The sun rose in the middle of the night

Do you hear voices? I do, sometimes, as I fall asleep. My brain goes soft and conversations spring up, as though from another room. I can hear the voices, but not the words. People talking, not angry, not excited, matter of fact. As if they’re discussing the grocery list.

This morning, four-thirty-two, like a radio announcer or a teacher in front of his class, he spoke, clear, audible in a way that people like me, the hearing impaired, don’t expect: “The director is dead.” I woke up, knowing who he meant. The superintendent of Gettysburg Area Schools—someone who rarely spends any time in my thoughts. He sends me lots of emails, but I never read them. I emailed him last summer when he announced there would be no mask-mandate in the high school. His response was unsatisfying, essentially “thank you for your email.” That’s my only interaction with the Superintendent.

A half a day later, no news stories about his death, I’m not so sure I got it right. An obvious dream-analysis would point to Trump. In fact, right before I went to bed last night, scrolling Facebook, enjoying the rejoicing from my friends, I saw a meme of the Wicked Witch of the East. No caption, just legs poking from beneath a house. The meaning as clear as a voice spoken inside my head.

Today, I want to summarize, to wrap-up my feelings from the past four years. The betrayal, the disappointment, the disgust. But I’m not ready yet. I can’t assemble my thoughts beyond scattered snippets of relief. I scarcely believe it’s true, Biden and Harris won the election. On the morning after election day, when I opened my browser, it appeared that Biden lost the race, that the Democrats lost the Senate and the House. Susan woke up a half hour later, and I told her all was lost. I began to reevaluate my life.

Saturday night, first Kamala Harris, then Joe Biden spoke. They didn’t ramble, they didn’t brag. They pointed no fingers, they spoke inclusively but also seriously about the challenges we all face. I breathed deeply, as if I found fresh air for the first time in years, me and the whole world—an audible gasp or sigh, and then breath, in and out, tension evaporating. The sun rose in the middle of the night. A fitting bookend to a dark and dangerous year.

27 thoughts on “The sun rose in the middle of the night

  1. Their speeches were great too. Such a fresh sigh of relief. When I saw the news on Wednesday morning, I had the same feeling. I was sick to my stomach. I was down and feeling depressed. Then I saw the glimmer of hope start to shine that afternoon. Things are so much better now. I am sure there will be an annoying road ahead with recounts and whatnot – but the people have spoken. It’s time for hate to leave the White House and some sense of community and normalcy to return to the prestigious role of President.

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  2. Thank you Pennsylvania :-). It does feel dreamy. The week was a nail biter in our house. Sean was about to lose his mind over all of it. It’s amazing how much this presidency affected all of us. Now to recover from the PTSD.


      • I’m with you 100%. It’s hard for me to process the sudden calls for unity and cooperation after 4 years of stomping all over the trust and goodwill of half the nation, now that their man suddenly won’t be in charge anymore. I’ve so many thoughts but I need to organise it in my head before I comment more. I am trying to be hopeful though.

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  3. What a crazy ride this past week has been. I experienced similar emotions.

    Like you, I’m bracing for the initial aftershocks, especially in this gun-toting conspiracy-theory-adopting state of Idaho. The past day has felt…too quiet. Although honestly my worry is not as much short term as longer term, as hate groups recruit and organize in the next few years. Ugh.

    But at the end of that awful tunnel is (I trust) the bright light of sanity, transparency, enlightenment, science, and intelligence. That will make all this current angst worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not even American, I live all the way across the pond and I sighed in relief when Biden/Harris won. I can only imagine how you feel! Here’s to hoping his defeat will make the world a better place.

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  5. What a relief when the election results were finally called. Yet I was truly in shock at the number of votes Trump got. I know small businesses are worried about Biden. I was still amazed at how many people are willing to abide by hate speak. Biden has a big job ahead of him. I hope that the bridges he has maintained politically through the years will help him on this road.

    Jeff, I thought I was crazy because I hear those conversations, too. I always tell myself that at least they are not telling me to put aluminum foil around my head or something! They aren’t talking to me at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It will be interesting to see if the republican leadership turns its back on the racist and jingoistic language of the past four years. LIke you, I used to worry about my voices, but they never gave me any sketchy commands and now they are somewhat comforting. I actually love lingering in that in between sleep and awake space for a few minutes. I always feel very relaxed.


  6. Up here in Canada, many many Canadians share your relief. The angry Populist autocratic experiment has been stalled, at least for a while, due to the patience and sacrifice of ordinary people who resisted the threats and distractions. Your system would, in the end, not be bullied as the vote was counted and tabulated. Democracy is not perfect. It requires patience and teamwork and comprimise. Our founding federation in Canada has a motto that is not as flashy sounding as “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Here in Canada we make do with “Peace, order and good government”, but after the last four years of Trumpism, we’ll make do with that less lofty nameplate and count ourselves lucky that our American friends have a chance to cool their rhethoric and get on with mending wounds, healing the sick and regaining trust at home and abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IMO, that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is most of our problem. It’s a giant stamp of entitlement that too much of our populace insists upon but isn’t willing to work for. I’m far more in line with Peace, order and good government. Dull, maybe, but certainly more mature.


  7. I am still processing my feelings about the last 4 years too, Jeff. And I am trying to decide whether to publish a post about them or not. I am so astonished and disillusioned at the reaction of Christians to the banality, hate, and evil of the Trump regime. I want to write a post about transactional relationships but I can’t quite find the words to say. Yet. For now, I will revel in the relief and joy of the election results.


    • I keep reminding myself that while Trump is heading out of office in a couple of months, 70 million people voted for him. I think feeling relief is justified, for a few minutes. I know I’m still at odds with half the population.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I, like you, took a deep, satisfying breath as well, then I realized, he, trump, is not gone yet….. he is still creating havoc, promising more if he is not allowed to get his way, typical bully tactics. what amazes me is the lack of courage, no common sense most of the GOP have these days… I write my senator weekly, to no avail except to make myself ‘feel’ better. the in 4 years the trumps are making new threats….. this might seem trivial, but with the amount of followers he has, well, hate GROWS….. we must keep vigilant and protect our country at any cost. I am encouraged in that our constitution is still strong, and the right people are in office…… well soon will be…. cant come soon enough

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, getting trump out of office is like a doctor dealing with a symptom. The underlying problem is still there waiting for the next Trump to move in. Hopefully our safeguards will work over the next 2 months. Trump’s “dictator moves” as CNN calls them, forebode some potentially scary times ahead. I keep thinking “Nah, he wouldn’t do that. Would he?”


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