Friday, November 11, 2016


Maybe not YES! but yes...
Of course, I was hoping for a "YES!" result from the presidential election. A hopeful day morphed into a state of stunned disbelief. But some remarkable and surprising outcomes have taken place. These actually started before election day. Five days prior to that day, our Clinton/Kaine sign was stolen from our yard. We were preparing to head out of town to attend David's college reunion. It was also David's birthday and he was heading up the stewardship committee at church--the dinner was that evening. In other words, there wasn't much time.
the original sketch
    A first move was to post on Facebook (naturally) to announce the theft and threaten to re-engage my old fashion illustration skills to make a pantsuit sign. Before I could be egged on by anyone, I had whipped up a quick sketch and posted it with my sign theft posting.
     A few days before, my neighbor Hilary included me in the Pantsuit Nation group. I thought that maybe I should post the sketch there, too. What happened was pretty amazing. Right before me eyes I could see a response. "Likes" were coming fast and furious. I'm sure this is my one little brush with popularity. What I liked even more than this exciting experience was that people were taking the image and adding their own twists and combining it with campaign imagery. My graphic design skills are not that great. (I work with pastels and mixed media. I have a messy aesthetic!) Very fortuitously, a young graphic designer with all the requisite tech skills came along and created a very affirmative image.

Luke Francis's graphic design using the YES! sketch

     So all this was exciting in a head-rushy kind of way. Then the election happened and it became apparent that t-shirts, mugs and pins were not in the cards. However, within 12 hours of Trump winning via the Electoral College numbers, a very interesting thing started happening.  My niece-in-law, a university chaplain, posted the following:
     "If you are a minority and you feel scared, please know we stand by you and will continue to do so, no matter what comes."
Facebook began filling with outlets for people to focus on serving and helping others. A friend invited me to join a Facebook page "100 Acts Against Hate" where people are encouraged to share how they are working to heal and alleviate suffering in our country. This was happening by mid-day on November 9th! What a contrast to Mitch McConnell's response to President Obama's election: that he would work to make our President a one-term president.  McConnell set the unproductive tone for 8 years. What a squandering of potential! But, I am here to say "yes" not "no"...
     It turns out that the pantsuit is a potent symbol for a hibernating population. The secret Facebook page is developing in a grassroots fashion. This gives me the hope to say "yes..." to a long haul effort to make our communities work for all people and for the whole world. Even if we had received the desired "YES!" we would still have to bring along the "yes..." response. Perhaps now it is easier to do that.

1 comment: