What trauma this election has wrought. Spewing, fighting, disowning. I’ve lost friends and know friends who have lost friends. Families broke as sons, daughters, parents and couples lost themselves to lines in the sand.

Though the wisdom of our Constitution has formidable stops and bridges and gates, some project that evil and doom were elected, not a president, not even a man. I’ve suffered personally from the choices available, wishing instead I’d found George Washington or Abe Lincoln or Franklin D. Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy on the ballot. They were not there.

Few voters honestly could say, “I love my candidate. I believe in my candidate. I’m voting with a clear conscience that my candidate is the one for our time.” The people instead voted for the candidate they hated least. How awful. For those of you who voted for the candidate who won, are you happy because he won, or because she lost?

This was the hell election that revealed such unrest, such anger, such disagreement about what America is and should be – and with such willful closed-mindedness from all sides. Those lines in the sand took the high ground against the most essential stories that we stopped writing; our love for our friends and families above all else. Shameful, we the people.

Things that are broken cannot be unbroken when love has no room to heal or when anger is invited to linger. This ground is where we, the people, now stand, especially friends and families. This is the moment to courageously admit that we’ve discovered things that we don’t like about ourselves, and about those we thought we knew.

I live near the beach. I watch the tide wash away lines in the sand every day. May today be one of them.

James D’Ambrosio

Ocean Park