The swirling void echoes the darkness and chaos I feel as we move toward the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. So much grief and confusion.
When I was little, I had such a pure, simple patriotism. I still remember tears sliding down my twelve-year old cheeks as I stood with my father, hand cupped over my heart, listening to the US Army Band on the Fourth of July. In high school I took the required “Evils of Communism” class and was grateful to be living in a free country.
Of course, things got more complicated. My first year at Wellesley an old friend from high school visited and we got talking about the War in Vietnam. I still remember telling him that the United States of America would never support an unjust war. By my senior year, I was campaigning for McCarthy in New Hampshire. I was furious that my country was falling so far short of its proclaimed ideals.
I still am. Equality, freedom, concern for the common good – they seem to have become antiquated ideals, replaced by what? The birther movement? the the Alt-Right? The hate-filled rhetoric spewed in the guise of patriotism? My head swirls and my gut tightens. I cannot accept that this country which I once loved has chosen a man with no moral compass to be its president.
I knew before I began this mandala that I would be swallowed up in its darkness and chaos unless I added a guiding star to anchor me. And I’m reminded that I cannot look to this world and its institutions to be that star. As a Christian I must stand under a different sky if I want to focus on the bright morning star.