January came and went with so many mixed emotions. Wylie and I were so fortunate to be able to travel to Washington, DC for the women’s march. The experience was fairly amazing, and I still don’t quite have the words to describe it. This picture below was taken on the 2 mile walk to Independence Ave. from our bus stop. There were hundreds, maybe thousands walking with us down the street–but that was nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands (some estimate half a million) women, men, children, gathered on the National Mall. I have never been in such a crowd before–nor, honestly, have I ever been with so many strangers, yet felt so peaceful. Maybe that’s not the right word, for certainly there was power, and energy coursing through the crowd–but it was all positive. I experienced no aggression, no hostility, no frustration despite being shoulder to shoulder with strangers for nearly 8 hours. Exhaustion, yes, by the end of the day. But otherwise nothing but a sense that we are all in this together.
And yet, as we all know, despite being powerful, despite making our voices heard, I can’t help but sometimes feel like it didn’t make a difference. Other times I believe that we (all of us marching for women’s rights across the globe) have accomplished a great feat, of proving that we are all in this together, that we can and will stand united.
I’ve read recently from a few sources, the idea that the latest political moves could be a smoke screen for something bigger, or a way to further divide our nation to a point of weakness. That’s big, and scary. I’d like to believe that we can continue to find ways to come together in peaceful gatherings. To find a way to unite even those with differing opinions. I’ve never really considered myself an activist. And I know very little about politics, and less about political history. And I think that’s true of many of my generation. We have been lucky. We have been privileged, and we have grown lazy because of it. But now seems like it must be the time for change to come from the bottom. I have faith (somehow) that the systems aren’t all broken, and that in our country the people still do hold the power. My favorite sign from the march was a twist on the famous “God grant me the serenity…’ quote. It read,
“I’m tired of accepting the things I cannot change, and I’m ready to change the things I cannot accept”.
We just have to work together to make it happen.
Of course, I have to balance all of these thoughts with the reality of my days. I have to play chess (several times a day it seems), prepare meals, write mission statements (more on that soon), skate with my kids, drive everywhere, organize classes, teach, etc. We all do.
For better or for worse, life does not stop for the revolution.