no matter what happens, everything changes

Manzanita beach, Oregon. Photographed August 11, 2008.

As you've likely noticed, I work very hard to keep politics off of this site: while I do have some very strongly held opinions on the subject, I find that politics in general, and opinions about politics, specifically, tend to polarize people -- and I've never wanted Chookooloonks to be a place that polarizes. Besides, the fact is that there are tons of sites out there that spout all sorts of opinions, and spin, and heaven knows what else; Chookooloonks has been a place where (I hope) you've been able to find some respite from all the craziness.

However, today, election day here in the United States, everything is about to change. Regardless of who wins the election, in my opinion this has been one of the hottest, most contentious races in recent history. Regardless of who wins the election, there will be a new president of the United States, the first new American leader in 8 years, and the results of this election will have global impact. Regardless of who wins the election, things are going to change.

And, for the first time since I became a U.S. citizen 14 years ago, I find myself really emotionally invested in the outcome: dear God, I care. I really, really care.

And so, I'm afraid I don't have much to say that is non-political today: I voted two weeks ago, so instead of heading to the polls I will likely spend my day obsessing about the outcome, and will likely try very hard not to watch the returns minute-by-minute, and will likely fail miserably. In fact, the only thing I can possibly think of to say that isn't polarizing is the following:

If you are a registered American voter, then please, please, please go vote. As individuals, we all struggle so hard to be really seen, and really heard, by our families, coworkers, friends, and certainly, by our governments. The opportunity to vote is one of those times when you get to draw a line in the sand, put your stake in the ground, and do whatever other metaphor you can think of that says, "hear me, dammit. I count. I matter. I believe this to be true." The act of pulling that lever, or pressing that button, or clicking that icon is a very, very powerful thing. Do not believe that your vote doesn't matter. It matters. It so matters.

With that, I am off to start obsessing. See you on the other side ... after everything changes.

Song: Change the world, as performed by Babyface and Trisha Yearwood. I love that these two people, from such different musical genres, got together to do this great song. And somehow, it seems particularly appropriate for today.