feelings aside and think this out… and then start crying. Maybe it’s man-opause… after all I have had a hormone shot to counter my prostate cancer which has, for 8 months now, resulted in frequent bouts of hot-flashes. I don’t think that there is a single word for what I feel right now: terror, sadness, insecurity, fear, disappointment, amazement, a gloomy wondering what the hell has gone wrong with my country! What planet am I now on?!!! I guess, maybe I’m… grieving.
- Being the Pastor of two parishes and the Spiritual Father of a monastery of Nuns, my role is to be the one who unifies people. As a result, I cannot express out-loud any of these things that I have written here lest people come to see me as on one side or the other. I kind of have an idea what it must be like for Queen Elizabeth II who, since becoming the Sovereign, cannot express private opinions in public or to the public lest her viewpoint compromise her position of being that symbol that unifies a country of various races and classes of people.
- Having had several surgeries in my life I know that the most painful period is right after the operation… which is right now. But I also know that the process of healing is also painful, that while the pain lessens in one way, it also then transforms itself into other expressions of pain as the healing proceeds. I suspect that I am going to have to keep an eye on my heart for the next few weeks. Or months!