No Line


Cash, our resident owl aficionado, would be happy to know it was this wise creature who gave me directions for where to go to vote this morning. I was surprised to see no line. I was perhaps more surprised that I was there.

Something in me woke up last week when I saw the pictures and read the stories of the children in Yemen. I didn’t mean to be responsible or to care, but as Annie writes in her new book:

…in a crazy subconscious martial arts move, God or Holy Spirit or Coyote Trickster intervened.
— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything

I suddenly felt as if I could change. I could care about somebody outside my little circle. For the first time in my life, I began to assimilate knowledge into belief that if there’s not a proper distribution of the resources of God’s great world, then it is a problem. I actually felt the weight of those weightless children all through that night. The next morning, I didn’t know what to do. I fasted breakfast just to identify myself with their hunger. I prayed that I would be kind to my children as a way to fight back the darkness. I became more aware that each meal, each snack is a gift. I still feel sad, but I also feel a little bit more awake in this world. Annie is right about change:

We can change. People say we can’t, but we do when the stakes or the pain is high enough. And when we do, life can change.
— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything

After voting today, I began to think about my faith in comparison to my politics. Though there came a point in life where I chose to make my faith my own, I think a part of my faith will always feel somewhat tethered to my parents’ faith, to what they taught me growing up, to the value system to which they aspired, to the beliefs they held. I did not have any similar political tethering from my parents or elsewhere. There was no line to which I held, but a line was thrown to me nonetheless. Annie has told me for years to vote, Gretchen Rubin reminded me on her podcast to vote, and TJ told me this morning who to vote for, but those kids in Yemen spoke the loudest. They said I can vote for love and compassion.