I’ve been feeling strange lately. Something about the the way the air smells, or maybe it’s the uneasy feeling I get when entering a crowded room. Weeks into November I was finally able to divulge the source of my inner turmoil; at this time last year, Trump was declared president.
So many emotions are brought to the surface when I think about what was on my mind exactly one year ago, and it’s hard to come to terms that this administration is our reality for the next 3 years. But instead of wallowing in defeat, the “snowflake” community rallied our voices. Organized through Facebook, an event called “Scream Helplessly at the Sky on the Anniversary of the Election” quickly gained traction.
The cause called for a mighty battle cry. On November 8th, 30 people gathered around the Salt Lake City Library to express their frustration in a nonviolent but vocal way. At exactly 4pm, the group would be joined by screams across the nation as people dropped what they were doing to yell at the open sky. And while our library gathering was only a few dozen strong, the collective yell that came out of our group was filled with strength. If nothing else, screaming for an issue that seems insurmountable was an important step of our grieving — grieving for a country that seems lost.
Some screams were a lower octave, while others took on a more shrill and murderous tone, but each came out for a different reason. Some began angry, their scratchy undertones expressing the pure helpless rage felt during this past year. Others took on a sadder resonance, a frustrated cry thrown to the wind, not expecting to be handed a solution. By the end of our screaming session, the yells had turned resolute. We were recharging, gearing up for another year and buckling down for what may come next.
Of course, the group was greeted by naysayers claiming our show of dissatisfaction was akin to temper tantrums of children, or that such a small group couldn’t possibly intend to create change. And to that I say: Critique all you want. Point and shout and divide our country even more with politics. Our collective action wasn’t an active protest; we weren’t demanding reprieve or listing grievances. In fact, it was as if our fight could pause for a moment, allowing us a second to breathe and just be. In those few minutes we didn’t have to do anything but feel, and feel together.
Screaming with 30 complete strangers is one sure way to make friends. The boundaries that separate us falling away sharing such an intimate emotion. So as I stared into the eyes of people that just wanted to be heard, I felt a sense of community. The strangers standing beside me didn’t come here to make a stand against Trump, and they weren’t calling out conservative values. They came to show each other that it’s okay to be angry, and sometimes it’s okay to do nothing else but scream helplessly to the sky.