Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Crones United: No Trump

Friday morning, January 20th, 2017, before dawn, millions of us woke up to a now-familiar bolt of dread, the sleep-stealing quicksand of despair, the certainty that all is lost. That everything we cared about, from our fragile democracy to our tortured planet, was to be sold for parts, or discarded. That the train of progress that had, before, seemed so inadequate and slow had been yanked off the track altogether, had pitched into the ravine.

But on Saturday there was a climate change.

On Saturday there were enough of us to hold up the sky.

We could feel ourselves rising. It's a five-mile walk downtown to get to the Women's March and everywhere on every block people were headed the same way, smiling at each other in recognition, daring to hope. Families gathered at bus stops. Busses arrived already packed. By the time we reached the river, the bridges blossomed with pink hats. We pressed into the crowd and cheered and chanted and sang for an hour in the dumping rain before the march began. Soaked, and sunlit from within.

One-sixth of the population of Portland was there. The entire march route had been filled, so it was slow going. It was wet. Buoyant. Peaceful. Majestic.

There were counter-protesters. Three, by my tally, standing on the traffic median with signs ("Not All Women Are Haters"), politely ignored by the loving masses flowing around them on all sides. They looked damp and dispirited, stranded in a dinghy on the ocean.

A crowd like this? It's all hairlines and hat brims from my angle. When you are a small person, you have no idea how big a march you're in. It's like trying to figure out where your home planet is in the Milky Way, just by gazing. Are you at the margins? In the middle? Toward the beginning, or the end?  Could this gentle gathering of humanity stretch the length of the waterfront? Across the bridges? The state? From sea to shining sea? If we all held hands, would our grip redound across the world?

Standing there, rocking a little side to side for warmth, in fearless contact with unknown thousands, we know we are all facing the same direction. We are corpuscles surging in a stream. We are the lifeblood of democracy.

So thank you, Mr. President. We're all awake now.

46 comments:

  1. If anything good comes out of a Trump presidency, it may be that finally people have gotten off their asses and realized that one can't just sit back and complacently let those in power do all the work. They can't be trusted to do so. They are like a toddler that needs constant supervision. And we -- the populace -- need to be the adult here and make sure the toddler doesn't tear the house apart. I just hope that we didn't come to that realization too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I'm just looking for a ray of sunshine, but I was interested in a piece I just read that said if Hillary had won, we would have continued our incremental progress, pushing against the obstructionists the whole while, but THIS might make us rise up and spell the end of the Republican party--it's like throwing a bomb into the nest.

      Delete
  2. I marched in my little town of Bellingham. More than 10,000 strong, and we saw a drone overhead, which gave us a great video of the event. Now we cannot stop but must find a way to make a real difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dang, that's some good numbers! I'm starting by getting a habit of letting congressmen hear from me.

      Delete
  3. That's my group -- Crones United. Hope it goes nationwide. My home county, which went 83% for Trump even had a small delegation to the Atlanta march. I had childcare duties and didn't go this time, but I'm getting my pussyhat ready for the next opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The contrast between the bellicose self-aggrandizing inauguration and the humor, sisterhood and peaceful determination of the women's march may sooth my acid-reflux for a bit, but now we need the next goal. There's talk of a concerned scientists' march on Washington. I can't tell a beaker from a test tube, but I do know I shouldn't trust my own very good brain when it doesn't know what it's talking about, so come on scientists, you're up next. The rest of us will cheer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can tell a beaker from a test tube and I'm all for it. Hadn't heard about it, though.

      Delete
    2. Looks like it's in the works: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/01/24/are-scientists-going-to-march-on-washington/?utm_term=.396b6a651a70

      Delete
  5. Everyone is made at Trump. He has mental issues. We should be mad at those that support him in his cabinet and the White House as they pretend he is normal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, that was supposed to be mad not made.

      Delete
    2. We mentally edited it for you, Tabor!

      Delete
  6. A splendid post. I'm forwarding it to everyone I know.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read a piece by a journalist who travelled with Trump on the campaign trail. He said he and some of the other journalists there really felt that Trump had no intention of becoming president but he just kept winning and winning. That's pretty scary in its own way, that he wasn't serious about his bid to be president. And I think it's imperative that people everywhere not leave everything up to the people at the top, no matter how progressive and benevolent - or not - they are. We need to understand what is happening to be able to keep an eye on it. That's a full-time position, not just one that comes up when there is someone in power that we don't want there. Engagement is necessary at all times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was very obvious he did not intend to be president. This whole fiasco could have been written as a work of fiction, but nobody would have bought the premises. This is one reason I haven't written too much about Trump in this space. I like to use hyperbole and he has utterly out-hyperboled me.

      Delete
    2. I always say Trump wasn't running for Student Council President; he was running for Homecoming King.

      Delete
    3. He got so many votes, you wouldn't believe.

      Delete
  8. I didn't join a march and I'm sorry I didn't
    But I am going to organize myself to write and call my representatives. I would also work harder at my city, county, and state level were I not a hobo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think getting down to the city, county, and state levels is very very important. I hope the DNC puts that task front and center. It's how the Tea Party wormed its way into whatever power it has. We need to start from the bottom up.

      Delete
    2. That's a splendid lead to the usual Murr-type pin worms, poo and things so often mentioned here.
      But not this time. Today's post has way too serious overtones.The silly chump has no real grasp of diplomacy, trade agreements or language. And he's compounded his mess by his cabinet appointments.And now we ALL have to suffer for it.

      Delete
  9. Do you get tired of people saying "Best one yet, Murr!"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee! I don't get tired of it, but I don't usually agree with it.

      Delete
  10. Oh Murr, this is really, really good. That's all I can say right now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am proud to be a crone. Even a foreign crone. And hoping that crones rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not one person has mentioned my acronym.

      Delete
    2. Hahahahaha! You need to point people back to your title in your Saturday post - that's too good to be missed :)

      Delete
  12. My two girls were in the march in Seattle. Good goin', to all of you.
    I would have been there, but I'm busy trying to talk my cardio doc out of putting in a pacemaker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You sent your emissaries. Now do what you must to keep yourself upright and struttin'.

      Delete
  13. Think it is time we had marches more frequently...they seem to be the only thing that worked in the late 1960's and they will show "what's his name" that there are lots of us who aren't going to bolster his ego.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm conflicted about that. On the one hand I think we need to show our numbers. On the other hand it might have a diluting effect. And the standard HEY HEY HO HO chants sound archaic even to me. I do think we all need to get in the habit of badgering our congressmen on a regular if not daily basis.

      Delete
  14. Murr, that was beautiful. I'm proud of you for participating in Portland's march. Maidens, mothers, crones, and the men who respect them sent a loud message to the White House on Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really felt right. I got nothing against men, but I don't necessarily trust 'em in big groups (like Congress). That many women felt like what needs to happen. All over. I hope some of those young people run for office.

      Delete
  15. Excellent as always. Though this one struck a chord (B#?) as I was fortunate enough to travel to Washington on that glorious day, 1-21-17. I believe historians will look back on it as THE beginning of a movement and hopefully it will be grouped with the likes of Boston Tea Party, Women's suffrage, and Civil Rights. Your experience in Portland mirrored my day in DC. The amount of love and compassion was palpable. I only saw one naysayer, and they were quietly showing there "Pro-Life" sign with a look of dejection. Thank you for sharing your perspective of the emotions of the day.

    "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I personally know about eight women who flew to D.C. from here for the March. That's when I knew this was going to be big.

      Delete
  16. I was proud to know friends who marched in the march on Saturday. I would have gone if it weren't that I am in recovery mode and using walker. It was so moving an event!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd have been fine in a walker. We weren't going very fast anyway!

      Delete
  17. Another fine piece of writing. I marched in Ottawa, Canada. 7,000 people! After I got home I spent time on line looking at videos and articles of other marches. While I was impressed that 250,000 showed up in Chicago, there was a small band in Fairbanks, Alaska in minus 14 weather and a group of 12 in a tiny village in Nova Scotia. Empowering for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My niece says some sixty or so turned out in Kotzebue, Alaska.

      Delete
  18. The Ugly Truth About The Women's March https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8oMY1sF-E0

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for sharing this, Murr. This is beautiful. It's exactly how I felt: finally, we are all awake and facing the same direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow I hold out hope that if enough of us are awake, we will prevail.

      Delete
  20. I wish I had been physically able to join in a march!!

    ReplyDelete