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Essay

Today

by Grace Bonney

This morning I woke up feeling numb. I came downstairs, made coffee, fed our pets and tried to step away from the news and unplug. But I found myself sitting here, in front of my computer, writing.

I write because it makes me feel connected to other people. And connecting with other people gives me hope. Hope that we’ll hear and understand each other. Hope that we’ll find a way to ensure everyone feels welcomed and valued. But as a gay person, and a person who values black and brown lives and who cares about women and our rights to our own bodies, it’s difficult to feel that hope today.

Everyone needs time and space to feel things and process emotions in a way that works best for them. And today, I need that space to be quiet. I need room to listen, to try to understand and to try to make a plan for how to move forward and support the people around me who feel unsafe and unprotected in their homes.

I know this site is a respite from stress and world issues for so many of you, and I’m truly sorry that we can’t be that today. Tomorrow we’ll resume normally scheduled content, but today I am overwhelmed with the need to be silent. To listen to the people around me and to hold their fears, their sadness, their frustration and their concerns in a way that creates connection and understanding.

I have no desire to hold and feel only the concerns and voices of people who share my points of view. I have spent the last two years living in a rural area that has fundamentally different points of view on many issues that are important to me. The adjustment was difficult, but in this moment, I am reminded yet again that my job is to reflect and tell the stories of everyone in our community.

I do not and will not support stories that seek to promote racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or any other viewpoint that represses people based on their identity. But I am committed to doing good work here- work that includes being dedicated to broadening and expanding our platform to make room for people from different backgrounds and with different points of view. I believe that when we understand each other, progress happens. And while it’s very difficult for me to feel that this morning, I believe that the people I’ve been connecting with on the road for the past two months and the people I’ve gotten to know here online over the past 12 years have good in them, and good work to be done.

I understand anyone who feels overcome with fear, anger, anxiety or disappointment today. I feel all of those feelings today, too. I wish there was an image, a quote or some perfect turn of phrase I could share to make us all feel a little bit better, but there isn’t one. I think today is a day for connecting with our communities, hearing each other’s concerns and fears and trying to find a way to make a plan to move forward supporting each other and ensuring our safety and rights. I do not pretend to know the right way to do that, but I promise that I will always here to listen, to support and to do the work. –Grace

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Comments

      • I love both of you ♡ & I am SOOOOO grateful that I’ll be getting your new book in the mail today Grace. The distraction will be greatly appreciated.

        Adam (I’m assuming your Adam J, Kurtz, although I could obviously be totally wrong there) I loved your quippy, but to the point posts on ig with regards to the election, they made me laugh, even when I was so intensely stressed that I couldn’t breathe.

        I am finding it so hard to embrace the fact that democracy is about the people having the right to choose their leader in this case. I am so distraught and devastated that Trump won, I simply keep repeating “this can’t be real, this can’t be real over and over in my head.”

        Thank you for this community you have created, D*S has gotten be through some very challenging things in my life.

        Ooooodles of love, patience, tolerance, and laughter,

        Ash xo

  • Thank you, Grace. Thank you for being you and thank you for doing the work. We must be in this together.

  • Thank you, Grace. It seems like there’s nothing else we can do today but just what you’ve said- we must try to feel connected to one another in this scary time.

    Sending love from Boston to everyone in the DS community,

    Elizabeth

  • My Canadian heart is numb today. Thinking of everyone who voted with respect for each other, for women’s bodies and for our planet.

  • You’re a good egg, Grace. May America find a way forward together.

    (An Australian who may have shed a tear)

  • Thank you for writing this and I hear you. You must know that my plan for today includes reading your book and signing up for few more community volunteer opportunities today. I genuinely have hope that people voted with the best intentions and though the choice seemed clear to us, it wasn’t clear for everyone. With community, all is possible. I am a new immigrant and hence couldn’t exercise my right to vote but I get to live here and I care. That’s a good place to start. Love you for being you, always.

  • I woke up to hearing NPR saying that HIS first course of order is to select a Supreme Court Justice. I was stunned. I am now overwhelmed with uncertainty, especially for my disabled son.

  • Sending love from Canada. For both yesterday and today, we are all American. We shed a tear and brace ourselves with fear with you.

  • Thank you for your grace. I needed to see the fog covered, completely still water out my window this morning, and read these words.

  • This. Thank you for this. You are wise. In The Company of Women is sitting on my bookshelf waiting for the right moment to be read. That moment might be tonight.

  • I’m getting ready to go to work and wondering how I can possibly pretend to be normal today. Lots of love to all who are going through the same thing.

  • Thank you, Grace. Design Sponge has always been my go-to spot good design, but these past few months, it’s become a place to feel safe and welcome and understood as well. So thankful for this beautiful community you’ve collected here. And thankful for your words this morning, as well. <3

  • I’m an expressive person and I almost always have something to say, no matter what happens. But now, I’m in denial, so much so that I didn’t talk a word to my husband for an hour after waking up, and finally when i did, I told him not to put any YouTube videos for the next few days. I thought I was the only one who wanted to shut myself out from this horrible nightmare, and I’m thankful to you for making us all feel normal.

  • Thank you so much for this post and for this community!

    Right now I’m torn between wanting to brush it off and go on with my daily routines and just confronting all of my emotions. I seem to be trapped in between those two, not being of much use as far as work goes, but too restless to be truly mindful.

    I didn’t think I could feel lower than I did when a family member told me that I support a sociopath, by being a vocal supporter of Hillary. But here I am, trying to pick myself up and hold my head higher than I did yesterday and finding that it’s very, very hard to do so.

  • Grace, you are aptly named. The grace you put forward will help comfort us all. I’m not gay or someone of color but I am a woman of substance and I feel exactly as you this morning. Thank you. I admire you so much. Let’s all stay united against the hate. Promote love.

    Lauri

  • Came to this Country as a 21 year old with dreams, hope and at last freedom. I have loved this country as my own and have felt at home nowhere but here.

    Today for the very first time I feel like my country perhaps did not love be back and that I have been wrong all along. As a woman, a immigrant and person of color my heart hurts and it fears for my future and the future of millions of others.

    Thank you Grace for this post , reading it and seeing all the comments gives me solace. I find peace in knowing that I am not alone in this sadness. To everyone that is experiencing all these terrible emotions know that you are not alone. You have us supporting you and standing by you. Let’s be good humans beings, true to ourselves and our beliefs. Like everything else, we will overcome this too. It’s true, together we are all stronger.

  • Thank for this, Grace. I think that in the days to come, the community you’ve created here will help to remind me that I’m not alone. Thank you for all you’ve done to create a space of respect, kindness, beauty, and thoughtfulness in a chaotic world.

  • I feel the same way, devastated, scared and a little homeless. But I’m trying to move on and tell myself to be hopeful.

  • My heart sees your ❤️!
    Our family is heartbroken, and when our daughter calls and begs us to please stay in our house, it brought a bigger reality home, fear.
    Does this means that half of our country thinks less of our family just because we are different?
    It has always ignored that we have been trolled because of our ethnicity by strangers as well as “friends” more than ever before, and when confronted with the possibility of racist behavior it’s all been excused and denied.
    But to now know that this is clearly how so many think, is devastating and I feel the need for a plan also. I do know that light needs darkness to be seen, and the comfort of having a community that shares your heart is something I’m grateful for!
    So thank you for letting me rumble away. And although I feel lost and very scared, I also feel hopeful that if we keep on helping each other with our sorrow, joy and fairness will follow soon!
    Namaste and love my friends!

    • I hear what you are saying and I am trying to wrap my head around all this emotion I feel today, too. Know that, while a portion of our country may not be the people we thought they were, there are many, many more who ARE. I have always felt I have a good foundation of hope, faith and compassion, but I intend to dig down for more. I also pledge to get more involved. Hang in there, you have friends you have never even met.

  • I share your grief and concerns. This is devastating. I hope we can all find a positive way to act and make a difference.

  • Grace, thank you for this post, the first thing that has calmed my heart today. I was an early Design Sponge fan, for years I started my work day with your website. I wandered away for a while (not that this is at all important today)but I have been back in the last few months and your voice is so so important and we are all very grateful. I wish I could say something profound but I am too stunned but love and connection is the only way and I am not going to respond to hate with hate, that is enough for today. When I have a minute I want to respond to your post from last week about women business owners of which I am one, after last night even more important to keep talking on this front. Sorry this is rambling from exhaustion Thank you and I am going to make some comfort food today from Small Victories. ❤️

  • Grace, I just want to say thank you for NOT posting election stuff on this website. While I was aware of what was happening via other websites, I needed one space where I could take a break from it. You provided that. I am forever grateful for that.

  • I’m really upset that we have elected a president who does not believe in climate change (believes it is a Chinese hoax, to quote him literally). All the current research suggests that we don’t have much time to make a big dent in CO2 emissions: the damage done will soon become irreversible and unpredicatable in scope. We cannot afford to lose the next four years. In all the rightful distress at Trump’s hatefullness, I don’t want us to lose sight of this other big problem which will have catastrophic effects world-wide. Somehow we have to keep climate change high on our to-do agenda for the next four years. We have to leverage the Republicans and Democrats who do see the threat and try to get something done on this…

  • Grace, I’m also a fairly new arrival in Ulster County. Some new local friends and I want to get together to brainstorm action and activism on a local level. If you’d like to join us, let me know– we’re just getting an email list of interested people together.
    -Sara

  • Thank you so much for this essay. I found myself searching for words this morning that would comfort and r