Election Day

Only the one you love can break your heart. I love America; my country. And this morning about 7 am Norway time, she broke mine. She’s broke it before. She’s also given me years of love and I seek to be a good partner and understand her, but she can be emotional and nonsensical to me sometimes. I am a liberal, a progressive, whatever you want to call it. So I’m always distraught when the things I believe in don’t move forward; but this time feels different. I’m a writer, and to me words matter. There have been things said by the President elect about my fellow citizens that trouble me, and they can’t be taken back (even if they were rhetorical). If you voted for him, of course I’m not mad at you, I understand why you’re frustrated; I just don’t think he’s the answer. Still, we have a Constitution. We are a republic. And the voters have spoken. I have been talking with my Dutch, German, Swiss and Norwegian friends about how this was even possible. I still didn’t expect it to happen. This morning I awoke at 6am and grabbed my phone to see what was happening and was stunned to see how it was looking. I got up and showered and walked around sub zero Ringebu’s snow covered streets looking for a cup of coffee but nothing was open. By 8 she had conceded. At 9 the bakery below the B&B was open and I finally got the caffeine my brain was craving and a breakfast roll that went down uneasy with my queasy stomach. Nothing to do but continuously refresh my phone till the train at 10. I have family and friends who voted for the new President. They already know I disagree with them, I still love them. I hope those of us very worried about him are wrong. There has to be rule of law for our Democracy to continue. We’ll see. And I have to wonder if the situation were reversed would they do the same? I guess I have to believe they would. I have to hope. This morning on the train down to Oslo, I didn’t realize I had to change at Lillehammer and had hurried off grabbing my guitar and suitcase and trying to not get stranded in the cold; I left my gloves on the train. I ran back to grab them since there were still a few minutes. The conductor had already found them and was walking them back to me. “Thanks” I said. “American?” He replied. “Yes”. Apparently my face and eyes told the story in my heart. “I’m very sorry” he replied. I looked in his eyes and said “Thank you”.  I couldn’t tell him how much a little bit of compassion meant to me this morning. Even if it came from another Country. I’m not home experiencing this in real time with my fellow citizens. Maybe it’s harder to heal far away? I have a job to do today, so I’m gonna go do it (mine’s playing songs), just like every other American. That’s what we do, roll up our sleeves and go to work. Try to make life a little bit better. We have a lot of work to do America. Now more than ever. I pledge to do more, and encourage others to as well to make our Union stronger. I still think we are stronger together. So as I type this on the train trying to sum up how I feel, I become a bit homesick. But I’ll see you at Thanksgiving America.



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