I love America, but I sometimes fear it.
I dream of America, but it sometimes shows up in my nightmares. I know I'm not the only one.
Living here has brought overwhelming gifts of love, community, service, creativity and hope.
It has also stimulated feelings of uncertainty, anger, and deep concern.
In his song DEMOCRACY, Leonard Cohen wrote of the US that "It's there they've got the range, the machinery for change, and it's there they've got the spiritual thirst." We're nearly a year in to a presidency that less than a third of US Americans voted for, but many of the rest of us are still experiencing some kind of exhaustion, mild dread, anxiety, and a sense of powerlessness.
It could be useful to reflect that the range, the machinery for change, the spiritual thirst are what allows someone like Donald Trump to think he could be elected, but they also nearly got such a common good-oriented figure as Bernie Sanders to the White House too.
They're what allows ideas and events as varied, brilliant and awful as the invasion of Iraq *and* the national parks system, the Transformers movies and Schindler's List, the writings of aggressive nationalism but also of Maya Angelou and Mark Twain, the alt-right and the civil rights movement, the subprime mortgage crisis and the existence of Habitat for Humanity.