Inauguration – January 20, 2017

Today I sent poetry books to reviewers across the continent. I gave thanks that I’ve finally found a home in the world of nonprofit literary publishing. I felt honored to serve our poets and readers—to be the loom that holds the warp and the woof of our community together. Today I took comfort in words of power, wisdom, and joy.

Today I threw back a shot of whiskey with the bearded, beefy bartender at a gay bar. He’d spent his whole life in this city, while I am still a stranger, yet he welcomed me with a drink and a hand of friendship. Today I took pride in my brotherhood of mutants and weirdos.

Today I ate a cupcake named after the Devil, which I bought for the sole purpose of pissing off the Vice President. In another place, in another time, it would have been called a “red velvet,” yet here and now, it has been renamed to take ownership of our grievous faults. Today I feel no guilt for this delicious, red-velvety goodness.

Today I sent messages of love and support to my loved ones near and far. Our bonds are stronger than the miles between us; our friendship deeper than those who would revile us. We are young; we are not as young as we once were. We are financially secure; we are barely scraping by. We are male; we are female; we do not believe in binaries. We are people of all faiths and unfaiths. We are immigrants and emigrants. Today I reaffirmed that we all belong here.

Today I made breakfast and took out the trash. I did the dishes and balanced my budget. I scheduled an eye doctor appointment and responded to emails. I checked the mailbox and swept the floor. I brushed my teeth and added items to my grocery list. I drank more than two cups of tea. I continued to do what needed to be done.

Today I sought out new communities and ways to get involved. I beefed up my cyber-security and brushed up on my Constitution. I read up on ACT UP! and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. I reminded myself that patriotism means never settling for an imperfect union, and that justice is not justice until it serves all.

Today I read a powerful theological statement by #DecolonizeLuheranism, written in the tradition of the 95 Theses, defending my faith from those who would sell out Christianity to a false doctrine of hatred. I reminded myself that the Gospel’s message is Love and service and Light for all people, and that anyone who preaches different does not know Christ.

Today I gave thanks for the earth that provides for us, for the arts that feed our soul, for the journalists who keep us informed, for the teachers who keep us thinking for ourselves, for the doctors who keep us healthy, for the soldiers who have sworn to keep us safe, for the officers who protect our communities, and for the protesters who hold them accountable. Today I gave thanks for all the blessings and joys in my life.

And I will do all of these things again in four years. No matter what happens, no matter how the winds may blow, I promise myself here and now that on January 20, 2021, I will have as boring and mundane a day as I did today. I will not let history destroy the seeds I am planting today.

My life in four years will not look the same as it did today: no two moments can ever be the same. But I will continue to love and create, to share and pray, to lift up and fight back, and above all give thanks.

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