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Today I Wept

By January 20, 201710 Comments

I’ve become an observer.  A person who is witnessing what she once believed was unimaginable in her country of birth.  A person whose eyes and ears are open, but whose feet are frozen to the ground.  A person whose ears listen in disbelief to distortions and lies; whose eyes are repelled by the sights she sees of hatred and animosity.

Many female friends and acquaintances are in a flurry of activity.  They’re knitting warm pink hats with pussycat ears.  They’re gathering steam as they gather together.  I am a study of silence.  Their walks are not mine.  I will watch from afar, but I cannot respond to the call right now.

My voice no longer has anything that feels relevant to add to the surrounding cacophony.  Not a shred of activism or urge to activate rises to the surface of my being.  I sit and stare ahead of me, with little motivation to do more than that.  I need quiet.  It’s all I can do right now.

At last, I wept today for our loss of a leader who represents humankind’s better angels.  I wept for the loss of a leader who could always be counted on to remind us of who we really are and what we’re capable of.  I wept for the loss of decency, for the loss of compassion and for the loss of inspiration. I wept for people’s inability to recognise the gift we’d been given.  I wept for our need to walk through the woods without a guide to shine some light on the path ahead.  I wept for our planet, threatened from all sides and now without a vital spokesperson.

We all respond to life in our own ways, in our own time.  Today, it’s just moving through the loss and praying it doesn’t get much darker before some light returns.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Life in what many are referring to as our new ‘post factual world’, will require both critical listening and thinking skills like never before. And if our actions are to be effective and long lasting, they must be authentic and genuine. They must reflect and uphold our values and passions. Life as a watchdog can be exhausting, but now accountability more than ever before has to be on the front line of existance. We all come to the conversation at various stages and there is always a seat available. I am afraid I will be standing up for the next four years. Thanks Dianne for sharing the importance of reflection…that is where it all starts. GH

  • mark dendy says:

    this is beautiful and equally needed activism. I have had to react in this way due to my foot being in a cast. i can’t march, not even in my home town. but i can meditate and pray. The occupy people had meditators always there at zuccotti park. The prevailing spiritual belief iisthat the physical political activism is only as important and able to affect change as the ground it grows from. in other words think of material protest being horizontal, spread out over space and time. but the anchor to this is a vertical length that drives deep into the earth and from our souls to anchor the movement. these are the people monks all over the world of all faiths who constantly pray and meditate. i think you may have graduated to high priestess!

  • lauriebyoga says:

    Yes…feeling so sad and afraid about our country, our future, what the next four years holds. I’m going to the march in SB because I want to do something to push back against the negativity, fear and vitriol. Thank you for your post Dianne. I loved it.

  • Carol Kosteerka says:

    Yes. So well said. I am walking the path with you

  • Steve Kappel says:

    I have wept for 8 years. A change is necessary and welcome. Have heard this from all walks of life, both white and black. And now Israel!

  • Judi Wallner says:

    So well said Dianne….it is indeed a dark day for our country and for the world. I listened to his speech as he spoke once again about his view of the broken America that he alone can fix. There were no words which represented a global view, co-operation or gratitude for anyone at all (except God). I have to stop now as I can’t continue to rile against this reality for four years. What to do instead?

  • Robin says:

    You will be carried along side all of us as we make our voices and mostly our values heard and take note of the power of sitting quietly when needed as it surely will be

  • testing321 says:

    Dear Dianne,

    Thanks for your thoughtful column. We all cope as we can. I hope you feel better soon.

    Love to you and Daniel (there’s always love),



  • Megan Murphy says:

    I’m w you.

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