“There are moments that the words don’t reach. There’s a grace that’s too powerful to name. We push away what we can never understand. We push away the unimaginable…”
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote those very words into a song called “It’s Quiet Uptown” as part of the Hamilton musical that is technically poised at a part of the musical after Alexander and Eliza lose a child. That was their “unimaginable.”
Many of us across the United States right now have started to live our own “unimaginable.”
We saw a woman, one who has inspired scores upon scores of women for decades (and decades to come) lose, but lose with a grace no one could ever understand, with a Bible verse that I have latched onto. (It’s Galatians 6:9 for those who might have missed it.)
We have seen someone who we scoffed at, who we abhorred, who we denied, suddenly rise into power. We have seen this filthy man bring out the absolute worst in the people we thought knew and loved us. We have seen sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, every kind of prejudice and hatred you could possibly conceive of run rampant across our country.
Our new reality, the one we have been shoved into (and absolutely not of our own volition) was unimaginable. It’s a nightmare. I keep expecting myself to wake up in a cold sweat and have it be days before Election Day all over again. I reel each and every night, waiting to awaken violently, hoping this has all been a vicious, vivid nightmare. But, I haven’t. My computer still says it’s November 13th. Not November 7th.
It happened. It was our unimaginable, and now it’s our unfortunate, inconceivable reality.
My fiancee and I are now scrambling to get our wedding legally done so that we can at least have it for a small amount of time. It was the right decision for us, and for many other LGBT+ couples I know. Others are still deciding. There is still a little time.
Many women I know are shuffling to get their birth control covered and protected by their insurance–going to get IUDs (intra-uterine devices, a long-term form of birth control for those who may be unaware) before their health insurance starts saying “HA, YOU’RE A WOMAN AND THAT’S WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS” thanks to the almost certain destruction and doom of the Affordable Care Act, as promised by the president-elect.
All of these horrible things and more that are unfathomable and sure to lead to “suffering too terrible to name” are all happening.
I can’t shake myself awake. I keep texting my friends, asking if they’re okay, asking if we’ve woken up yet, trying to find some solace somewhere.
I’ve gone to church three times this week. Once on Election Day, once the day after, and for Sunday service. I have spent so much time in an attitude of prayer, praying for my own salvation, for the grace of God to be with me–hold me together, keep me alive, keep me from exploding into a fit of rage. God, be with my family as we all struggle. My friends, my family, my LGBT+ brothers and sisters, the immigrants, the people of color, the Muslims, the powerful women I know. All of us. Send us your grace. Hold your children as tight as you can and help us push away this unimaginable. We are grateful.
I keep praying for the ability to wake up. The ability to survive. The ability for this unimaginable to stay just that: unimaginable. Unbelievable. Unfathomable.
I keep the faith. I keep the praise that I am still surviving, that I am still breathing, that I have someone who loves me. But sometimes I know her love doesn’t keep me safe enough. God’s love may do that. Mostly.
But right now, as this unimaginable happens, as it creeps into our lives, we ache, we hurt. My eyes have been puffy and sore and I don’t think I’ve gone a single day without breaking into sobs once.
I have heard time and time again over the last few days that “everything will be okay.” I have heard time and time again that “you will be fine.” I have been told to “get over it.” I cannot.
This is my unimaginable. This is the last thing I wanted for my friends, for my family, for my country. I see the ache and the pain and all the attempts to make all of this hatred normal and I become sick to my stomach and I remain sick in my soul. It’s unimaginable.
As this terrible series of circumstances becomes our reality, it will never become “normal.” I can’t let it become normal because that would mean that I will do the same thing that I have shouted, cried, and railed against: condoning the actions of one man that has spoken against everything I know, love, and believe in. And that is unimaginable.
But, we all shall press on. Because giving up, that is what is truly unimaginable.