Last Friday, after watching early Twitter returns of Global Climate Strike marches around the world, I hastily made a sign, pulled Jack from school early, and took him to the start of DC’s march downtown near the Capitol. The turnouts in Berlin, London, Dublin, Australia, New York, Uganda, and elsewhere across the globe were unbelievably moving. Greta Thunberg, the teen climate activist from Sweden, is such a heroine of mine. Did y’all see her speech at the UN? HOLY SH*T! Greta, I salute and support you!
The DC turnout wasn’t as large as I’d hoped but the energy was appropriately enraged and energized, and Jack and I saw some great signs. On the walk back to the Metro, he admitted to being extremely scared about the future he’s growing into. “Really buddy?” “Well, yeah, of course. The science is terrifying.”
While his worry makes absolute sense to me, it’s not something he’s articulated before, and my heart pinched even more than it already was.
That afternoon, two of my best girlfriends arrived from out of town in anticipation of the We the People March Saturday morning and afternoon and Margaret Atwood’s discussion of her new book and sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, that evening. While Saturday’s March was again not as large as I’d hoped (though the organizers said there were 10,000 people there), there were a number of satellite marches, and at ours the energy was fabulous. Signs too! And I met in real life an online friend of many years. Such a cathartic treat all around. I believe it is crucial that we keep up the pressure in support of American democracy as it seems imperiled in so many ways, and honestly, it really feels good to use your feet and voice to literally push your way forward sometimes.
After a huge lunch and much-deserved drinks, we rested, showered, and headed back downtown to The Lincoln Theater.
Y’all, Margaret Atwood is 80 and she is a boss. Sharp as a tack, funny, extremely intelligent and well-read (as you’d expect). Rebecca Traister, who I love, was interviewing her, but Margaret was all anyone could watch. A couple weeks back, I’d started rereading The Handmaid’s Tale to be prepped to read The Testaments. As the new intro reminds readers, nothing in the book is fictional except the characters and the way MA has woven together horrible truths from the world’s past. Reading it is.not.easy. It doesn’t seem outlandish or remote, just a bit removed.
Margaret cuts to the chase. She has zero time for bullshit and neither should we. Her words and wit are calls to action, they are funny at times, lacerating at others. She is thought-provoking, frightening, and utterly real. We were all enthralled.
And today, another strong woman, Nancy P, announced a move towards a real impeachment inquiry. I think all of us who marched on Friday and Saturday, all who applauded Margaret and who read her words with eerie trepidation and consideration, all who speak truth to power, and all who are sick and tired of America’s toxic, grifting, ignorant, bigoted, cheating, lying, nepotistic, assaulter-in-chief have a bit of hope right now.
Hope. It’s a powerful thing.