I was at a joint birthday party in Toronto on Saturday night. A festive occasion with festive drinks and food. Two of the people had recently returned from a first-time trip to Ireland- land of my birth. We could have talked about all kinds of things at this party that went late into the night. In particular about their time in Ireland, which I was dying to hear of. But even when, at the beginning of the evening, we toasted the birthday folk, no one seemed terribly enthused. After a few minutes of bland talk, one of the two Americans in the room said "So I've been thinking about renouncing." He didn't have to say what he was renouncing, and so the can of maggots was opened. We talked from then on only of how it could possibly have gone the way it did- the U.S. Presidential election.
My friend Peter was supposed to come around and visit last week. No time was specified, and I wasn't exactly waiting for him. So today when he wrote and said he was sorry he didn't come last week, because of the disappointments, I wasn't exactly sure what he meant. I didn't write him back. I phoned. So many people getting bad health news these days, I was worried. "What disappointment?" I asked, almost too aggressively. "The election", he said.
Earlier today, I went to take some some rugelach I bought in Toronto for a friend who lives in the country where such treats aren't easily come by. When I asked how she was she launched a list of ailments. I said, "Oh my god, what's happening to you?" She said, ever since the election, she's been depressed, and every part of her body, her heart, and her mind hurt.
Here, in Canada, the malaise runs surprisingly deep and wide. But forewarned is forearmed. Or is it? Our task is to figure out a way to move forward, and I mean FORWARD.