Living the Questions, Post Election


I would like to beg you… as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.           ~Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 in Letters to a Young Poet

What just happened?

Why didn’t I see it coming?

Who can I blame ?

How can I constructively channel my grief, fear, and anger?

How can I disagree with my neighbors without demonizing them?

Where is the meeting ground with others who understand the world from a fundamentally different framework than I do?

What aspects of my personal comfort and privilege kept me blind to widespread cultural rage?

In what ways has my privilege contributed to systemic forms of oppression?

How has my feminism been parochial, blind to its intersection with racism and classism?

Which of my own values am I willing to compromise to protect my own interests?

How can I be in solidarity with American citizens who have lived with the reality that we are not truly “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all?”

How can I stand with the most vulnerable without colonizing their sovereignty over their own lives?

What am I willing to let go of so that others can have their fair share?

What does it mean to be American? To live from my heart with compassion? To be human?

Can I stay in this place of not-knowing and avoid the temptation to rush to reactive, quick-fix solutions?

How can I embrace the present moment and accept what is, while at the same time working for change?

Would I be willing to go to jail or to put my life on the line for the values I believe in?

What are the specific gifts and talents that I have to offer for the repair of the world at this moment in time?

What spiritual resources and practices will help me stay centered and grounded during this confusing and chaotic period?

What are your questions?


3 thoughts on “Living the Questions, Post Election

  1. More than excellent reflexion dear Yvonne..
    Fundamental questions that demand a very responsable and compromised answers and actions…from each of us…here or there.
    Big hug from DR.


  2. Questions? Aren’t I already so great at asking questions? It seems I am not. That is what I am learning lately. The most pressing questions for me currently are: 1. How may I better understand and communicate with different ethnicities and cultures? 2. Could I possibly get millions of people to read a book that has been so profound for me, WAKING UP WHITE: AND FINDING MYSELF IN THE STORY OF RACE by Debby Irving? 3. How many minutes out of my day will it take to phone legislatures regarding concerns I may have? Thanks for the blog. Keep writing.


  3. I am just reading this, six weeks after you posted. The questions persist and increase in urgency. For me, my biggest question is “How?” How do I move forward effectively? I don’t have good answers, though. It is all overwhelming.


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