Friday, January 6, 2017

marching

On Wednesday I booked my spot on the bus for the Women's March on Washington. I am so excited!


For awhile, I was on the fence about going—the expense, the bother—but then a friend (thank you, Friend!) offered to pay my bus fare which forced me, and gave me the freedom, to seriously consider making the trip.

I had a couple hang-ups. First, what was the march's purpose? The whole thing confused me. Was it anti-Trump? Pro-women? In support of all human rights? And second, marches (and political demonstrations in general) make me skeptical. Jabbing signs heavenwards, yelling ourselves hoarse, spending all that time and money just to… what? Make us feel good about ourselves? Wouldn’t it be more effective to spend all those thousands on, I don’t know… Medical research? Humanitarian aid? Education grants?

On the other hand, maybe the march would be good, less of a self-indulgence and more of a self-discipline. For the last few months, I’ve been plagued with a lurking panic and flashes of flat-out fear that, as we slipped into 2017, have only intensified. Now whenever I pause to actually consider things, my body tenses. It might be easier to stay home, but maybe I needed to step out and move.

I read up on the march, trying to understand the purpose. It's still not completely clear to me, and the origins were rather murky, but best I can tell, the organizers were planning this march before the election because of all the anti-human rights rhetoric bubbling to the surface. Then the election happened, the results drove home the point (We’ve got problems, peoplealways have and always will), and the march got scheduled. Human rights for all, now that I can get behind.

So yeah, I'm going to this march for me. I want to feel better, more hopeful and less fearful. In a lot of ways, the march reminds me of a church service: a motley group of people pressing the pause button on the hustle-rush of the daily grind in order to gather for a few short hours to bolster and support one another and be encouraged. Looked at that way, the march does have merit. It might not be productive in the classic Protestant work ethic sense, but choosing to be with people is never a waste.

So January 21, I'll plant myself in the middle of thousands of strangers and together we'll say, World, here we are. It will be a much-needed—for me, for the world, for whoever/whatever does it even really matter?—jolt of (bracingly cold) fresh air. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

If nothing else, it’s sure to be entertaining.

Will I see you there???

This same time, years previous: how to make a fireball, high on the hog, breaking the fruitcake barrier, the quotidian (1.6.14), headless chickens, of an evening, candied peanuts, and sweet and spicy popcorn.

12 comments:

  1. I'll be there with my daughter. She was on the fence about going as well (it'll be cold, it'll be a long day, what's the point, by the way, it's daddy's birthday and how could you make plans to not be home on his birthday?), but she came around. I'm not sure what our sign is going to say yet, but I do know there will be a liberal use of glitter glue in it's making.

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    1. My older daughter will be going, too---she is forgoing a much-anticipated weekend retreat with friends in favor of the march. (Her mentor is taking her, and she LOVES her mentor.) I haven't even thought about a sign, yet....

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  2. Good for you, Jennifer! While I won't be at the Washington March, I will be participating in two in Arizona. Like you I'm not sure of the goals, but my personal goals are to help let the world know know that many, many people will not stand by silently while rights of ourselves and others are diminished. I hope the day is a huge shot across the bow of the "decision-makers".

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  3. I am not marching in Washington, but am going to the Boston march. I already had a t-shirt that says Meow (in pink even--though it's from a vet conference), and am knitting myself a pussyhat as well. I think it will be a strong visual!

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  4. Thank you for going and because of your post and your link to the Women's March website I realized that I can donate to the cause. With regret, I can not attend. I hope you don't mind but I sent the donation in honor of you. Finally, my way to thank you for all of your wonderful posts and recipes.

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    1. Oh my, Lexi, THANK YOU. Now I understand the email alert I just received. You are so sweet!!!

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  5. I'll try to get a hat done for you before the March! I'm not going, because I HATE crowds.

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  6. I'm going too! I'm bringing my 12 year old daughter with me because I think it's important for her to be a part of this too. I'm lucky to have family that lives close to DC so I don't have to worry about hotel rooms. Safe travels!

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  7. I'm going. :) I'm nervous, as it's definitely outside my comfort zone, but also excited & hopeful that it will feel worthwhile.

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  8. Leave it to the women to be proud and strong! I am so envioius of all the women that are going. Unfortunately, I cannot leave my husband since I am his full time carer. I hope it is an inspiring day for you, Jennifer! I will be there with you in spirit.

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  9. I am going to the one here in New York City with my daughter and hope to join up with friends. How very sad that we still need to fight for such basic ideas as equal rights and the right to choose. And how tragic that it seems that we are going backwards, rather than forward. I will be marching for myself, for my strong daughter and hope that my future grand-daughters will inherit a world where they are able to be stronger, still.

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