We are living in the peace that follows a major storm this week. If you're wondering why things seem to have slowed down and gone a little quiet lately that's the reason.
Without his precious Twitter account to blow and bluster from, the nonstop storm that is Donald Trump has blown out. You don't even reach for your phone now to find out what new fresh hell he's opened. You don't have to think about who's he's bullying next.
You don't have to listen to his nonstop lies about the election. Without his megaphone, he's just another face in the crowd. Without his bully pulpit, the drama ends. You wake up rested instead of bracing yourself.
But when he is no longer dividing the nation up into winners and losers via his social media account he immediately loses relevance. Within minutes he has just become another portly bore on a Florida golf cart, another visibly angry senior citizen in a polo top making rude gestures at a caddy that we can see but not hear.
It must be hell for him, all this enforced silence of his own making. Telling too many easily provable lies made the dam burst finally, banishing him to a purdah of his own making.
But after a storm comes the silence. People start to slowly step outside to survey all the damage. Downed trees, overturned pots, loose branches can litter the streets and gardens. Storms leave a trail of destruction in their wake, but they also leave a kind of peace.
Next, he banned Muslims from seven nations from visiting the US. Again, no one pushed back so he pushed forward.
It went on like this for four years. Children were soon being separated from their parents (and then frequently lost in the careless system) and placed in metal cages. The world's news cameras recorded all the daily horrors and every day the line of what was acceptable moved forward another yard.
Charlottesville was next. There, tiki torch waving white supremacists and Neo-Nazi's stepped out from under the rock they were hiding under and attacked the protestors who had come out to defy them (one girl was killed when a far right attendee drove his car over her).
For years I watched helplessly as Trump's pathologies slowly became the nations. He set the new terms of what was acceptable and the country simply bent toward them.
Grown men who did not respect him nevertheless made themselves small in his presence, sensing correctly that this was exactly what he wanted from them, and delivering it without question.
Generals cowered, senators told him how great and powerful he was. No one told him to just get in the bloody sea. He just sat like a bloated toad and received tributes from his supplicants.
They were taught that scale and perspective and modesty are for chumps. It became the era of the bloated showboat and no showboat was flashier than the spray-tanned Trump.
So when a destructive force is finally out of your life there is a silence that descends. You can't quite trust it at first because you can't quite believe the storm has passed.
But when you step outside you can see the scale of the destruction that storm has left behind and you can begin to grasp the damage it has done to you and to your community. You can vow to build back better to protect yourself in the future. And in the silence, you can reflect on how bad and how dangerous it truly was.