I’ve written a bit since I was last here. Not much, really. But a few things that were “ready” to post but weren’t. Because I wasn’t. Now, it’s time to jump in.
I’ve felt a whole lot in the last few months and many of my feelings involve those uncomfortable human emotions. Anxious, unmotivated, restless. I’ve talked with my tribe about this a lot and, it seems I’m not alone. Is it January, the grey skies, the post-holiday sloggish pace? Probably. Definitely: it’s the new president of our country.
I’m tired. I don’t want to talk about it here. I don’t want another email from someone telling me that they really like me better when I write about mothering, skiing, pie and thrifting – when I avoid politics. Or a comment that bosses me around, telling me I need to accept and move on…because, seriously — no matter how we might disagree — when is it ever a good choice (or positive model for our children) to shrug our shoulders at injustice and hate and skip off to make soup like Ah dangit! There’s always next time!
If by “accept” you mean not be in denial, then ok. I accept. If by “move on” you mean take the lead on initiatives that protect vulnerable people and places, then I will move on. I will not underrate my strength and ability. I hope my president proves my fears wrong. And, I will work hard to protect the public lands in our country, our schools, reproductive rights, our neighbors — all of them no matter what demographic boxes they check on enrollment forms.
I’ve felt nervous to weigh in publicly about certain issues because…Am I saying right thing? Am I offending somebody? Am I not sensitive enough? Am I too sensitive? But then I had this movement within my own brain sometime between the hours of 2 and 5am a few nights ago. I just need to say it, trusting my heart and its intention and all the potential “unfollows” that follow. So:
Black Lives Matter.
Native American Lives Matter.
Betsy DeVos will not serve children well as Secretary of Education. Her hearing was absolutely mind-blowingly uninformed and scary. And this is coming from a person who lives in a state with grizzly bears. Please call your senators and weigh in. It literally takes 5 minutes.
I am a fourth generation Montanan and I am a child of immigrants, just like everyone else whose ancestors came here from elsewhere.
I think all humans deserve health care and education and clean water.
I dislike when politicians wrap up speeches with “May God bless America” like we are the only ones to ask their God to focus on. How about “May your God and mine bless every country, human, animal, piece of this earth, spec of this universe.”
I am deeply concerned about the future of our environment right now. Scott Pruitt does not seem to care about protecting it and his refusal to believe facts about climate change make him an inappropriate candidate for the EPA administrator. Please call your senators and weigh in. It literally takes 5 minutes.
We budget a lot money for health insurance. It’s hard. Our Bronze Level has never covered a thing for our family; we fall in a middle class gap where we make too much money for helpful assistance and we don’t make enough money to buy anything that pays for anything other that the $11,000 catastrophic bill. We are in the purgatory and we’ve felt frustrated a lot. But we pay in every month. Because we want to be a part of the change for everyone and it will take time. We pay in to help a broken system that needs fixing.
I am motivated to work with organizations fighting for better, safer, more restrictive gun laws in our country.
I’ve voted in five presidential elections and I’ve felt disappointed in results before. This is different. We are in a pivotal, important moment in our young country’s story. I’m paying attention. When this chapter is written, I know how I want my character’s arc to unfold.
I wasn’t going to go to my state’s march in Helena. Well, I was going to go but then I talked myself out of it, thinking I’d rather be with my family and that I wasn’t sure it was the best use of my time, energy and desire to do good things. It was true that I’d rather stay home. And, for me, it was safe in a way that felt like a distraction, which is why it never felt right.
My friend Grace Decker said she was going even though she didn’t want to. I asked for more insight. She wrote:
People are marching all over the globe. I hope it is a stunning display of solidarity. I want it to be a massive slap in the face. The biggest, most international, protest march ever. Un- ignorable. Not just a few whiners, which is what the right tries to label resisters. And if I want that, well, I should really be there.
And that was it for me. The kernel of wisdom I’d waited for all day as I was lost between staring at the ground and the sky.
And if I want that, well, I should really be there.
It was 7 degrees when my friends and I left Missoula. Our state capital was expecting 3000-5000 marchers and I felt the energy the moment we pulled into the line of cars, leading with their hearts east on I-90.
People were marching for their own reasons but the overarching movement was one in support of kindness, inclusion, science, environment, human rights for all humans. 10,000 people showed up.
It was cold and the sun shined bright. We stomped though more than a foot of snow to reach the capital building where we stood together and caught one another’s determination and potential. It was peaceful, hopeful and important. I am so glad I went.
I know there are those reading here who disagree with things I believe. I welcome you. I want to know your values and how you want to affect positive change in our world. As long your ideas and approach are not hateful or destructive, I will give you the same curiosity and respect. Let’s have a conversation. Let’s get shit done. Yes We Can Because We Are Stronger Together.
I am a long term reader of your blog, but have rarely commented. I live in the UK, where we have watched events unfold in your country with horrified astonishment, My Facebook feed has been full this weekend of friends marching in London, all over the UK, Washington DC, New York, France, and even a friend who used to work in Antarctica and whose colleagues marched there. Take courage – you are not alone. You are not alone.