21 January 2017

Robin On The March: Liberty For All. Finding My Country Again

Finding My Country Again

Good for my daughter, she brought Robin to the women's march in Manhattan, which police said drew about 400,000. I'm grateful to Maria, for inviting me to march with her in Glens Falls, N.Y., where there was an astounding crowd of nearly 1,000 people marching.

Emma said Robin did very well, she rode the subway, took the crowded streets in stride and attended her first, but almost certainly not her last, women's march. I loved her Red Star.

I try to say out of the back and forth raging about our new President, but I will have to be honest and admit that I have sometimes felt over these last few months – and especially this week –  that I have lost my country, and was pining for it.

Today, marching with Maria and some friends and with hundreds of strangers, hope returne.I felt like I found my country again, it is still there, and it is awakening and coming out into the sun.  These other people on television all day are not, I think, from my country, they come from some other realm, the Good Fairy will appear and wave her magic want and they will all vanish in a cloud of dust.

My daughter cautioned me that all of this energy needed to be translated into concrete action, not just a day of marching and shouting catchy slogans.

I know that, of course, there are many hard and painful days ahead, many setbacks and frustrations and heartbreaks.

The times that try the souls of women and men. I am no sunshine soldier, I am here for the duration.

These women I was marching with were clear about their intention – it is to never go back without an awful fight, and even then, to never go back.

And if they do stay together and focus on concrete actions, they will win a might victory, I think that was quite clear from watching the million plus women all over the world show their strength and speak out loud and clear. Donations to Planned Parenthood, the non-profit women's health organization that has helped so many women, reports that it's donations have risen by 7,000 per cent since the election of Donald Trump, more than 120 individual donations in just a few weeks.

Any politician who ignores that is not really a politician at all, but something else. These women and men and children all over the world, and here in America, lifted my heart and reminded me that my America is not lost, it is very much alive and beginning to stir. I felt so very much at home in this crowd in the small city of Glens Falls, N.Y., better known as the gateway to the Adirondacks.

I found myself and the many people who share my values. We were all, I think, getting a bit lonely and lost needed some company. It sometimes seemed like a dream. It once was lost, but now is found, is blind but still can see.

It was very good company  today- young men, young and old women, babies and teenagers. It just looked like America. The crowd was not nasty or enraged or bullying. It seemed very determined.

And it looked like my America, a place that promotes the idea of Liberty For All, not just for a few, and that offers freedom, rather than takes it away. Sometimes it feels like freedom is dying a death by a thousand cuts. It will not bleed quietly.

It will perhaps take a while for this movement's goals to crystallize and pick its battles, but looking into the eyes of these women today, and many of the men, I don't doubt it will happen, in it's own time and in it's own way. The march gave me my faith back and strengthened. I have never seen anything like the focus and strong will of the women marching.

I whispered to my long gone grandmother that liberty still lives here, we are still a generous and tolerant people, we are still a sanctuary to the weary and the poor. The idea of being free runs strong inside of us, it is in our hearts and souls, and we will keep the flames burning. These women marching are ready to take their place in a free country.

Our new leaders in Washington seem utterly deaf and blind to the fears and goals and determination – and anger –  of many women, who will,  I think, not sit still for having their rights and freedoms chipped away by mostly rich old angry white men with the best health insurance in the world.

They cannot lose their health care no matter what happens, and they pay less for it than anyone reading these words.

I told my daughter I have nothing but hope. I know now that my America is not gone, not drowned in anger and complaint and cruelty and hatred. It came out today to march with me and show itself.  I think our core values are strong, and shared by many. We will work to support them. We showed up for them today. I am realistic about the coming challenges, I am more hopeful than ever.

Posted in General

Poem: Standing With Maria

Standing With Maria

Why did I march for the first time in my life

in Glens Falls, N.Y.?

To stand with Maria.

To march with women.

To hope for a better world

To make a point.

For her,

for my daughter,

for my granddaughter,

for the women of the world.

Women have rights,

and it is not for me to choose them.

Women have suffered at the hands of men,

they have made a peaceful revolution,

they are entitled to choose their fate.

To be paid equally.

To control their bodies.

To be given time to care for their children.

I marched to stand with women,

not on them.

For some years now,

I have seem Maria,

this sweet and gifted human,

find her voice, stand

in her truth, speak her mind,

grow stronger every day.

She has found her pride,

and her dignity,

She will never go back,

and woe to the man who

tries to make her,

or step in front of her,

to tell her how she must live.

She is the Electric  Goddess,

sparks come out of her nose,

she will never go back.

It was the gift of a lifetime to stand

alongside of her,

and cheer her and so many other beautiful women along on their

sacred journey

of

life.

I will never try to stand in her

way, no man, no matter  how powerful

or small, will ever  send her back

to darkness.

Posted in General

Won’t Go Back

Won't Go Back

I loved the faces of the women marching, there was great love and connection among them. The faces were what it was about for me. They all, to a one, said they were never going back.

Posted in General

Standing With Women. A Lot Of Men

Standing With Women

The march was moving and filled with hope, but I was especially pleased to see so many men at the march, and so many children. "Girls are strong, Trump is wrong," chanted some young women. There were many young men, they were walking with their women, standing with them, cheering them on.

I live in the country, there are very few political demonstrations, and not all that many people. To draw a crowd this size in Glens Falls, N.Y.,  is simply extraordinary. In 15 years of being here, I have never seen it, not even at a high school football game. Something is happening, something profound.

It was great for me to show up, to soak up the energy and good will, to stand Maria and on behalf of my daughter and granddaughter and so many other women.

Sometimes you just have to show up. And see women rising up to stand up for themselves.

Posted in General

Signing Sweatshirts

Signing Sweatshirts

There was something festive about the march, it was not angry or menacing in any way. Several of the marchers were wearing dark sweatshirts and asked us to sign them.

Posted in General