The words and colors on my sign bled down the page from the rain. It held together for as long as possible but tore and easily fell off the wooden post in time to be thrown into a garbage can before the rally was complete.
I was in Walnut Creek, California, one of three nearby marches and certainly the smallest. It was huge in spirit. The kindness was palpable. Truly. We stood in mud as the rain fell down, and we all smiled at one another, admiring the creative signs, the funny ones, the angry ones. The ones held by men, boys in solidarity.
I had to leave to pick up my son before the march was done. I wish I could have stayed. I felt a part of something important. I would do it again. I feel I might have to.
I hadn’t known previously there would be marches all over the world. That’s beautiful. This video from Lily Allen brought tears to my eyes as so many things do these days.
“I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down … I’m so tired of you, America.” Rufus Wainwright
How does it make you feel? Helpless? Hopeful?
I am gathering and marching for kindness and choice. For freedom and peace. I am marching for love. Love trumps hate. I am gathering and marching with other women with the spirit of a million women who are doing the same in their cities, with their viewpoints and their hearts.
I am marching for me, you, our children and their future. Because it is important and it is a simple thing I can do.
It was my trip to Romania in April 2005. It shows what city I was in an any given day. An 8-day trip. To Romania. From the Czech Republic. Solo.
The train ride there was the scariest part. The sketchy / threatening Romanian train conductor. The fear of sleeping alone on an overnight train. The Roma beggars clawing at me; yelling at me because I had unknowingly given her begging daughter moldy bread. Feeling lonely and unsure. Cracking up while having a chance to steer a horse-drawn cart down a country road. Relief at finding English speaking tourists with whom I could relax.
Those are the memories that have stuck with me. Less prominent are my feelings as I wandered through the old castle where Vlad the Impaler walked. Less prominent are the images at which I stared in the painted monasteries of Bucovina.
This old calendar has been sitting in a slot on my desk for 10 years. Even that, more than one year after I returned to the US. I must have taken it out at some point after I moved in to this home. Why?
Was I going to write about it and ended up procrastinating for 11 1/2 years? Yikes. I shouldn’t say that out loud.
Is it there to serve as my reminder of the adventurous soul I used to be and the risks I used to take?
Is it meant to tell myself that although, no, I’m not taking any grand trips any time soon, I sure did live, didn’t I? Jeez, what am I, 90 years old!
None of these sound like the right excuse. But here I sit with a paper monthly calendar folded open to the April 2005 page. Its always been folded back this way.
There are a few events on the March 2005 page. Even fewer on May 2005.
We don’t often know where we are going. But we sure know where we’ve been. (Yes, if you’re paying attention, I just dropped a Whitesnake lyric.)
It’s trendy to be grateful and self aware.
But actually, let’s not be in the moment all the time. Or should we?
Has mindfulness jumped the shark? Or is that a ridiculous premise? Can you ever have too much goodness, self awareness among the masses and attention to minds and bodies?
With the rise in reported hatred, anti-semitism and negativity from our leading politicians, ahem, I feel an equally compelling rise on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Yes, it can be annoying when things get talked about too much. But goodness is good.
It seems the increase in hate and negative talking from some has increased the demand and output of positivity from the contrarians, to whom I am ever so thankful.
I say bring on the mindfulness. Get the masses enrolled in the kindness and empathy movement. The more the haters push, the louder we get. Drowning out hate with yoga, meditation and love. I’d say let’s start a movement, but I feel humans already have. I vow to do my part in spreading it. Love trumps hate.
I started writing this the day after Election Day. Or New Year’s Eve Y2k. Or January 19, 2017, the night before Trump takes office. You decide.
New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K. Some people thought the world would end. Others thought only that computers wouldn’t work anymore. Nothing happened.
We were young. Carefree. Celebrated in Key West, Florida. We climbed onto his sailboat with our liquor and beer for a night sail to watch the fireworks. We joked that if we saw the island explode behind us, we’d just keep sailing. We said we were gonna party like it was 1999. We had no plan.
It didn’t. We didn’t. We returned to the dock, and we awoke the next day hungover. Still joking about our grand idea to sail off into the wild blue.
We’ve too many responsibilities today to sail away from the world. We get seasick. We can’t afford a sailboat. If we could, we’d buy something else instead.
The world isn’t likely to explode. It may implode. Let’s hope neither happens. I hope that’s our great disappointment to come.