Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

Vacationing While the World Falls Apart

I’m on vacation while the world is going to hell. I come back from breakfast and learn that Trump has banned immigrants and refugees from certain “Muslim” countries. I wake up from a nap and discover he’s fired the Attorney General for opposing his ban. My friends are protesting at O’Hare airport while I kayak on Lake Chapala and hike to the capilla. I see a boy on the street wearing a white t-shirt with black block letters that read: “Tuck Frump.” I laugh and then apologize.

I want to be informed and I want my vacation. I want to speak out about Trump’s follies and I want to just watch dog videos on Facebook. It’s strange to not be painting my own placard to carry at a demonstration or listening to updated reports from NPR, and it’s a relief. I don’t want to hide from what is happening. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and pretend it will just get better. But I don’t want give Trump permission to set up residence in my soul.

The next few years will be long ones. There will be many demonstrations to attend, letters to write, calls to make, articles to read, information to vet, conversations to engage, money to send. Even if Trump resigns or is impeached, Pence is waiting. I suspect he will be harder to resist because he will appear more “presidential.”

Resistance will be a marathon not a sprint. We will need to find moments to breath deep, to laugh long and hard, to enjoy those we love, to seek out joy. Sabbath was God’s gift to the Hebrew people. God gave the Sabbath so that they would remember that they weren’t under Pharoah’s thumb anymore. Sabbath rest may be a profound act of resistance for us.


  1. Mary W. Cox

    “I don’t want to give Trump permission to set up residence in my soul.” Wow. Thanks! Reading the title of your essay as it showed up in Fresh Day, I thought–oh, not even thought, FELT–“here comes more guilt,” but no! There you were with the blessed assurance that this is indeed a marathon, and a balancing act, and that we are not called to be out in the streets all the time, at the expense of living our lives. Sabbath rest as an act of resistance–I suspect that was true even before the present political disaster, and has always be harder than it sounds. Again, thanks.

    • admin

      Mary, so glad that the piece was helpful. Less guilt more encouragement!

  2. Laurel

    This is so good, Melissa. I also have to declare a “digital Sabbath” from time to time to stay sane. I have Trump fatigue. Like your reader above, I was struck by this sentence: “I don’t want give Trump permission to set up residence in my soul.” So profound and true.

    The photo is also really lovely. Thanks for sharing this.

    • admin

      I’m glad it spoke to you. It’s good to take a break, I think, so that we can re-engage with our best selves.

  3. Erin P. Gosser

    “I don’t want give Trump permission to set up residence in my soul.” That’s how I feel every day when I ask myself: do I listen to the news or not?

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