A lot of us get contemplative when the leaves turn. It’s natural. Change in one’s mental state unsurprisingly is linked invariably to change in environment. It’s hard not to be thinking about what we were doing this time last year – and about what’s coming next.
I took this photo of the sample ballot that party representatives hand out as voters enter their polling places. It’s a helpful guide for those that aren’t able to follow politics closely. Whatever your opinion of them, I typically keep them as souvenirs. We already knew this one would be important – our first female major-party candidate on the ballot for real. She was thisclose. It felt like it was written in the stars. Maybe this blind optimism was part of the problem. I look at this paper with embarrassment at my certainty and with pangs of broken dreams. The sense of inevitability at Clinton’s win seems shockingly naive now, and the bewilderment and anger I felt at her loss then still seems just as potent, if not more so. But it was a call to action that has brought out the best in a lot of unlikely people – and the worst in others.
The fall also brings a changeover politically as well as in the foliage. You need to be a part of that change. Make sure you know if you are registered to vote and that you know where to and what elections you will be participating in, and get your friends and family to do the same. We need to be collective. Try to facilitate aid for those that might struggle to get to a voting booth. Our political life is so uncertain right now that sitting this one out is not an option.
Can it be last October again, though? Even though the Pussy tape had been released and cynicism in our system was at an all-time high, there was still a real belief that a liberal change was in the air. We weren’t prepared for the real changes ahead. Let’s try to be more realistic in the coming year.