Election Aftermath:
Being American Now

November 15, 2016

Dear Friends,

There are 20 people who have signed up for this circle, with room for five more. We’d love you to join if you’re interested. (see below)

To sign up, please go to the Doodle poll we’ve set up for this circle, and let us know the days and times that work for you.

Questions? You can also reach me by email, or at Contact Us.
In gratitude.


November 9, 2016

Dear Friends,

After staying up last night watching the election returns and sharing posts on the Friends of Hillary Election Night Party on Facebook, and going through the surprise, disbelief, and anguish of witnessing a Donald Trump victory, I finally got to bed around 3 AM. Then I started feeling chest pains. I wondered: am I having a heart attack? Is this how my body is responding to the election?

Fortunately Wendy was nearby to help me, and a visit to the doctor today confirmed that I’m okay. I’m feeling very healthy and cheerful, like I have a new lease on life. 🙂

Many of us are feeling stricken — though maybe not quite this dramatically — with the sense that we’ve lost our America, with our hopes for her future, that we thought we knew. And we’re wondering: what comes next, for our country, the world, and each of us?

As I’ve been sorting through my feelings, my response is: first mourn, then act. Push back against fear and hatred by doing something to strengthen the bonds of love, kindness, generosity and community however we can.

I want to be with friends to share feelings and reflections about mourning and acting, around the theme: BEING AMERICAN NOW. So I’m drawn to convene a wisdom circle, similar to our current OWL Wisdom Circles, for friends to reflect on the question: what does it mean to be American now?
And if you live outside the U.S. and may be interested, you’re invited to join us as well.

The circle will be open to anyone, inside or outside the U.S., who shares our OWL values. I’m looking at potential meeting times of around 9 AM or 5 PM Pacific time, on a Sun., Mon., or Tue. If enough people are interested, we’ll do it.

Are you interested? Let me know!
(If you don’t have my email address, you can also reach me at Contact Us.)
In gratitude.


One thought on “Election Aftermath:
Being American Now

  1. Dear Aryae,

    Thanks for this thoughtful post. I’m glad you weren’t literally having a heart attack, though in some ways I’m sure you were. Trump’s victory has done damage to the heart of our nation…or perhaps it reflects some kind of national heart failure that has been fomenting for a long time.

    I’m reminded of the passage in the Book of Exodus that tells of the enslaved Israelite people being unable to hear Moses bringing G~d’s message of liberation, because their years of forced labor had made them “short of spirit, short of breath.”

    So many people in our country–white, blue collar and rural folks–have for so long felt left out, unheard, uncared for. That sense of being disregarded, combined with a sense of entitlement, seems to have produced a deadly cocktail of anger, racism, intolerance for difference, unwillingness to “take it” any longer.

    How we can participate in the kinds of reconciliation that may open or reopen channels of communication, I’m not sure. As I learned in my college urban studies classes in the 1960’s, the point about the proverbial American “melting pot” is that it never really happened (see the work of Daniel Moynihan, et.al.)

    However, something I learned this summer while co-leading an interfaith retreat, is that there are many folks living in our hemisphere–Canadians, Central and South Americans–who don’t consider “American” to be synonymous with U.S. citizenship. They resent the fact that we U.S.-ites have expropriated “American” as a descriptor for people born and living in the United States. So, though “Being American Now” has a great ring to it, I wonder if there might be another less U.S.-centric way to title this Circle?

    Many blessings to all–may we find strength and deep sourcing for the road ahead.

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